Handling rejection

Looking for work almost inevitably means facing rejection, especially in this economy. No matter how good you are, you’re not going to get every job you apply for. In the old days, it could be depressing to watch the rejection letters pile up. These days, you’re lucky if you even get a letter. How can you keep from becoming discouraged?

KSTP’s John Gross says the answer is to focus on your goals, not your problems. He’s been in the TV news business for more than 40 years as a sports photographer and feature reporter and has  national Emmys to show for it. But he also knows a little bit about failure.

Speaking at the NPPA Northern Short Course last weekend, Gross recalled the experience of being fired from a Detroit station at age 46 and having an agent refuse to even look at his tape because, she said, he was too old to be hired. So he sent out his own tapes–78 of them–before being offered a job in Ft. Wayne as a news photographer for $8 an hour. He took it, he says, because he wanted so badly to do what he loves. “If you look at your problems, they get bigger,” Gross says. Keep your eye on the goal, he advises, because “you get what you look for.”

Keeping a positive attitude isn’t easy, of course, but you can pick up a few tips on how to do it from people who face rejection daily–sales people. Jennifer Krinsky, a recruiter for Porter Group, tells the Washington Post, “Rejection is the price you pay for success.” How does she handle it? By not taking it personally and not dwelling on it. Yes, there are times when it really hurts. On those occasions, Krinsky says, she allows herself a “two-minute pity party” and then moves on. Sounds like good advice.