5 Tips for Dealing with Job Search Rejection

Getting turned down for a job opportunity is never an easy thing to cope with, especially if it’s a job that you really need or one you’ve been dreaming about for years.

If you think about it, searching for a new job is a lot like dating. You have to be selective, check for compatibility and ensure that both parties will mutually benefit from the partnership.

People often assume that a college degree from a good university is all it takes to secure a good job, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Employers want more than a good candidate on paper.

Among many things, employers want someone whose values resonate with those of the company, someone they can relate to, someone who has a great attitude and someone who can get the job done.

So how do you deal with rejection when potential employers turn you down, or worse when you’re automatically dismissed without the chance to interview?

Well, if there’s one thing I’ve learned is that it’s important not to get discouraged. Of course, this is much easier said than done, so here are five additional tips to keep you motivated.

 

1. Solicit Feedback

Assuming you’ve had at least one interview, it’s important to ask why you aren’t moving forward to the next round and what you can do to be a stronger candidate in the future.

Requesting feedback can be tough, but it can also be critical in the preparation of future interviews. So let go of your pride and ask what you could have done better.

Here’s an example of what you could say:

Recruiter Name,

 

While I am disappointed with the decision to move forward with another applicant, I wanted you to know how much I enjoyed the conversations and the opportunity to interview.

 

I am also writing to solicit feedback for the future. Is there anything you could share about how I could have been a stronger candidate for this role?

 

Thank you,
Your Name

2. Take the Feedback

It’s important to note that not everyone you request feedback from, will take the time to respond. So if they do, make sure that you don’t take this information for granted.

Analyse the feedback that was given to you and use this to become a stronger candidate. I suggest writing all of the advice that was given to you, then brainstorming ways to address each point.

This is also an excellent time to use your resources!

Do some research on your problem areas, then find ways to overcome these barriers. If you have a mentor reach out for advice, and if you’re in school go to career services to get some constructive criticism.

3. Boost your Ego

Getting rejected from a job doesn’t mean you have nothing to offer. But of course, that’s often exactly what it feels like.

My advice is to do something that will boost your self-esteem. For example, you could read through your letters of recommendations, reflect on previous achievements, or even volunteer a few hours of your time to remind yourself of your qualifications.

Regardless of what you choose to do, reminding yourself of how capable you are is a sure way to get you ready for your next interview.

4. Revisit your resume

If you’ve been applying for jobs for months, and haven’t gotten any callbacks, it could very well be your resume.

Resumes are extremely important in a job search. Think about, its the first thing a prospective employer sees, and as such, it ought to be good, REALLY-GOOD!

I am not going to tell you what should or shouldn’t be on a resume because this can vary significantly across all industries. What I will suggest is that you look out for things like grammar, inconsistencies, and unexplained gaps.

Remember that each resume you send out should be tailored to the job in question. (Note, there’s a big difference between tailoring a resume and lying.)

5. Workout

I know, I know… working out is probably the last thing on your mind after a rejection. But trust me it helps!

Working out releases endorphins which helps combat stress, and restore normality. So instead of moping around feeling sorry for yourself, put your gym clothes on, and go for a run, or head to the gym.

This is one of my favorite ways to blow off some steam and while I usually hate the first 10 minutes of my workout, I feel so much better after.

Overall, the key is to stay positive.

You are not the first person to get rejected from a job, and I can guarantee you won’t be the last.

While it can be hard to maintain a positive outlook after a rejection, remember that rejections don’t define us.

More importantly, remember that winners are just people who keep on trying! So don’t take it personally, let it go, and keep moving forward towards the job of your dreams.

 

 

Top 4 Takeaways from Jen Sincero’s “You Are a Badass”

First things first, YOU ARE A BADASS. But unfortunately, even badasses struggle with doubt and lack of confidence.

In fact, if you are anything like me, you’ve probably found yourself questioning the attainability of your goals, or your potential to accomplish them.

From witty commentary to the harsh truth, Jen Sincero’s “You Are a Badass,” is filled with tips to help you turn your life around.

Here are some of my favorite takeaways:

1. Being positive is important

To achieve your goals, it’s essential to have the right mindset. No one achieves success by doubting their capabilities. Instead, be positive. Realize that what you put out into the world, is the same thing that you will get in return.

