What I’ve learnt from job rejections

Photos: Olu Eletu via Unsplash; William Iven via Unsplash; Bào- Quân Nguyen via Unsplash


 

“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”

– Maya Angelou

A few months ago I got a job rejection that cut deep. It was for this amazing dream job that would have meant starting a career in marketing communications. A three year contract that would have allowed me to spend each year in a different country.

I did not make it to the interview stage. I was disappointed. I was upset and I cried in my pillow for roughly half an hour before picking myself and my broken heart and starting a fresh.

This was not my first job rejection and I doubt it will be the last. I had gotten rejections from other jobs before. But as much as I have experienced them, there are some that have you so invested that they feel like they feel like the recruiters have actively rejected you, deeming you a failure.

I’m in a different position now.

Since that day I have sent plenty of job applications, I have had a few interviews and am thinking even more about what I want out of a career. I have been spending the last few months at university focusing on my studies and taking part in volunteering activities and projects that make me happy.

Now I have an internship coming up once I graduate this summer, and I’m awaiting a response from a number of organizations and companies, some in London, some elsewhere around the world. The options are genuinely endless.

Getting rejected was painful, and for a day or two I felt like my life dreams had been crushed forever.

But now I feel like that rejection was one of the best things that could have happened to me and here are the reasons why.

1.  Drawing board

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I’ve gone back to the drawing board and have discovered things about myself that I wouldn’t have otherwise taken the time to discover. I have had the time to reassess the direction my life was taking and truly think about what it is that I want. Do I want  a career in marketing communications, in consulting, in politics or in the legal industry?

I’m interested in all of the above options.

2. I now have a better plan – that is actually flexible 

When I was a child I wanted to be a doctor and for the longest time that’s all I ever saw myself doing. But since deciding not to study medicine I’ve been a bit lost about what career trajectory to take. I’ve tried marketing and I’ve tried law. Now my plan is to figure it out as I go, apply for things that interest me and start with something. Not only I’d be able to learn new skills and work full-time but I’d also be able to decide on my next steps once I get to learn what I like and what I dislike in a particular job or industry.

3. I’m stronger

photo-1419312520378-cbd583837112.jpeg

I believe that what doesn’t kill you does make you stronger. Yes, I was upset. Yes I cried. And yes I was scared because I had no clue what I was going to do next. But now I’m more adaptable to change. I have some things that ground me still: my studies, my blog, my writings. But I’m definitely not as afraid about the future and change.

I have joined a literary contest and I should find out soon whether my work will be published or not; I’ve applied for a job on the other side of the planet; I am starting a new project that I’m genuinely passionate about; and I’m learning Korean in my spare time.

That job rejection made me feel awful for a while but it has made me strive to be better and I now feel like I’m ready for a new adventure.

And I guess that’s just part of being an adult.

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Maya Angelou has once again be an inspiration to me.

Do you have any experience that has made you rethink about your future or has made you stronger? I would love to know!

 

 

 

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