13 Comments // Filed in Featured / Business
So, someone approaches you for this grand opportunity. It’s a great project, job, whatever… You really want it, and you try your hardest to be “the chosen one” but at the end of the day, even if they point out you were one of the final two or that they do enjoy your previous work, they decide to go with someone else. Ah, rejection. C’est la vie, oui? Nothing you can do at this point, right?
This came to light for me when I was conversing with a friend and colleague of mine about a recent career change. In fact, she revealed that she applied for the same job a few months previous but she was passed over for someone else. Even though she didn’t get that job, she wrote a personal thank-you note to the people involved for considering her and even personally arrived at the office to give them some cookies. The person at reception thought she actually got the job because she was being so nice, when the opposite was true. She was gracious through and through.
… and a few months later, when a contract position opened up in this place, she was immediately called back and subsequently hired. They didn’t have to waste money or time interviewing her all over again — they knew who she was. She didn’t let them forget her because when the first opportunity passed her by, she didn’t hold any grudges and was also very clever in leaving a great impression.
When you are approached with a great opportunity and it just slips through your fingers, that doesn’t mean it’s time to pack up shop and immediately move on. Do you do anything after a rejection? Do you write back with a thank you note at the very least? I bet the majority of us, and myself included, just takes the rejection letter/email/phone call and does nothing after. Or, the most is just a “thank you for your time.” However, dealing with rejection like this may mean losing future potential projects and positions.
Here’s the deal: If you’ve gotten so far with convincing them with something just to be passed over, that doesn’t mean it’s an outright rejection of you completely. It may mean that you weren’t the right fit for the job at the time. Some of us go go through a long interview process, and you passed all these initial hurdles — that means they actually like you and see something you have to offer. Don’t immediately throw this away.
So what did I learn about rejection after this?
- Always be gracious — there’s no need to hold grudges
- Always follow up — either with a phone call or personal written note
- Always leave on a good note, with a good impression — how you do this is as unique as you are
- Be genuine — my friend’s behaviour worked because this is how she actually is in real life with friends, let alone work. People can spot insincerity and that can leave a bad impression.
- Remind them what you offer and that you’re always available for other projects, positions, etc
- Ask if there’s anything you could have done differently or why the other person was chosen — hey, it never hurts to ask, right?
Anyone else have techniques or thoughts on how they handle a rejection?