How to Handle Rejection at Work

How to Handle Rejection at Work

Rejection is never easy to discuss and yet so many of us go through it. At work, rejection can lead to us feeling unmotivated, unproductive, and sometimes lose hope. Rejection at a workplace can look like anything, from not receiving an anticipated promotion, losing a client to a competitor, being publicly criticized or blamed for errors in a proposal… and the list goes on.

Though rejection at a workplace can be exhausting, here are some some great ways to overcome them!

Reevaluate Your Path

Let’s be real here, often times rejection at a workplace would cause us to feel dumbfounded, however, if it is happening more frequently it may be time to seek further help for your growth. This can look like taking more time to learn & educate yourself on your position and doing your best to keep calm through the process.

As the world continues to grow, we love feeling accepted by new roles and or positions. This can cause us to over-excite ourselves, thus leading us to improperly ensuring we’re right for that role. Here is where you’d want to refine your search.

Ask Yourself…

  • Am I ready to commit to this role?
  • Do I have majority of the skills/knowledge needed to properly do my job?

Once this is properly assessed, you’ll start to appreciate when rejection comes your way. As most say, ‘when one door closes, another opens’.

Always Ask for Feedback

Ever hear the phrase, “You only know what you know, when you know it”? Well this applies to rejection at a workplace as well. Ask as many questions, for example, definitions, analogies as possible so you can get the understanding you need. Even creating a list from co-workers and management can develop a healthy habit in your work ethic.

Its been noted that 44% of salespeople do not completely follow through with their clients due to rejection and lack of feedback.

Now once you’ve taken all the feedback, actually apply that to how you work. Work diligently to improve on your work ethic not for the company only but also for yourself. You want to be the best employee you can be for your future.

I remember when I started working at a larger business company, my manager at the time explained to me my tone on the phone sometimes could be nicer. I was very hurt because leading up to that moment, I believed I was great on the phone, but I went home, swallowed my pride and practiced on my sisters and brothers. At first it was strange, but eventually I became so confident with them that answering calls was a breeze no matter what day or time it was. Moral of the story? Never think you have it all-take the feedback and apply to continuously grow!

Put Yourself in their Shoes

Though rejection at the workplace may sting, it really isn’t saying you’re bad at your job per say. It is simply giving you a chance to improve in a better way as an employee or co-worker.

If you’ve ever had your own business, ever were or even are an entrepreneur, you’d understand that your goal is to grow the business emotionally, financially, physically and internationally.

This cannot fully come to pass with employees not aware of issues needing to be fixed. This is where we as the employees would have to put aside our emotions and turn our eyes to the future for the good of the company.

This sometimes hurts as entrepreneurs, however, it is to ensure those to come will follow a code or protocol. It’s also to create healthy work ethics in your employees. There are currently 582 million entrepreneurs that have started in 2021 and each of them have plans and goals for their business. Without employees ready and willing to work, they can only go so far.

Thankfully, this is where you can use your weakness to your advantage! Any business owner can see potential in a good working employee, but it’s more beneficial if they are teachable. Where the entrepreneur and mold them and groom them into the best working employee! Once you start seeing the importance of your work ethic this way, you’ll only find comfort in their feedback whenever rejection at a workplace happens.

How to Handle Rejection at Work

Remind Yourself how Great you Are

I remember when I was working on a sales campaign and it felt like everyday was a new challenge and I was just not hitting the mark I wanted. One day, a more experienced sales rep pulled me aside and gave me some phrases to say to myself each and every morning.

This type of encouragement is another way to deal with rejection in a workplace! It all boils down to your mental health state – are you actively taking care of your emotions? Are you taking your deep breaths and resting when needed? If not…

Say It With Me:

I am hard working

I am a valued employee

I am a strong team-player

My work makes a difference

The more you remind yourself of your work the more you’ll effectively move in it! Rejection never leaves a good feeling for someone who has lack of confidence in themselves. Turn that around, and your work will thank you for it! Try giving yourself pep talks in the morning, on your break or even right before you start work!

Remember to build your resilience! Each time you feel knocked down, use the above phrases to encourage yourself.

What Doesn’t Kill you Makes you Stronger

I know you remember that song! Not only was it speaking of encouraging ourselves but it’s a true statement. Every entrepreneur will hear the word “no”.

While working through rejection at the workplace, it’s really keeping a healthy mindset that can bring you to a place of acceptance. Take every negative comment and find the good in it! Every promotion you thought you should have received and didn’t, see it as a new way to improve your social skills in your immediate team!

Just because they didn’t say what you wanted to hear, doesn’t mean your work was any less valuable. Remember, sometimes rejection is simply out of your hands.

This is nothing to be ashamed of, rather to use and understand where you belong in the work industry! Not every job you apply for will be the best fit-they may want someone with 5 years experience and you only have 4. They may want someone that speaks 6 languages and you only speak 3. These are things we can identify and take them for what they are-the truth.

In Conclusion…

Rejection is inevitable, but there are ways to turn it into a positive. Keep in mind that, ‘when one door closes, another opens’, always ask for feedback, be teachable, give yourself pep talks and never stop encouraging the work ethic in you! Rejection in a workplace never feels good inside, however we can always use it as a way to develop healthy work habits in our day-to day. Come back next week for another blog to help you grow as a small business owner and build your online presence!

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Author: Dave Kosmayer

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