When I graduated university I started an internship straight away. Moved cities. Stayed with my grandmother. Worked for three months full time, for free.
I didn’t get a job from this internship. As any millennial will tell you, that’s pretty normal. I wasn’t expecting one.
I moved back home and resumed my job hunt. I graduated with good grades, I had a tonne of work experience behind me. I’d done everything I could to enhance my employability. My story is standard for my generation.
I spent months after heartbreaking months applying for jobs. Applying again. Trying. Trying again. And not getting anywhere.
‘No’ is the only word I heard. Coming from every direction. Sometimes ‘no’ was even a step up.
I became so accustomed to not receiving any response to job applications, no replies following freelance submissions, only the automated email after competition entries.
I became so used to receiving no response at all, that hearing anything felt good. Even if that ‘anything’ was a ‘no’.
Some days are worse than others in this situation. It can make you question your worth and your value as a professional. As a person. You start to doubt yourself. It’s tough and ugly and can be a vicious circle of negative self-talk. Nothing feels good. It’s a dark time where you find it almost impossible to live “in the moment” because you’re always looking to the future. No idea of what it might hold.
It’s important to hear from others who have been there. Experienced the same rejection. The same feeling of helplessness. Until they were given one chance.
One chance is the only thing it takes. One chance is enough to break the cycle of ‘nos’ and start moving forward.
Inspired by The Cut and their list of the most powerful responses to rejection from some of the world’s most successful women, we’ve gathered some of the best, and added some of our own.
Just to remind you that one day, you will be told ‘yes’. Don’t give up.
Rejection’s a huge thing you have to get over in acting. That was actually the worst for me because I started auditioning for movies before I started modelling and I could not deal with the rejection. When I got turned down for something I loved, it took me weeks to get over it. — Marie Claire, May 2014
“I want to say also it feels good to be chosen but there was a time in my life that I was not chosen. I was the opposite of chosen because I was different, and I think I wanna make sure that everyone knows that what makes you different right now, makes you stand out later in life. So you should be proud of being different, proud of who you are.” – Teen Choice Awards, 2015
Failure is a part of that whole process. You just learn to pick yourself up. And the quicker and more resilient you become, the better you are. – A welcome address to local students at The White House.
I was rejected in school because I didn’t look like the big-breasted, beautiful girls. I was awkward and sad. My mother always said, ‘Be original!’ but I didn’t understand until I changed to be like everyone else. Once I fit in, I was like, ‘What have I done?’ I realised that my friends before were much cooler, with a great sense of humor and a way of looking at the world that was more fun. But if I hadn’t gone through that, I wouldn’t have been driven to make my oddities cool. InStyle Magazine