It’s Okay, It’s Not About You
Rejection is never fun. Recruiting, interviewing, or being new on the team can sometimes feel like you are on the ‘ins’ or you are on the ‘outs’. The message that is essential that you NOT take away from situations like this are that it is a personal attack on you. The recruiting process, with all the events, dinners, and interviews are subjective. If you get a rejection along the way or even on the job, don’t take it personally. Easier said than done, I agree. So, here are a couple tips to help you:
1) Others’ actions are about them, and your actions are about you. You are only responsible for you and you only have control over your own actions. So, a common and understandable question that arises when you don’t get selected for 2nd rounds or you get left out of lunch plans with the group is what’s wrong with me? Why wasn’t I chosen? Well, the answer is not so clear. There could be areas of improvement which are in your realm of control. So, take a good look at some things you could change. Practice interviewing by doing more mock interviews; make an appointment with a Career Consultant to help identify areas for improvement; ask someone on your team to lunch instead of waiting to be asked. There is a big distinction, however, between improvement and telling yourself it’s who you are and you just don’t fit in. The problem may be that it really isn’t a good fit and that is a good thing for you too. Realize that the decisions others make have to do with their priorities, not you.
2) Intentions are not obvious. Intentions cannot be seen. It is so easy to make up stories about why others act the way they act. And we can convince ourselves that we know the exact intent behind someone’s actions. For example, we may think they didn’t choose us because it was the end of a busy day and they were too tired to pay attention. Or we may think, it’s just a popularity contest. Really, unless someone reveals their true intentions, there is little we really know as to why someone does what they do. The risk of making up stories like this is we may believe in something that is entirely untrue.
3) You are valuable and have unique strengths to offer any team. It’s true that no one is perfect. It is true that there are always areas that we could improve. It is also true that everyone has unique strengths and adds value to a team. Don’t pick on yourself too much when you get rejected. Remember that you have unique value as well.
4) Have a personal cheerleading squad. To help you remember what those good qualities are, turn to your support who can remind you. We all experience rejection (even though we may hide it on the outside). Everyone, at times, has felt on the ‘outs’. So, when this happens, it always helps to be reminded by those who choose you! And don’t forget to be that person to your friends as well. We could all use the reminders of greatness!
Good luck, MPAs are wonderful,
Dawn Shaw, Career Consultant