“If you want to live a life you’ve never lived, you have to do things you’ve never done.” – Jen Sincero

When dealing with failure, dust yourself off and get back up.

Because guess what?

If you’re not looking out for yourself, no one else is going to. So stop questioning your every move. Ask for what you want, and keep moving forward.

2. It’s okay to prove yourself wrong

People are often more concerned about being right than they are about turning their life around.

For example, someone who says “I am always broke,” will do everything they can for that statement to hold true.

Unconsciously, this person wants to be right, more than they want to resolve their money problems. So what happens the minute they come into some extra cash? They spend it!

Don’t be this person. Instead, prove yourself wrong!

Start with small steps, then work your way from there. For example, in this case, you could start by setting aside a little bit of money each time you get paid.

“You need to go from wanting to change your life to deciding to change your life.” – Jen Sincero

It’s also equally as important to shift your mindset.

Saying things like “I am always broke,” can cause the pattern to repeat itself. So instead, say things like “I am getting better at handling money.”

Something as simple as rephrasing our words can help tremendously in the accomplishment of our goals.

(Note: Sheryl Sandberg also discusses this issue in her book Lean In for Graduates.”)

3. Having money is okay

People have a lot of problems when it comes to money.

Those who have it usually avoid the subject (or they downplay how much they make) because they don’t want people to think they’re showing off. On the other hand, those that don’t have it automatically assume that those that do are superficial or selfish.

But having money, or admitting that you want to make more money does not make you shallow or a bad person.

“Most people are living in an illusion based on someone else’s beliefs.” – Jen Sincero

Money is only an object and whether we like it or not it’s something that we all need in order to live.

So don’t ever feel guilty for making money or for charging people for your work. Value what you do, and let your salary reflect it. There’s no shame in being compensated for your hard work.

4. Start Living for Yourself

My biggest takeaway from this book was to stop making decisions based on other people. Don’t let anyone influence what you do and when making big decisions ask yourself why you are leaning one way versus another.

Make sure that whatever you decide, was REALLY your decision.

More importantly, never let anyone call you selfish for chasing your dreams. And never allow the fear of selfishness, influence what you do.

5 Often Missed New Year’s Resolutions

The New Year is just around the corner which means that it is the perfect time to start thinking about your goals and resolutions for 2018.

Unfortunately, despite people’s efforts to establish resolutions, not many of them are accomplished by the end of the year.

Studies show that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by mid-February.

More often than not I hear people say they want to start working out, make healthier choices, drink less, read more, etc. And while all this is important, I find that some crucial things continuously get left out of people’s resolutions, things that if tackled could lead to the accomplishment of many of your goals.

So, if you are one of the many people (myself included), who have ever abandoned a New Year’s resolution, here are 5 key things you should consider this upcoming year.

#1 Stop Procrastinating

Studies show that one of the biggest barriers that keeps people from accomplishing their goals is their desire to have fun instead of doing something that requires tons of work.

This should come as no surprise.

I mean let’s face it, having goals is great but some days all you want to do is turn on Netflix and binge watch the latest season of Stranger Things, or your all-time favorite episodes of Friends.

Doing something enjoyable and mindless is undoubtedly more appealing than dragging yourself to the gym at 6 am on a cold Monday morning, or reading a book when all you hear is people talking about the newest Netflix original.

We’ve all been there.

It’s okay to take a few days off to unwind, but the real problem is when procrastination begins to take over.

Procrastination = Sabotage

Procrastination is a hard habit to break, but that doesn’t make it impossible. When things get tough, and you begin to deviate from things that genuinely matter, take a moment to remind yourself what’s at stake.

Think about what you are trying to accomplish, and realize that the only person affected by your lack of action is yourself.

Here are a few more tips to help you combat procrastination:

Minimize distractions:

As mentioned, giving yourself time to unwind and do something enjoyable is perfectly fine, but try to save that for the end of the day.

Recognize that the show everyone is talking about is probably as good as they say it is, so instead of fooling yourself into thinking you can watch 1 Episode, focus on things that matter first.

Commit to the task:

Focus on accomplishing your goals or to-dos rather than putting them off for tomorrow.

