Hiep Doan

Dare to be rejected

April 28, 2017

Let me say it upfront: there is nothing fun in being rejected. Either it’s the rejection of the school that you want to study at, the company that you’re keen on working for or a request of salary bonus, they all felt somewhat disappointed and ashamed.

As rejection is often association with failure and negative thing in life, we often try to avoid rejection as much as possible. However, I would claim that being rejected should be a vital part of one’s life, and we should not fear being rejected.

Dare to be rejected means dare to try

These days I often read this in many self-help guide: “If you do not ask, people will never know.”. I cannot agree more. If you do not ask for that salary raise, you will never get it. If you do not dare to apply for the position you are passionate about, you will never get it. The root of all this avoidance to stand up is because deep down, we are all scary of being rejected. We keep finding other reasons to not trying: “I do not have time”, “I do not have the things they required”… But, how do you know all those things if you never try? Thus, if you are ready to be rejected (in the end, what could be worse outcome?), you will not hesitate to try.

Being rejected gives you the chance to reflect

When I get rejected from a company, I always try to follow up with them to ask what the reason behind the decision is. It is hard to swallow your pride and disappointment together to hear the frank feedback from the recruiter, but every time I do that, I benefit tremendously. Usually, it’s not that bad. The (good — not all companies are good btw) company often comes back and point out both the negative and positive things, especially the critical factor leading it not to proceed. Sometimes it’s just the small technical thing that I have missed during the interview or simply, my ability does not match what the need. Frankly speaking, whether or not I fully agree with the aftermath feedback from the company, it gives me a lot of food for thought. I reckon both things that have and have not worked. I gain insights on what the company needs and how to make me a stronger candidate next time.

Being rejected pushes you out of your comfort zone

Every rejection acts like a compass to guide us on what is still missing. It can be either a skill or a certain experience. Whichever it is, the only way to complete it to go extra miles out of your comfort zone to master it.

P/S: In the meantime, I would recommend you to watch this video on Ted, where the speaker tried to be rejected in 100 consecutive days.

Hiep Doan

Written by Hiep Doan, a software engineer living in the beautiful Switzerland. I am passionate about building things which matters and sharing my experience along the journey. I also selectively post my articles in Medium. Check it out!