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10-12 The School of Hard Knocks: How to handle professional rejection

Posted in Mental Health

The School of Hard Knocks: How to handle professional rejection

While potential employees apply to various jobs and teens apply to various colleges, both must endure getting rejected time and again. Whether it is from an Ivy League school or a senior company, learning to bounce back from rejection is a skill not often taught in school, but is extremely important in the effort to gain endurance throughout life.

In the 2010 study, “Rejection Sensitivity in Late Adolescence: Social and Emotional Sequelae,” researchers Emily G. Marston, Amanda Hare and Joseph P. Allen of the University of Virginia found that rejection sensitivity was a consistent characteristic during a critical three-year period in late adolescence. It is important that these teens learn how to handle this experience early in order to prevent disruptive emotional disturbances. The impact of repeated rejection can hinder a teen’s ability to establish a career and lead to further social difficulties.

In regards to overcoming a missed job opportunity, three different occupational experts have offered their own words of wisdom.

According to Susan P. Joyce, lead writer and editor for, MIT Sloan Visiting Scholar and critical member of the Institute for Career Transitions, the realizations a person should make after a job rejection include:

  • There is an extremely wide range of factors that can contribute to being overlooked for a job. The capitalistic workforce is founded by competition, so collecting a fair amount of “no” is a common happenstance. Eventually the odds will tip in one’s favor.
  • Companies that have previously passed on an individual have hired him or her later on. Send a post-interview thank you note to keep this possibility open.

Uzair Bawany, who has 19 years of work recruitment experience and is deputy chairman of the U.K.-based recruitment organization, APSCo, also listed similar ways to survive rejection:

  • Get feedback in order to identify what areas need improvement. Best accomplished in a follow-up email after the interview, this move can also show that the candidate’s attitude matches his or her alibi.
  • Address the issues that are brought up for the next job offer down the line. To enhance one’s interview skills, Bawany suggested following the acronym, STAR. Describe a situation, task, action and its result to demonstrate a capacity to problem solve.
  • Narrow the search to ensure both the company’s and one’s own needs are met. Do not feel pressured to accept just any offer. Research the position and the organization to make sure it will be an enjoyable and productive experience.

Donna Wiederkehr, chief marketing officer (CMO) of Dentsu Aegis Network has also been responsible for the growth of more than 22 marketing, media and communication companies. In a commentary for Fortune Insider, her career advice for job seekers consisted of:

  • Remember that rejection happens to everyone. Instead of ruminating on it, celebrate the chance to innovate and push one’s ability further.
  • Talk about instances of rejection with mentors or advisers. Getting a second and more seasoned opinion can help put it into a positive perspective.
  • Just keep trying, because an acceptance will not magically appear in most cases. It takes action to get results.

Sometimes the excess stress of one’s prospective career or current workplace environment can lead to a serious anxiety disorder or even substance abuse. If you or a teen in your life needs professional support, contact Sovereign Health Rancho San Diego over the phone or visit us online to learn about accessible and customizable treatment options.

The School of Hard Knocks: Multiple “intelligences”

Written by Lee Yates, Sovereign Health Group writer

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