The job-hunting process is usually characterised by a series of “no’s” finally followed by that one precious “yes”. And if you’re unemployed, it’s even more wrought with stress and pressure.
So it’s somewhat counter-intuitive to not only get used to rejection but even embrace it.
Of course, the unpleasantness that comes with rejection is totally normal. We are social beings and we, therefore, thrive on acceptance of any kind from job offers to the number of likes on our latest Facebook post. But dealing with rejection is a skill. Scientific research has even linked resilience in the face of rejection to be a defining trait of any successful entrepreneur. There is no shortage of advice on how to deal with rejection as a jobseeker. You can check out some of our tips here.
Alternatively, try Rejection Therapy.
A few years ago, Jason Comely, a then-freelance IT guy, hit a low point. His wife had recently left him and he started to avoid social interactions. He soon realised that his fear of rejection had become debilitating and that he needed to overcome it if he was going to take back control of his life. He challenged himself to get rejected by someone at least once a day.
“And it was sort of like walking on my hands or living on my hands or living underwater or something. It was just a different reality. The rules of life had changed.” he told NPR a few years back.
By turning rejection into the goal rather than something to be avoided, Jason took control of the situation and, eventually, over his fear. Through his interactions with people, he learnt more about being turned down and about human behaviour in general. He started to write all of his challenges onto cards and developed the Rejection Therapy game which includes tasks like “Challenge a stranger to rock, paper, scissors”, “Produce a product pitch and submit it to a contest” and “Before purchasing something, ask for a discount”.
“Just get out there and get rejected, and sometimes it’s going to get dirty. But that’s OK, ’cause you’re going to feel great after, you’re going to feel like, ‘Wow. I disobeyed fear.'” Inspirational, right?
A few years after Jason Comely, enter Jia Jiang, an entrepreneur who had just lost a major investor, and decided to challenge himself to 100 Days of Rejection Therapy, documenting each challenge on video and in his blog. He spoke about his experience in a TED talk, bought the rights to “Rejection Therapy” and has even turned it into an app.
He insists that “The worst part of rejection is the fear of it. Do not let the fear prevent you from making your request”. By refusing to try something because of the fear of rejection, you are essentially rejecting yourself the opportunity to achieve greatness.
Job search rejection emails are never an easy pill to swallow, especially after spending time and energy in submitting your application and maybe even going through the interview process. But training yourself to navigate through, and even learn from, rejection can make the journey towards the next chapter in your career path much smoother and far less painful.
After all, isn’t the process of applying for jobs a form of Rejection Therapy in itself?
Of course, preparation is half the battle. At Mockmate, we’ve developed a useful tool for you to prepare for your next interview. It’s totally free and designed to help you avoid rejection.
And if you still get rejected? Send us your best rejections and we’ll post them to Instagram. Let’s get over rejection together.