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Even the most talented artists in the world have to experience rejection. Whether it is for a job, a relationship, or an audition, the sting of rejection feels the same. Most people find it hard to separate the action of rejection with their feelings of being insufficient. However, more often than not, the rejection doesn’t actually have anything to do with the person being rejected. Regardless, it is tempting to handle rejection poorly. Whether you tend to pout, isolate yourself, or get angry, there are ways to handle rejection gracefully that make you seem more professional and will make you feel better about the experience.
1. Congratulate the person selected.
If you know who the successful candidate was, it can be therapeutic to congratulate him or her. Make it genuine. It is perfectly okay to be happy for someone else who gained something at your expense. Even if you don’t know who the person was, you can make peace with the idea that someone needed this opportunity more than you.
2. Remember you have other opportunities.
One of the best things about rejection is that you are now available for other opportunities. You may get turned down for the perfect job and be devastated. Three weeks later a job may come open that you had never even considered that is even more perfect. If you would have been selected for the original position, you wouldn’t be able to throw your hat in the ring for the new, better job. Rejection can equal freedom.
3. Remind yourself of your strengths.
Following a rough rejection, it is easy to get down on yourself. Don’t fall into this trap. Take out your resume and your reference letters. Read over them. You are pretty awesome, aren’t you? Of course! Just because you weren’t the best fit for one opportunity, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have worth. Surround yourself with friends and loved ones. They are the perfect group to remind you that you are truly amazing.
4. Consider your weaknesses.
This goes hand in hand with reminding yourself of your strengths. Everyone has room for improvement. Consider why you weren’t selected for the opportunity. Were you missing a certain experience? A certain certification? If so, and you think achieving these items would open future opportunities to you, get started. The best time to decide what you need to do to further improve your marketability is following a rejection.
5. Put yourself out there again.
Following a rejection, it can be easy to take yourself off of the market. Don’t do it. Put yourself out there again immediately. The more you are rejected the more you get used to the experience and the feelings that come with it. You realize it isn’t the end of the world. New opportunities come along. There is no reason to take yourself out of the game
6. Revamp your resume.
Analyze the situation and see what you can do better next time. Did you fail to fully research the business you were interviewing with? Did you have a few errors in your portfolio? This is the perfect time to get all of these items fixed.