I Got My First Career Rejection and *NEWSFLASH* It Does Suck

I promise I’m not trying to brag, really. I’m super proud of my interview streak, but I’ve also earned it. Before two weeks ago, I have been offered a position or contract whenever I made it to the final interview round. I’m talking all internship final round interviews, all volunteer applications, and all part-time job final round interviews. All until now. Part of me thinks I should have expected it because a real job is a total game changer, but I’ve also always been the type of person who works so, so hard (not saying that you haven’t worked hard) and been rewarded for it. I’m usually the one turning down an offer. One summer, I turned down 5 offers before accepting the one internship I really wanted (and will never regret this decision). Hell, I turned down Oprah! Ok, the O Magazine, but still.

Yes, I really am sitting here writing about being rejected from a job. No, I don’t feel this way when I get rejected romantically, but that’s also just me.

Here’s something you should know about me. I get real introspective real quick sometimes. It’s natural and I can’t help but get real deep. But before I allowed myself to get all deep into thought about this rejection, I had to let myself hurt a little. I laid in bed all afternoon, ate a Krispy Kreme doughnut or three, and online shopped a little. After a short wallow, I allowed myself to remember that it’s not my fault, but it’s also not the employer’s fault, obviously. It’s neither of our faults because it really wasn’t supposed to happen. I really truly believe that things happen for a reason and that it takes time to find your path.

Another thing I really truly value is honesty. And if I’m honest with myself, I was worried about taking the first job offer I received so soon after graduating. Like I said earlier, I’m used to juggling multiple options so I can decide which is the best move for me. Yes, I was eager to get a job so I wouldn’t be searching for a long time, I also realized that deep down it wasn’t something that you just jump into. People always talk about and people always tell me that it’s just your first job, you’ll jump ship eventually so don’t put so much pressure into finding the perfect first job. Except I’m not that kind of person. Sure, I can do good work for any company, but I do my best work when I’m passionate about the company, passionate about the work we’re doing together. Call me naive or cheesy, but I really believe it. If you’re not doing your best work or you’re not loving the work you’re doing, is there really a point in doing it? When I look back at my experiences, I can honestly say that I don’t regret any of them. They all taught me so much and were exactly what I needed to become the person I am today.

Back to honesty. I was and am so appreciative of the fact that in my rejection email, my interviewer also spelled out why I was not selected. It was a breath of fresh air in a way. If anything, I respected him and the company for doing so. It was nice to hear his praise, but more importantly, I think I needed this kind of rejection in my life. Romance and friendship rejection aside, I’ve never experienced this kind of rejection before and I think it’s totally healthy. Not that I’m on some high horse, but everyone needs to be grounded sometimes. This just happened to be my wakeup call. I know how smart, poised, and ready I am to kick ass at a real job. I just haven’t found my fit yet. So rejection, thank you. As weird as that sounds.

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