How I Overcome Rejection and Stay Motivated
Having just had my first real rejection from a company I recently had an onsite with, I wanted to talk to you guys about how I’m coping, and keeping my motivation through out it all.
Rejection isn’t easy. And it might be just as bad as the days leading up to hearing back from the company. That’s how I felt after my onsite and the days following. Knowing that the company typically moves quickly, and after two days of not hearing any news, I started to mentally prepare myself for the worst. The ball dropped late Friday (What a way to start the weekend right?) and my stomach felt like it bottomed out as I answered the unexpected phone call and received the rejection while having dinner with my girlfriend. I received it graciously, even sending a thank you e-mail to thank him for taking the time to call me to let me know. I felt numb at first, but a series of thoughts throughout the rest of the night and the day after helped me bounce back, ready to tackle my next challenges. And it is these thoughts that I wanted to share with you.
My first thought was this concept of “Revenge Success.” Now, I don’t mean that in a malevolent way at all. I had a great experience onsite with the company. It’s just that, at the time, this phrase just seemed to fit. This concept of revenge success, sometimes seen in relationships, is where you take a rejection, and use it as motivation to drive you to become a better person, a more successful person.
So that’s what I had set out to do. Alongside preparing for my next onsite (I’ll address this point in a second as it’s really important), every problem that I had trouble answering during my onsite, I went and looked it up to try and get a better understanding of both the problem and the solution. I made sure that any holes in my knowledge were filled to the best of my abilities.
My next thought, and I feel it’s equally important as my previous thought was, “What do I have next?” This weekend, I learned how incredibly important it is to constantly have prospects in the pipeline, whether it’s additional coding challenges, technical interviews, phone screens or onsites. Having additional prospects in the pipeline forces you to immediately shift your focus from the rejection, to your next opportunity, the opportunity that you’re bettering yourself for. So keep applying, keep networking and don’t stop looking for new opportunities until you have an offer on hand that you really like.
And finally, do things to reinforce your confidence. One of the greatest things you can do to boost your confidence is to constantly learn. Becoming a better version of yourself has and always will be my mantra, and it’s what helps me keep my self-confidence up to perform. This incessant desire to push myself further and further is what allows me overcome my imposter syndrome and step into my Software Engineer shoes every morning. If you failed a question, or feel like you did poorly in a certain area (a feeling I know intimately), make sure you understand that if you failed a question, it’s not because you’re a bad Software Engineer, you just didn’t know it yet. However, if you stay in this state of ignorance, that’s when it IS your fault, and you are a bad engineer.
So to summarize:
- Take the rejection and use it as motivation to become even better for the next opportunity. Reward your future employer with the best Software Engineer they could have possibly hire.
- Keep your pipeline filled. Don’t stop applying.
- Reinforce your self-confidence by constantly learning. Make sure that you understand that if you failed on a question, it’s not because you’re a bad software engineer, you just didn’t know it yet. However, if you stay in that state of ignorance, that is your fault, and you are a bad engineer.
That’s it for now guys! Thanks for reading, and stay curious =]