Alex Bill—Dearest Reader/Recently Denied Applicant/Curious Beings,
Today I am writing to help everyone out! I recently was denied from a really great internship that I was fairly confident about! It was a pretty defeating feeling to get that denial email. Yet, I am still standing! I am still here, tapping away at these keys on a beautiful Tuesday evening. I hope this letter finds you all well, yet even more so, I hope this letter finds those of you who are in need of help. I bid you well and hope you will take the time to read a little something from my personal experience. Thank you in advance.
Denial is something that everyone will experience throughout the long adventure of life. Whether it is jobs, applications, relationships, or a simple request. Often times it will come out of the blue; sometimes we can see it coming from a mile away. There are moments when we are all overly confident, only to be led down the road of disappointment when the truth comes out. College is a time to develop the skills to ensure that denial doesn’t completely sweep you off of your feet and set you back.
Understanding that not everything goes your way is the first key step to becoming more vigilant in this process. While you may want that internship really bad, you may just not be a great fit! It’s ok to realize that, be honest with yourself and accept things as they are. That isn’t to say that you should give up so quickly, but just be honest with the way things happen. If your interview didn’t go quite as smoothly as planned, reflect and make sure you adjust for the next opportunity to come your way. There are an infinite amount of opportunities out there, just never be afraid to knock on the doors presented to you!
If you are curious why you didn’t get something, simply ask why you didn’t get the position! While many times you won’t get an answer, it never hurts to ask. Sometimes you have to be careful and selective with this question, make it transparent that you are trying to better yourself for any new opportunities to come. If you simply ask, “Why didn’t I get hired?” it may seem like you are a bit hasty and perhaps disgruntled. When instead you could approach it in a more eloquent manner, such as “Could you identify any skills that would make me a more approachable applicant?”. Simple phrasing does wonders for this!
While being so open about your achievements and/or lack of them, sometimes you just need to relax a little bit more. Realize that by asking the important questions, you automatically are making yourself a better candidate and increasing your self awareness for the future. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and try something completely out of the ordinary.
Variety can be one of the most beautiful things for becoming a more well-rounded candidate and individual. Many students get stuck on the idea that they have to pursue something very specific to their studies, where in reality it makes you more interesting if you have a wide set of skills and/or experiences. It is ok to dip your toes into the water of a completely new field. Perhaps you have a hobby you believe to be completely unrelated to your studies. If you pursue something in your hobby’s field, you may find a marriage of the two disciplines otherwise invisible to you.
The absolute worst thing that anyone can do is lament and get angry about losing a job. Sure, it is a total bummer when you miss out on what seems like the opportunity of a lifetime, but trust me, there will be plenty of those. Sure they may not be the same, but you will find plenty of value in the other opportunities that you receive. The thing to do now is reflect and plan accordingly. Pass out all of those leftover resumes, go to the different career fairs, and honestly just mingle with professionals. You will be surprised at the sheer amount of opportunity that comes from simply having a conversation with someone in your desired field.
Remember that there is always a second chance sometime down the road. Nurture the connections you have made and you will always make it there in the end. This isn’t a sappy heartfelt pick-me-up either. I am serious. With constant dedication, communication and desire,there will always be an opportunity to those that take advantage of them. It all depends on the depth to which you are willing to work to get there.
And to that, I bid you good luck! I hope each and every reader finds their internship, job, relationship, or personal goal. These are not just goals for jobs as I mentioned, these are simply guidelines to healthy goals that fit particularly well with understanding job and internship denial. It seemed most appropriate for college students, but hopefully you will take these tips into other facets of your lives as well!
Until next time,