Treating rejection as a godsend

On failure. Not saltiness, no negativity.

On rejection. No saltiness, no negativity.

‘You performed well, the team was really impressed, but on this occasion we decided not to pursue with your application.’ In facing, at the times, disappointing moments of the job- and internship seeking, I decided to take the approach that is inspired by the Princeton professor’s, who published his CV of failures — I started appreciating the learning curve and experiences I got throughout my journey.

I’ve done few things during my PR adventure that I’m proud of. Since I started my University course, I’ve been interning at 6 different agencies, doing two placements in one of them. I managed to secure a freelance role that I’ve been doing for almost a year now. I met a number of great and inspiring people, gathered a decent amount of contacts and attended a largish volume of industry events.

Regardless, I often receive emails like mentioned before. The amount of placements I did throughout my short career is highly disproportionate to the application forms I filled in and rejections I got. I didn’t get the roles that I was dreaming of. So many times, I’ve been one step away of securing roles with the top companies. Yet, I’m incredibly grateful for those rejections.

Yes — I’m glad that HR teams decided ‘not to move on with my application’ on the number of occasions. I do believe that success is not always the best outcome and it should not come too quickly. I trust that success needs to go along with great efforts, determination and diligence. All those emails I got from the human resources practitioners were, indeed, a real godsend.

Learning curve and interview experience

The notes informing me about the negative outcome of the interviews were actually incredibly motivating. Maybe not at first, but then they were always coming across as another great experience and a learning curve. Each interview that I needed to undergo made me a more confident interviewee. I learnt how to answer specific type of questions and what sharp questions could I ask, to make my interviewers think. I can now admit that I’ve probably heard most of the questions that could be asked during job interviews.

Finding a right place

Thanks to some of the interviews, I came to the realisation that the places I was willing to work for, aren’t suitable for me. It was either the range of clients, role itself or some other aspects that didn’t appeal to me. Time after time, an epiphany was coming shortly after the rejection, when I could assess the whole situation objectively, without being mesmerised the excitement of securing the initial interview.


Recruitment processes had also helped me to understand, what my weaknesses are. A great bunch of the people that were interviewing me, kept asking about writing samples and continued on emphasising how important this skill is in the industry. Then, I decided to started this very blog. I realised that my writing wasn’t, and still isn’t, that sublime. As Richard Bailey accurately said, student writing quite often is ‘a work in progress.‘  Blogging is an enjoyable (but also tough and requiring sacrifices) process that allows me to slowly sharpen my ability to write and become a better storyteller.

Moreover, few assessments I’ve been through showed me that my public speaking skills aren’t that great and I should really work on them. Despite the fact that we got to speak and present a lot throughout my University course, this hasn’t been enough for me to deliver speeches like Gary Vaynerchuk. Therefore, I made a decision of joining the public speaking club.

To conclude, we quite often consider being rejected from our dream company as a failure. I don’t believe that this is a failure. Having said that, the words of my favourite YouTuber, Casey Neistat, really show how important, in the journey to success, those sort of missteps really are.

It’s not the success, but the failure that defines us.


If you have any suggestions, would like to guest post or give me a feedback, feel free to email me at kl.marcel [at], tweet me @marcelkl or connect with me on LinkedIn. Thanks for stopping by, have a splendid day!