TALES FROM THE FRONT—Coping With Rejection; The Power of: NEXT!!!

By N'Diva Arhm

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Job Search - Coping With Rejection

You have probably had occasion to be in a busy store or perhaps a motor vehicle registration facility (we inexplicably call it the “Secretary of State’s Office” here in Michigan) where you wait in line until a clerk finishes up with the customer ahead of you and then loudly calls out:  “NEXT!!!”.  This serves an obvious function—to signal to you to move up to the counter because the clerk is ready to wait on you--but it is also an indication that the clerk has completed the previous customer’s transaction and his or her attention is on the next transaction--yours. 

People who work in sales or marketing usually have internal methods that they use to cope with rejection so that they can focus on the next prospect.  Salespeople and people like me who have worked in marketing learn to deal with high levels of rejection because otherwise, it would be nearly impossible to actually sell anything.  Rejection can create doubt and a negative attitude—two things that no salesperson or marketer can afford to carry with them as they try to find real prospects for their products.

Rejection and the Job Market

For those of us in the job market, we learn quickly that rejection is very much a part of the game.  The reality is that most of us were (at least on some level) rejected by our previous employer and until a new employer says ‘yes’, we will continue to be rejected by prospective employers.   Without the ability to cope with rejection, we will either avoid the job search altogether, or be hindered in our efforts because we can’t shake the negative self-talk in our heads.  This negative self-talk hurts us in our search because it clouds our ability to see the true attributes that we have to offer.  If we can’t see them, how on earth can we communicate them to a potential employer?  Also, the rejection can impact how we interact with others, including potential employers.  Most employers don’t seem to want to hire those that they perceive as having negative attitudes.

I’m familiar with the power of:  NEXT!!!  because I use it on my weekend marketing job.  When a prospect makes it clear--particularly if they are rude about it--that they are not a potential customer, I cannot afford to take it personally (quite literally because I work on commission).   I’ve developed a somewhat silly but effective coping skill of waiting until they are out of earshot (usually) and calling out:  NEXT!!! as I brush the crumbs of their rejection off my right shoulder.  It likely looks like I have an odd tick, but the older I get, the less concern I have about that sort of thing. 

The Power of: NEXT!!! in Your Job Search

I’m learning to integrate the power of:  NEXT!!! into my job search.  Like any of us, I can be rejected by an employer for any number of reasons.  Let me show you how this works (at least in my head).

The employer found a better candidate. (It happens...)  NEXT!!!

The employer thinks they found a better candidate (and the joke will be on him).  NEXT!!!

The employer decides I’m over-qualified. (Afraid I might know too much...)  NEXT!!!

In the employer’s opinion, I lack experience.  (Even though it's entry level pay...)  NEXT!!!

The employer doesn’t want an ‘older’ worker.  (Not to worry, it'll happen to them some day too.)  NEXT!!!

The employer is concerned that my foreign sounding name may indicate a terrorist threat.  (Oh, so)  NEXT!!!)

The Power of:  NEXT!!! allows me to brush it off and keep moving towards my own goals without the negative effects that rejection can carry with it.  The fact of the matter is that I simply don’t have the time or energy to waste on these kinds of employers because I’m too busy finding the right employer.  I also cannot begin to afford the doubts and negativity that come from holding onto these rejections because they just might cause me to blow it once I do find the right employer.  

Give The Power of:  NEXT!!! a try (and don’t forget to brush those negative crumbs off your shoulder). Let me know how it works out.

Reporting to you from the front,


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