The Rejection Resolution: How to Cope With Rejection
You might think I’d be doing a series on New Year’s Resolutions, but really, there’s only one that academics and recovering academics need–to learn how to cope with rejection better. Rejection hurt back in sixth grade. It hurt in college. And it doesn’t get better when you get older, either. Now that it’s the season for rejection for academic positions, I realized that academics might deal with rejection more than any other job category since there are so few journals and so few slots on faculties.
Alas, post academics will be dealing with just as much rejection–if not more. Resumes will go unnoticed, calls won’t be returned and you’ll wonder why you’re even bothering. Rejection doesn’t feel as personal in the Hamster World as it does in academia since the Hamster World is so open, but rejection can linger. This week’s series is all about encouraging you to push ahead so you can establish a proper Post Academic career. First up, how to cope with rejection when it first strikes:
Don’t slow down. Keep sending out those resumes and talking to people in your network. If you slow down, you might get introspective, which might make you depressed and/or desperate. Worst Professor Ever has a terrific post on how persistence trumps positivity, and it can help you get over a rejection-related bout of depression.
More after the jump! Logo for the band Rejected by Nicolas Espinosa from Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons license
But stay positive … at least when it comes to statistics. Worst Professor Ever is right: Sunny optimism will get you nowhere in a job search, but you can be positive about your odds. Hundreds of people are applying for a single job now. For my current job, over 300 people applied. In terms of sheer numbers, I didn’t have much of a chance of getting it. Sure, it changes when you take training and random resumes into account, but the numbers show that it is probably isn’t you if you don’t get a job. If you are getting interviews, you’re doing something right.
Take a Tylenol. According to Psychology Today, rejection can do physical harm. Taking a Tylenol might reduce the pain. No joke. And it seems a little better than drinking away your sorrows, right?