Post Academic


The Rejection Resolution: Getting Your Mojo Back After a Rejection

PhotobucketSome people take rejection harder than others. If you’re one of them, remember what Psychology Today said about Tylenol? How about a stiff drink? After one rough Hamster World rejection that involved an inside candidate, I played the iPhone’s iamsamjackson app for a solid hour. And, yes, listening to “That doesn’t suck!” repeatedly actually made me feel better.

But, if you’re not into motivational bon mots from Samuel Jackson, try the following:

Apply for something completely different. Look for jobs or even part-time gigs that you’re qualified for but wouldn’t usually do. You might discover a hidden talent or learn a new skill.

Go after rejections. Kiplinger offers counter-intuitive advice: Pursue rejection. As in, aim to be rejected several times a week. I knew a guy who applied to medical school, and he taped his many rejections to the wall in the hall by his dorm room door, where everyone could see them. At the time, I thought he was a masochist, but he got into an excellent medical school, and he’s a doctor now, so it clearly worked for him.

“Crying Is Okay Here” stencil posted by Miss O’Crazy from Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons license.
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The Rejection Resolution: Learning From a Rejection

PhotobucketWhen you’ve been rejected, someone has critiqued you and found you lacking. After the initial sting, it’s your turn to get revenge of a sort by critiquing the critique. Some rejections can be useful to you in that they are constructive, and you can make changes that improve your chances of getting a job. To follow through on a resolution to master the art of being rejected, get started …

Ditch all the form rejections. Burn ’em, flush ’em, delete ’em from the inbox. They are worthless to you if they don’t offer feedback.

Speaking of, analyze all feedback closely. Some hiring managers will tell you up front why you didn’t get the job. If they call you to tell you that you weren’t hired, then it’s your right to ask why. At the very least, you can make someone squirm if the reason you didn’t get the job was an inside candidate. (Gotta love those calls …) Someone who rejected you for a legit reason will tell you up front what was wrong, such as you didn’t have enough experience writing code. That’s fair and fixable.

More after the jump! Sheet music cover from 1913 from Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
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The Rejection Resolution: How to Cope With Rejection

PhotobucketYou 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
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