Let’s face it, no one likes rejection. It can be painful, debilitating, embarrassing, and a hit to the ego. We’d all like to think that we are enough when it comes to our careers, but in some instances, we may not be. Being a careerist means dealing with rejection at some point. And how you deal with it can be the biggest lesson—or not.
Whether you’ve been rejected for a promotion or a raise or even a seat at the table on a committee or board, rejection in the workplace is real. I am dishing out a few tips that can help you get over the rejection while keeping your eyes on the prize.
Don’t take it personal
This may be the hardest of the tips I share, so I wanted to start with this one. Women especially have a hard time in some instances not taking the rejection personally. It is in our nature that we want everyone to like us and think that we are great. Taking it to the heart why pondering what we could have done more to save us from the rejection often is our downfall.
Instead of thinking this, change your mindset. Remove the personal aspect of this equation and look at the rejection from a business standpoint. There may be a bevy of reasons why you were rejected, but it isn’t because you are YOU. Build from this. Get better. Get stronger. And try again the next time. Don’t let the rejection stagnate you.
Does the rejection have merit?
There could be many reasons why you were rejected. Were you not ready or focused? Did you overlook something? You may have been rejected because you weren’t prepared or ready for primetime. Do a full assessment of the entire situation, and work on improving for next time.
We can always improve. When dealing with rejection in the workplace (or anywhere for that matter), you have to dust yourself off and try again. Try harder next time and do better. The rejection may be the catalyst you need to make much needed improvements.
Grow from it
Make the rejection a learning lesson. Allow yourself to grow from it and become a better person, professionally and personally. You have the power to change this episode into a teachable moment. Seize the opportunity to allow this experience to enrich you favorably. It is not the end of the world.
Work with an accountability partner to help you work on the weak spots that may have caused the rejection. Select someone who can be hard on you when needed, and who is honest and has a good work ethic. Doing so will help prepare you for the next time, while keeping you on your toes.
In closing, do not allow yourself to get wrapped up in the rejection. Utilize the aforementioned tips and then move forward. Try not to get emotional or overly sensitive. You aren’t the first person to experience rejection, and you won’t be the last.
Rejection in the workplace (or anywhere else) shouldn’t define you. It should help bolster you to do your best the next time. In the end, that is all that counts.