Have you ever wondered why the job you really wanted went to someone else? Everyone faces rejection at some point. It can be not getting into a top-choice school, missing the varsity cut by one person, the lead for a play went to someone else… You get the idea. It can be a true test of perseverance to land a job these days and not many are up for the challenge.
Sometimes we have to realize with every closed door, a new one opens. I learned this early, and it has served me well. This mindset can help you too.
Let’s go way back all the way to the late 80’s. I was filled with the illusion I would move to Chicago and land my dream job at a magazine. I mean how hard could it be?
There was no career counseling back then and, believe it or not, we had to send our resume, wait for it – In the mail! Then it was waiting game until you heard back from an employer. No cell phones, text messages, email. Just answering machines in the anti-tech era.
I thought because I had a fantastic internship at Marie Claire in Paris it would be so easy to get a job at a magazine. That it was all I needed to land the spot others would be looking for because I had what they did not. Have you had an internship and expected it would lead to a job? Seemed logical at the time, but it doesn’t always work out that way.
After 300 resumes and 70 interviews, I landed a job for a small, point-of-purchase display advertising company. It wasn’t glamorous and the pay – well it wasn’t even enough to pay rent and live on.
So why would I say it was one of the best jobs I ever had? The owner saw something in me and sent me to seminars given by some of the greatest sales minds of the time – Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy and the like. He gave me books like “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie (one of the greatest books check it out!). What I missed in income, I gained in exposure and experience. What was possibly one of the worst jobs at the time made way for the biggest opportunities and lessons I have learned. The big take away is that everything has a silver lining and persistence pays off big. If I had given up and not kept at it, I would have missed that first job that shaped my future.
Now it’s your turn – whether you are about to start interviewing, or want a promotion, remember it’s not how many times you get knocked down. It’s that you get back up and keep fighting.