As the “not selected” messages pop up on my screen for job positions I’ve applied to through co-op I can’t help but think back to a movie called The Help. If you haven’t seen it, do, because there’s a specific scene I’m talking about: Skeeter walks into a big newspaper’s office to apply for a column writer position. She’s asked for a reference letter, which she presents, and then this happens:
Mr. Blackly: Well! This…this is a rejection letter.
Eugenia ‘Skeeter’ Phelan: Uh…Uh…not exactly. See uh…Miss Stein…
Mr. Blackly: Stein?
Eugenia ‘Skeeter’ Phelan: Elain Stein, from Harper & Row Publishing in New York.
Mr. Blackly: Oh, lord!
Eugenia ‘Skeeter’ Phelan: I’m gonna be a serious writer, Mr. Blackly. But, I applied for a job with Mrs. Stein…
Mr. Blackly: She said, no!
Eugenia ‘Skeeter’ Phelan: Well, until I gain some experience. See…
[referring to her letter]
Eugenia ‘Skeeter’ Phelan: It says right there. ‘Great potential. Gain some experience and please apply again.’
Mr. Blackly: Oh, Christ! I guess you’ll do.
Skeeter gets the job because she’s ballsy. Resilient. I guess that’s the point, but it’s not easy. So, here are a few things we can tell ourselves when we get rejected to keep our chins up:
- No doesn’t really mean no. It just means not yet, because someone out there is bound to say yes. You just need to find them, and hang onto your sanity patiently in the meanwhile.
- Success is a game of chance. And even if only one in a million people are going to accept you, all it means is you have to try a million times. It doesn’t mean you won’t succeed.
- Opportunity is everywhere. If you’re rejected because you lack experience, all it means is that you stand to gain some. So that no is just a learning opportunity in disguise.
Now this is obviously hard to accept when that job we really wanted rejects us (we’ve all been there), but I’ve found solace in remembering these three short points. Maybe you can, too.
What do you tell yourself to get over rejection? Please share!
Lots of love,