Sunday, January 4, 2009

Dealing with rejection in your job

In today’s uncertain job market, you never know when you will be shown the door. Even if you do not lose your job, just being put down by your boss or colleagues can be equally demoralizing. There are many ways in which you may experience rejection at work place. If your ideas are not being heard or you are just being ignored; if you do not get a raise or a promotion; if you are not a part of the ‘in’ crowd in your office, if you do not get the job that you applied for; all this can take its toll on you emotionally. These rejections can make you lose your self-esteem, and make you doubt your abilities. So much so that you may start looking for another job, or may consider switching your career path!

What should you do to overcome this emotional turmoil of rejection? How should you handle rejection? First of all it helps to know that even some of the most successful and famous people in the world have faced the same dilemma that you are facing today. J.K.Rowling, the famous author of the record breaking ‘Harry Potter’ books, used to live on welfare before she hit it big with her ‘now phenomenal’ book. Albert Einstein flunked the entrance exams to the Swiss Polytechnic Institute. Abraham Lincoln’s failures and rejections are legendary. Thomas Edison was shown the door of his school at a very early age. Even someone as successful as Amitabh Bachchan was rejected many times before he signed up for Saat Hindustani.

Does it help to know that you are not alone? So many people face rejection, but so few make it work for them. Where are you placed? Most people make the mistake of making rejection affect them negatively. Don’t let it happen to you. Yes, one can’t deny that it does feel terrible to be rejected. Your self- image does take a beating. You do feel lousy. But don’t let this feeling last longer than a couple of hours. Look at this rejection as an opportunity that can change your life for better.

The first thing to do is to ask for an explanation. If you have been turned down for a job, or a promotion, calmly and coolly ask your rejecter for the reasons. Sometimes the reasons have nothing to do with you. The decision may have been based on something to do with the company, such as budget constraints. Even if the reason has something to do with you, knowing that reason helps you improve yourself for future.

Always remember not to take rejection personally. Your job is just one facet of your life. There are other important people in your life who dote on you, respect you, and love you. Whatever someone in the workplace says or does that causes you pain is not often personal. That person does not necessarily have something against you. He may be working in the interest of the organization. Your talents may not be suitable for a higher position. After all every one reaches his level of incompetence some day! Your day may have come sooner than others. Accept your limitations in this one area of your life gracefully.

Let go of the need to change what has already happened. If you envy the person who got the promotion, or got the job, or got the raise; you are only making the matters worse for you. Let go of the need to change others. Allow yourself to let go of the feeling of being rejected. Take the decision in your stride. Don’t try to reject the people who rejected you in the first place. It does not help. Relax and forget about what others think. The important thing to know is what ‘you’ think of yourself. If you treat yourself with respect and dignity, the others would do the same.
Take control. Don’t feel like a victim. Don’t let the rejection get you down. Don’t lose interest in your work. Let go of your hurt feelings by re-enforcing the confidence in your strengths. Remember that only you have the power to determine how you feel. Use that power NOW.

Others can ‘reject’ us only when we reject ourselves. Let us not give that power to others. Self-esteem can neutralize any fear of real or perceived rejection. When we love, accept and honor ourselves, we re-gain our power. Louise Hay, the author of bestseller ‘You can heal your life’, asks everyone to look into their eyes in the mirror and repeat, ‘I love and accept myself exactly the way I am.’ I have worked with this magic sentence. It raises one’s self esteem by leaps and bounds. After that the fear of rejection becomes a thing of the past. After all ‘others’ are just mirror images of ‘us’.

By: Chitra Jha

No comments: