On Rejection – constant, constant rejection.

This week I got two rejections, which is actually an unusually low number. I’ve been rejected a lot in my twenty three years of life. I’m not going to wax poetic about being rejected by potential partners, friends or family because to be honest I’ve never really cared for whether certain people like me or not. This is what I got, you can like it or not. No, I’m going to talk about the much more crippling kind of rejection; job rejection. At least I’m cute.

See? My snapchat knows all about how cute I am.
Also, please enjoy a better picture of this amazing “RESPECT THE GAME – REMEMBER THE LEGEND” shirt from Harajuku re+plus. It’s an upcycled peplum top with a mesh overshirt that I bought from the Kyary Pamyu Pamyu stand at Hyper Japan 2012. I really adore this shirt because it’s really fun, cool and unique. It’s got a lot of character and it’s a modern and almost out there choice for me! I’m wearing it here with a necklace that was £2 from Topshop, a pair of indigo boyfriend jeans and some black Nike Freerun 5.0 shoes. The Ariana Grande ponytail finishes the look for a dumb kind of 80s/90s throwback thing. Unusually trendy for me. 

I’ve been rejected for all kinds of jobs and sometimes it feels like I am writing beautiful, elaborate letters in the flawless Gregorian calligraphy of ancient monks and then lobbing them into the Mersey. I’ve been rejected for full time jobs, part time jobs, jobs in my field, jobs I could easily do, jobs I would just be willing to do for the wage, Christmas temp jobs, free internships in my field, free internships that would have cost me money to travel to and only vaguely in my field. Usually, the rejections are blunt and any requests for feedback are met with absolutely nothing so you don’t know if you’re a million miles away or a millimetre away. However, this week, I actually got a really personal rejection that said I was only a little bit away, and that felt much less hopeless than the outright rejections.
So many people say you’re not a writer until you can paper your walls with rejections. That was certainly true for J.K Rowling, whose beloved books were apparently rejected twelve times before publishing.  Admittedly, some of the rejections are probably my fault. Once I applied for a journalism job with my creative writing fiction portfolio because “if they read it they’ll know I can tell a good story, and that’s basically what journalism is.” Needless to say I was rejected very kindly initially, with the hiring officer pretending that I’d attached the wrong portfolio and then later very, very rudely when I suggested that it was indeed the right portfolio. Either way, I probably can’t paper my walls with rejections, but what I can do is provide some tips for dealing with the endless stream of them. I’ve actually just received another rejection while writing this.
1. Allow yourself to feel shitty

It feels shitty. That is fact and you just need to let that feeling be and try to move on when you’re ready. If it takes a few days, that’s probably a bit much though. Let yourself feel shit for an hour or so and then try and change your tune. When I’m in a super grumpy mood I try and do nice things for other people in the hopes that it will improve my mood and something nice will eventually happen to me.

2. Put on a big cuddly hoodie or jumper; yours or that of a significant other

A cuddly jumper and no pants has practically been the uniform of my unemployment, because it’s comfortable and that comfort allows me to work really well. However, this doesn’t work well for everyone. I know people who have to get up, get dressed and go for a walk for ten minutes in order to get into the frame of mind for work. However, when you’ve just had a fat rejection from an application you put a tonne of effort into I find that you just need a big old cuddle! It’s okay sweetpea, you’ll get ’em next time!

3. Have a beverage

I am absolutely not saying crack open some alcohol. Have a glass of water mate. Or some juice. Or even a coke. The important part of this is really taking care of your body and taking time to get into some good head space. Rejection can come as a big shock and even if its not shocking it is generally a horrible feeling in your stomach. It’s not nice to feel good enough, it’s not nice to get excited and let down. I find a glass of water just empties your head and lets you press a reset button.

4. If you can get feedback, do it. If you can’t, review on your own

It takes a lot to swallow your pride and ask for feedback. It also sucks. But it’s for the best. Most of my feedback emails get ignored, but the ones that don’t usually give me a lot of hope. The feedback is usually that my applications were very strong and there was generally nothing actually wrong with them, there were just more experienced or stronger applicants. That feels a lot better than what my mind would spin out, which is usually “you were utterly inadequate and will never get a job in your field enjoy your eternal unemployment peon.” Try not to let yourself be ridiculously critical like I am and instead go back and look over your application and pick out the parts that were good to use for next time. It’s a much more healthy and productive way of dealing.

5. Do something else

We are not all cogs in the ceaseless clock of capitalism at all times. Sometimes we are incapable, sometimes we do not want to participate. That’s hard to swallow when your rent payments are due and your phone is getting cut off but sometimes you just can’t carry on. You’re not a machine. You can’t do it. Be kind to yourself, you’re doing the best you can.

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