The Art of Getting Rejected

The Art of Getting Rejected

If you are getting out of college, you are entering a harsh world. Many people stick to a job and a company that they got early on because they hesitate to put themselves out there in a vulnerable state. I know many friends who got a job in a campus interview and never hunted for opportunities outside again.

We humans have an in-built safety mechanism so that our ego doesn't get hurt. If you ask someone something and they do not respond in a favorable way, it pains, it hurts. But rejection builds character.

Most people try to get on with their whole lives trying not to get rejected. But you will get more in life only if you ask more, and if you ask more, you will get rejected more, there is no other way out of it. If you are afraid of rejection, you will never get ahead in life.

Rejection builds character. What you need to do is take that rejection just as a numbers game and not take it personally. If you want to get a good girl, you need to get rejected by a lot of girls. If you want to get a good job, you need to get rejected in a lot of job interviews. If you want to get a good investor, you need to get rejected by a lot of investors. There is just no other way.

That's why you need to develop a thick skin when you are becoming an adult. Your success in life depends on your ability to handle rejection. If you run away from rejection, you will only be handed the leftovers.

Obviously, the way you ask also needs to be improved. But that improvement will only come over a period of time. Rejection hurts and you can embarrass yourself. But you do it anyway.

I once asked out a girl who was talking nicely to me at a conference. Then I asked her out on a date. But she rejected me. She didn't even reject me in a polite way. It hurt me a lot because she was really cute. It was almost like I deserved that to make me into a more confident person.

In 2012, I visited a conference on digital marketing. There were more than 10 digital marketing agencies that were having booths at that conference. I went to every booth, asked them if they had a job, and collected all the business cards of officials. Then I contacted all of them, mailed them, and called them until 3 people showed interest.

Out of that one converted and I got my first high-paying job as a digital marketing manager. It wouldn't have happened unless I was ready to face the rejection that came out of the process.

In digital marketing, we keep talking about funnels and the numbers around them. 100 people visit the site, 20 people optin and 2 people buy. We have accepted the probabilities around funnels as part of the process. We do not get disappointed that 80 people didn't optin on the landing page. They rejected the offer, they went for something else.

However, we fail to realize that we also need a funnel in our life, almost for everything we do.

Want to buy a house, look at 100 houses, finalize 10 of them and buy one from it. The wider the top of the funnel, the better will be the variety of options that you have and you will eventually end up with something that you really like.

Having a thick skin and not taking rejection personally will not just help you get a new job, but it will also help you grow fast in your career, within the company that you are working for. You have to constantly keep selling yourself and in the process, you will face a lot of NOs, but keep moving on.

Do not think about the rejection and dwell on it. Don't keep cringing. Once you stumble on a brick wall that cannot be broken, you just move on. Do not worry that you were not able to take down that wall. You will embarrass yourself many times in this process and that's completely ok.

Embarrassment leads to thick skin and thick skin leads to glory. Embarrassment is your internship if appreciation is your real career.

I hope this article gave you a mental model of how you need to approach life. If you take rejection as part of your life and make it a habit, there will be no stopping you. You will keep growing in your career and life.

All the best.

Deepak Kanakaraju