If I received five cents every time I heard “no” while job hunting, I would have earned a lot of money by now. After receiving recognition throughout my academic career for being a hard worker, skilled in many areas, and getting good grades, I struggled to deal with the rejection I faced when looking for jobs after graduation.

As soon as I realized I didn’t get those jobs, I felt it was because of me. Maybe I wasn’t smart enough or pretty enough? (I know how absurd these sound) But that’s what crossed my mind back then. Then, I applied to jobs that were both over and under my skill level in the hopes that someone would give me a chance. At the end of it all, I found a full-time position and worked there for almost two years before moving to my current job, but the time between was difficult. I learned several things about rejection throughout those periods of trial and error.

Rejection Is a Natural Part of Life That Everyone Experiences at Some Point

Despite the fact that it appeared to be just me who wasn’t getting hired, many others were in my exact situation. The only distinction was that they were not vocal about it or kept it hidden so as to not draw attention. Meanwhile, in the hopes of obtaining advice, leads, networking possibilities, or even compassion, I discussed my job-hunting challenges with everyone. Rejection strikes CEOs, celebrities, and even valedictorians.

Rejection Makes You More Resilient

It may be difficult to hear “no” the first few times, but after a while, you get used to it and can manage your feelings better. I felt awful after a few early failures in my job search, and I wanted to give up. But with time, I learned how to better cope with those negative emotions and eventually turn them into positive ones. Instead of “That firm must have despised me,” I would say to myself, “I wasn’t a good fit for them, and they weren’t a good fit for me. Experiencing difficult times makes you stronger, as I realized during my job search when I was regularly rejected.

Whatever Will Be, Will Be

After a tough job search, I decided to take some time off, relax, and concentrate on my strengths. I wrote more and more, networked as much as I could, and worked to improve my internet reputation. Eventually, I found an ideal company. The job position was at my skill level, the location was perfect and my future boss thought I had potential. Finally, I was not rejected- in fact, I felt valued and desired. Having been rejected so many times in the past, I was elated when I realized that my time had finally come.

No one enjoys feeling rejected, but how do you typically cope when faced with this difficult emotion?

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