How to Say ‘Yes’ to ‘No’: Handle Rejection to Fuel Success

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WorkforceNo! No! No! There are times when you will face rejection after rejection in your career. It can be frustrating and somewhat depressing but you can actually learn a lot from rejection.

“The key to remember is that rejection and failure are part of the ‘success plan’. Successful people understand this, learn from the error, and use that to carry on with a new approach,” explains Michael Maven of Carter & Kingsley, which offers growth business strategies. Still, rejection can often make one fear trying again–but in order to succeed you really must follow the mantra–try, try again. “Rejection causes fear, which stops some people from carrying on. But successful people carry on taking action, even when they experience fear,” adds Maven.

Understanding your rejection will help you try again. So when you are rejected, figure out why. “Find out why this happened–lack of experience, bad recommendation, personal reputation?” suggests Andrea Berkman-Donlon, founder of The Constant Professional. When you discover the reason behind the rejection, you can work to make sure next time you receive a “yes.”

Follow-up and ask why you were turned down, whether it be for a job interview or a product proposal. In your follow-up, explain that you would like to learn what went wrong so that you can make improvements. Once you find out that the rejection is legitimate, then get to work on making some necessary changes.

Also, always be courtesy even in the face of rejection. “Be kind and say thank you anyway. It’s more common for people to simply be ignored. If someone gets back to you with a rejection thank them for their time even though the news is not what you wanted to hear. Staying in touch is a sign of follow through on both their side and yours and it may prove beneficial in the future,” says Berkman-Donlon.

Remember, rejection is a chance for improvement. If handled correctly, it can help in your career growth or your company’s success. Don’t get too caught up in the rejection; accept it, learn from it and move on. Dwelling on the disappointment will only keep you in a negative place, stalling your move forward. 

“Realize it’s not personal. Business is business and it is not the end all, be all. The job wasn’t right, or the opportunity wasn’t a good fit. Take your licks, get up and get going,” concludes Berkman-Donlon.