I was probably the worst at dealing with rejection and failure. There loads of ways to experience a lack of success but I would say I hit a new low when it came to finding my placement this year. I started looking for a placement in December and was travelling to and from London constantly completing interviews and assessment days. I didn’t secure a placement until late May which was so lucky because by then I was just about ready to give up.
I was doing really well to be fair, getting to the final six or seven people for The Body Shop and New Look and other big companies and taking part in their assessment centres – I literally did enough of these assessment days that I might do a whole other post on it because I had no idea what to expect before I went in which of course made me terrified!
I was so positive about it all to begin with because companies were getting back to me so quickly about coming in for an interview but I just never seemed to be able to get past that final stage. It sounds silly but on paper I must have sounded like an alright candidate but then in person was when I always rejected so it was so hard not to take it personally!! I realise this is a silly thought now because in the end, I did a couple more interviews and I got the jobs and you just have to think that everyone is looking for different things and it’s not you as a person. Although by then I had probably had enough practice! But this brings me to point 1 –
Do not take it personally
Okay this point is accurate 99% of the time because unless you rolled in there yelling insults at everyone or went in and put your feet up across the interview table, their rejection is not an attack on you or who you are. Nor does it make you any less capable of the job – it simply means that in this case, someone was more suited towards and the job and there’s nothing wrong with that. In most cases they will know better than you and sometimes you just have to look at their choice as a good thing because the placement I got in the end was far more suited towards me and the experience I had and I’m so happy that that is where I ended up. That’s even where I met my new best friend hehe
Don’t hide it
Getting rejected the few times I found so embarrassing. I kept it in and I started to not tell as many people I was going for interviews. However the more and more I kept it in the more upset I was feeling about it. I eventually came out with how I was feeling about it all and it felt like a SERIOUS weight lifted off my shoulders – TRUST ME! It’s so much nicer being able to talk about it all and once I did come out with everything, I learnt it was really nothing to be embarrassed about at all, literally everyone was going through the same thing. It starts to make to make you feel normal again and not question your personality all the time!
Ask for feedback
Looking back, I’m so happy going through what I did, I found the job I wanted in the industry I wanted to be in and in addition I gained so much experience doing interviews and assessment centres. Prior to searching for a placement I was honestly terrified of them but getting a job after graduation and the process it will entail now doesn’t scare me at all.
I didn’t do this towards the beginning but after a while I started to call companies back or email them back and ask for feedback which I highly recommend and they don’t mind that you do this at all! It helps incredible amounts because it was always the ‘not knowing’ that got to me the most. Once you ask them and they come back to you with exactly what it was that you could have improved on, it puts your mind at ease and you know precisely what to work on the next time. For me, the main feedback that was given to me was the lack of confidence I had in my interviews – they were always lovely and always said they really liked me (because i mean…why WOULDN’T you!!! ;)) – but I needed to be more certain in what I was saying.
Having said all this, I’ve adopted the mindset now that you can never really “fail” at anything. Treat anything that might be a failure as merely a setback – and use that to help stay positive moving forward.
Has anyone been through anything similar?