How to Handle Rejection at Work

Rejection is never easy to discuss and yet so many of us go through it. At work, rejection can lead to us feeling unmotivated, unproductive, and sometimes lose hope. Rejection at a workplace can look like anything, from not receiving an anticipated promotion, losing a client to a competitor, being publicly criticized or blamed for errors in a proposal… and the list goes on.

Though rejection at a workplace can be exhausting, here are some some great ways to overcome it so you can get back to doing what you do best.

Reevaluate your path

Let’s be real here, often times rejection at a workplace would cause us to feel dumbfounded, however, if it is happening more frequently it may be time to seek further help for your growth. This can look like taking more time to learn & educate yourself on your position and doing your best to keep calm through the process.

As the world continues to grow, we love feeling accepted by new roles and or positions. This can cause us to over-excite ourselves, thus leading us to improperly ensuring we’re right for that role. Here is where you’d want to refine your search.

Ask Yourself…

Once this is properly assessed, you’ll start to appreciate when rejection comes your way. As most say, ‘ when one door closes, another opens ‘.

Always ask for feedback

Ever hear the phrase, “You only know what you know, when you know it”? Well this applies to rejection at a workplace as well. Ask as many questions, for example, definitions, analogies as possible so you can get the understanding you need. Even creating a list from co-workers and management can develop a healthy habit in your work ethic.

I remember when I started working at a larger business company, my manager at the time explained to me my tone on the phone sometimes could be nicer. I was very hurt because leading up to that moment, I believed I was great on the phone, but I went home, swallowed my pride and practiced on my sisters and brothers. At first it was strange, but eventually I became so confident with them that answering calls was a breeze no matter what day or time it was. Moral of the story? Never think you have it all-take the feedback and apply to continuously grow!

Put yourself in their shoes

Though rejection at the workplace may sting, it really isn’t saying you’re bad at your job per say. It is simply giving you a chance to improve in a better way as an employee or co-worker.

This cannot fully come to pass with employees not aware of issues needing to be fixed. This is where we as the employees would have to put aside our emotions and turn our eyes to the future for the good of the company.

Remind yourself how great you are

I remember when I was working on a sales campaign and it felt like everyday was a new challenge and I was just not hitting the mark I wanted. One day, a more experienced sales rep pulled me aside and gave me some phrases to say to myself each and every morning.

This type of encouragement is another way to deal with rejection in a workplace! It all boils down to your mental health state — are you actively taking care of your emotions? Are you taking your deep breaths and resting when needed? If not…

Say It With Me:

I am hard working I am a valued employee I am a strong team-player My work makes a difference

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

I know you remember that song! Not only was it speaking of encouraging ourselves but it’s a true statement. Every entrepreneur will hear the word “ no” .

While working through rejection at the workplace, it’s really keeping a healthy mindset that can bring you to a place of acceptance. Take every negative comment and find the good in it! Every promotion you thought you should have received and didn’t, see it as a new way to improve your social skills in your immediate team!

Just because they didn’t say what you wanted to hear, doesn’t mean your work was any less valuable. Remember, sometimes rejection is simply out of your hands.

In conclusion…

Originally published at on August 31, 2021.

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