Listen up: it's not rejection
5 min read
So you've applied to that one job you really are excited about. Maybe you knew it was kind of a crap shoot, but perhaps they'll set up an interview for you. Later that day you get that email. The one that says, 'Thanks, but no thanks'.
Oy vey, that feeling in your stomach. I know it.
If you're like me you've thought, 'My website isn't good enough. My portfolio isn't strong enough. My code isn't smart enough. Etc...'. I've totally have been there, many times. The fact is, it's all probably fine. You're beating yourself up. Don't.
I've been active on tech Twitter lately. It pains me to see techies use the word rejection. I strongly oppose the notion anyone has been 'rejected'. This isn't getting dumped because you're not special or wanted. You are unique and you are wanted, but to another company...just not this one. And that's OK!
I want to encourage you with some thoughts. And if you'll humor me, an analogy I tell myself after getting those emails.
First off, you must care about yourself, your career and what you can bring to the table. Know that you do matter. Your thoughts, your feelings, your time - all of it matters. It should be respected by a company and in return you should respect yourself.
Second, you aren't a charlatan. So kick that that imposter syndrome to the curb. You've put the hours in. You've worked from the bottom and are on your way up. You've earned the right to apply to this gig. (Just a note to beginners out there: more often than not you will likely have to take the grunt work, to get to where you want to be. Have patience, you'll get there. Keep side hustles going if your day job isn't fulfilling. They're both rewarding and good to discuss in interviews. Showing passion goes a long way.)
Third, applying to jobs is a numbers game. You must apply to a lot of them, so you can get a small percentage of interviews lined up with those companies that would be a good fit for you. It's like speed dating. Talk to the whole room, and hopefully you've got 2-3 prospects to follow up with.
So you have not been rejected.
Say it with gusto now, 'I haven't been rejected'.
Feels good, yeah?
And now for that analogy:
The company you applied for/interviewed with is a jigsaw puzzle. They are missing a much needed puzzle piece. Puzzle pieces come in all shapes. Some have two pegs, others three. Heck, some have four (show offs). The piece they need, unfortunately, isn't the piece that you are. But that's ok, as of right now, you now know it's time to sally forth and move on to greener pastures. Because, guess what? There is a company out there that needs the exact piece that you happen to be. It's just that, as of right now, you two just don't know it yet.
So what do you do?
Keep you head up high and go apply to another job. And please, don't feel rejected.
Sometimes, we apply to things that are just outside our ability. No sweat, you can teach yourself how to add that tool to your tool box.
For now, continue the journey in finding that company that wants you just as much as you want it. Be eager for that kind of business relationship to happen and don't settle for less. Let that fuel your rebound.
I realize this article may come across too optimistic for some of you, but I hope that you realize the situation for what it is. A company is need of a certain individual, and that individual isn't you. There is a indeed a company that needs you. Now go find it.
You got this!