Stop taking rejection personally
Jamie, corporate services administrator for a mechanical contractor, told Session 4 of Turbo’s Leadership Lab (LDL):
“It was early in the morning of spring break during my sophomore year of college at the University of Puget Sound. The phone rang and woke me up. It was Kathryn, Director of the Conference Services Department, telling me that she had received my job application, but it was missing my letter of reference. In my sleepy state of mind, I responded, ‘I must have spaced it.’ She snickered and told me I had until the end of the day to get the letter of reference turned in. In all honesty, I didn’t even know I needed a letter of reference.
“Since it was spring break, I was concerned about finding someone to write the needed letter, but I was able to track down my advisor who willingly agreed to write the letter of reference. I hurried around and got the letter into Kathryn at the Conference Services Department well before the end of the day.
“A few days later, I got a ‘thanks, but no thanks’ letter in the mail telling me I wasn’t even being offered an interview. I knew that the reason for this rejection letter was solely based on my ‘spaced it’ comment, because my qualifications fit the job requirements very well.
“I made the decision to go down and speak to Kathryn. I told her that I thought she was making a mistake by not at least offering me an interview, and I pointed out all of my qualifications. She was so impressed with my coming down to talk with her that she did grant me an interview. I was offered the job as Summer Conference Assistant, which I eagerly accepted. I was then hired on as a Conference Lead during the school year and then promoted to Conference Manager the following summer. Kathryn is still to this day a job reference for me and she occasionally tells the story of my bad f irst impression and the mistake she almost made of not hiring me.
“The lesson I learned from this experience is to have confidence in my abilities and not be afraid to ask for second chances. The action I call you to take is when you ‘space it,’ ask for a second chance. The benefit you will gain is validation of your ideas and abilities.”
Rejection by others is a part of this life’s experience. We've all experienced many forms of rejection. One of the important differences in those who maximize their potential and those who live well below their potential is those who reach more of their potential don’t give up when they experience rejection. One of the secrets of a joy filled life is not giving up. When rejection comes your way, follow Jamie's example and ask for a second chance.
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