What rejections taught me

I work as a Recruitment Consultant. By nature, my profession is sales-oriented. Yes, Sales. I chase clients to give me assignments to work on, and I chase candidates so I can place them into jobs. All these are done with the main objective of bringing profit to our company. Altruistically, this is a feel-good job that enables me to help people to get what they want or need in their careers or their business. I deal with people all the time. Realistically though, not all of the people I talk to are interested in what I have to say or offer. In some cases, they are interested (Halleluiah!). Unfortunately, this profession being in the “people business”, many things can go wrong in the process. It could be in the form of wrong decision-making, wrong timing, change of mind or strategy. This results to one of the most dreaded actions ever to be done to us: Rejection.

Sales is synonymous with rejection. Honestly, in this job, I get rejected like 80-90 percent of the time. That’s not something that’s easy to take in. When I was a teenager, I told myself that rejection is one of the things I hate the most in this world and I have to stay away from people or circumstances that would bring this. But because of some twist of fate, I ended up in a profession that requires me to stomach as much letdowns as I can handle. Not limiting the topic to my current work, I, like everybody else, got rejections in other aspects of my life. I got rejected when I auditioned in my school’s Choir, Dance Club and Newspaper back in High School. I got rejected when I applied to Universities. I got what felt like a hundred rejects when I applied for jobs. The people I liked rejected me.

It feels like this world is full of walking “NOs”, right? It makes you loose faith in yourself and your situation. Am I not good enough? Am I ever going to get what I want / need? What will happen now? Those questions lingered on my mind. It made me doubt, feel scared, worried and anxious. It made me cry until my eyes felt like they will pop out. But finally, after getting myself out of the million negative emotions, I came to terms with a few things rejection brought upon me.

Being rejected doesn’t mean you are good for nothing. It just means that you have not found the right choice for you yet – I’d like to believe that everybody is meant for something that is right for him or her. If someone or something rejects you, it means you have not found what you are looking for yet. A rejection is not meant to bring you down forever, but to serve as a reminder that you still have to dig a little deeper in your search.

 The rejections you experience serve as your protection from possible heartbreaks– You may not know it at the time, but should you have gotten into something you should not (an abusive relationship, a stressful job, a huge loan, a dangerous activity), you could have ended up getting hurt, create regrettable decisions, make irreversible actions etc. I believe God, having foresight into everything, does it all. He has to crush your desires and goals to prevent having your heart and soul crushed by your own doing.

Rejections make you to re-think your goals and desires, as well as to re-strategize – Rejections are red flags that tell you something. These events don’t happen out of nothing. Maybe you are going after the wrong person, or the wrong job. Maybe you need to change the way you think about a person or a circumstance. Perhaps you don’t need to change anything, but accept the situation (for now) and make the most out of it. On the other hand, you may actually need to act, but you need to do it differently. Say, you’re doing all the talking in your sales process so the client gets turned off and cuts you off altogether. You probably need to alter your strategy by giving more time for the customer to tell you what they need, so you can tailor your solutions to suite them.

Rejections make you patient – When you don’t get what you want or need, this means you have to start the process all over again or do something else, or worse, wait for the right time to strike again. Waiting is not an easy thing in this world that has been shaped by instants. But rejection is telling you to understand that there is a right time for everything, and if you go ahead of the time or force something into being, you will get hurt or make mistakes.

Rejections make you trust the process and have faith – Contrary to what one would do when rejected (feel negative, loose hope, stop dreaming etc.), rejection is actually telling you to trust what we are going through and to develop a positive mindset. Trust that the situation is shedding off your old habits to create healthy ones. And that somehow, by ways that we do not understand at the time, things will turn out the way it should be, whether the turnout is something that we want or not.

Endnote: Although I did come to terms with these realizations, I know I will continue to get rejections in my job or in my personal life. What I know now is that there is more to life than getting stuck in a rut after hearing a NO, and I hope you think the same way too.

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