Nobody likes to be rejected, but as Wayne Gretzky famously said: “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” Rejection is part of life and certainly part of the workplace, especially for those who are striving to succeed. You didn’t get the promotion you were hoping for; your “big” idea was tossed in favor of someone else’s; your colleague was chosen to attend the conference that you asked to go on–if you have experienced any of these scenarios (and we all have), you know they leave you feeling dejected. Here are some tips to heal your bruised ego and keep moving forward:
Get some distance. If you have faced rejection, take a deep breath and walk away. Close your office door, take a walk or run out for a cup of coffee. Give yourself a chance to calm down and get some space from the offending party.
Gain some perspective. Remember, this is your job–not your life. This situation will pass, and the person who “rejected” you is not your husband, best friend or family member. Try not to personalize the situation.
Evaluate the rejection. Once you have calmed down and have gained some perspective, think about the circumstances leading up to the rejection. Is there something you can learn for next time that is valuable? Perhaps it has taught you how to better present your successes at work or how to work more closely with your boss to gauge his feelings before he rejects your next idea outright.
Turn it into a motivator. Oftentimes getting rejected is a big push for future success. Nobody enjoys rejection, and once it happens, people work twice as hard to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Fear of failure is a huge motivator and can be used in the workplace by taking on that extra project, showing you are a team player and helping others do their jobs better.
Rejection is an unfortunate aspect of daily work life, but by following these tips you will be able to weather the tough times more successfully.