Most of us have experienced rejection in one form or another and, it hurts. The pain deepens as one rejection lands on another. Imagine the impact on young adults looking for their first job or middle stage workers who, for one reason or another, find themselves scanning the employment pages.
It goes a little like this;
An email arrives in Jim’s inbox. He looks at the sender and notices the company relates to one of his job applications. He feels a moment of elation and hope. Jim clicks the email and reads; ‘we’ve had many quality applicants and appreciate the time you took to apply for this position but unfortunately, we won’t be taking your application further.’
The voice inside Jim’s head sees the unwritten words; ‘You didn’t make the cut, you’re not quality, your qualifications aren’t desirable.
This is the 4th letter Jim received this month and the voice inside his head begins to chant, ‘you don’t have what they need, your qualifications mean nothing, you’re, useless’.
However Jim’s tough. He ups his game. With perseverance and grit, he changes tact and widens his search. He becomes more qualified and continues to network.
But still the rejection letters come.
Jim’s written and re-written his CV and social media profiles so many times he can’t think of anything else to try.
Pop psychology fills his news feed – Edison failed 100 x before he invented the light globe. The message seems trite.
Each rejection letter cuts over the previous. The hurt gets deeper and the pain radiates inward.
Continual rejection in the workforce has a debilitating effect on a person’s sense of self worth. They question their ability to contribute and doubt they have anything meaningful to give. Each rejection letter leads to more questions;
- What’s wrong with me?
- What else can I do?
- Don’t people see value in what I offer?
- Do they even see me?
Self esteem suffers. It becomes easier to drown in self doubt than manage another rejection. Rather than looking for work, they retreat into silent self loathing.
Unfortunately, multiple rejection is not only the experience of the long term unemployed, it is also the experience of many young people trying to find their first job and, many older people who have been retrenched or looking for a career change. How do they maintain self esteem and build self efficacy in the midst of exclusion? Support is vital but often the practical support a person needs is difficult to find.
Even though mindfulness, loving kindness meditation, gratitude journaling and the support of friends and family helps, sometimes it adds to a person’s sense of helplessness. They feel as though they should be able to cope. They have tools and support but, each rejection hurts. It feels like a warning. You haven’t done enough, you’re not good enough to follow you’re passion or you don’t have the capacity to do the work you trained for.
I wish I could offer a failsafe answer but there’s no easy solution. One thing I do know is you can count on your strengths. You can count on that one true inner voice that offers your true story. Learning how to hear that voice and use your strengths gives you the needle and thread to close each rejection wound so it doesn’t leave a bloody mess on the floor. Your talents provide a soothing balm. Your true story’s a guiding light. You succeed because you are called to do so. When you focus on your talents, engage your strengths and inspire yourself you provide a proactive energy that is recognised by those around you. You know you have what you need to succeed and that energy is contagious. This energy becomes the fuel which guides you toward the role you are meant to play.
Nicole is a Gallup certified Strengths Coach, qualified meditation teacher and communication trainer. She helps people unlock thought processes, find their voice and connect to purpose. If you’d like to know more about the habits that allow you to manage your self talk and feel confident in your future, contact Nicole today. Learn how to unlock your innate talents in our complimentary Discover Purpose session. We can arrange face to face consultations on the Gold Coast or Sydney. Alternatively ask about our Zoom sessions.
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