Because guess what? Tomorrow will be just as a struggle. It’s easier to put things off for later, but the rewards only come to those who put in the work.

Remind yourself why it’s important:

People always say “I have to workout” or “I need to read more,” but the truth is that you don’t “have to” or “need to” do anything.

You can, if you wish, sit back and do nothing at all. Throw all your cares out the window, and simply not give a crap. But you WANT to do these things. You WANT to be healthier, do better at work, and live a better life.

Remind yourself that you are doing these things for YOU.

Phrases like “need to” and “have to” can quickly lead to self-sabotage, but recognizing that you choose how to spend your time implies that you are in control of the results.

#2 Increase Your Confidence

Confidence is a tricky subject. In fact, a lot of people are often concerned about appearing overly confident because they are afraid of coming off as cocky, but trust me there’s a big difference.

When you are confident, it reflects in your attitude, your walk, your smile, etc.

Confidence is easy to recognize, and people who have it are more likely to be heard and taken seriously than people who are insecure.

Unfortunately, no matter how great you are, how awesome you’d be at that new job, or how much money your idea could save the company, no one will believe you if you don’t sell it.

Part of selling it means selling yourself. Believe that you are capable, smart, and can do what you set out to do.

Confidence overall will help you lead a happier life, so there’s no reason to avoid it.

Let go of the negative voices telling you it’s not possible. Tell them to go to hell and repeat to yourself that YOU can. The only person getting in the way of that is YOU.

Still unsure?

Here are my favorite books to get your feeling like a bad ass: GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey, Girl Code by Cara Alwill LeybaLean In by Sheryl Sandberg, and You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero.

#3 Become More Organized

If you’ve ever been to the gym without a workout plan in place, you’ve likely spent lots of time glancing around for something to do, or headed to the treadmill to pretend like you know what you’re doing.

The same thing applies in everyday life.

If you aren’t organized with your time and your to-do list, you’ll likely spend most of your day trying to figure out what to tackle next, instead of getting things done.

The good news is that if you take the time to get organized and plan your day ahead, things will quickly begin falling into place.

Getting organized may seem daunting at first, but if you’re consistent, it won’t be long before it becomes a habit.

Personally, I like to use old school pen/paper planners, such as the Erin Condren Life Planner or an A5 planner by Filofax, but there are plenty of tools to help you get organized.

If a physical planner is not exactly your thing, try a digital app, or the calendar on your phone.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter how you get organized, just as long as you do! So, try a few different things to find what works.

The best organization tool for you will be one that you enjoy using, one that keeps you on track, and one that has space for everything you need to jot down.

As a bonus, planning your day, and writing down all of your to-dos, helps relieve you from stress by allowing you to get things out of your mind and onto paper.

#4 Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Social media has made it incredibly easy for us to compare our accomplishments and our lifestyle with that of others. But don’t fall into this trap!

When we compare ourselves to others, we waste valuable time comparing when instead we could be out there doing.

Don’t be consumed by what other people have or do.

Keep in mind that people only post what they want others to see. So while someone’s life may look perfect on Instagram, that’s not necessarily the case.

We all have flaws, problems, and worries, that’s what makes us unique, so stop comparing yourself. It’s just not worth it!

Use social media as a means to connect with others positively, to get inspired and motivated, rather than using it as a measure to see who is better.

#5 Challenge Yourself

You should never reach a point where you stop learning. No matter where you are in life, you should never stop pushing yourself to be better.

Challenge yourself to learn something new, to pick up a new skill, to adopt a new hobby or to learn a new language.

Developing new skills is exciting, and it opens the possibility of meeting new people, pursuing career opportunities that you didn’t think you qualified for, enhancing your resume, and having fun.

Yes, learning can be fun!

In fact, things can get quite boring when you stop learning. That’s why you often see successful people leave one great job for another – because they’ve learned everything they possibly could, and they’ve given it their all, so in retrospect, it’s time for a new challenge.

Challenges help us grow, so don’t be intimidated by them. Embrace them, seek them, and conquer them!

As the new year begins, try not to get overwhelmed by everything you have planned. Start off by taking note of everything you want to accomplish, and consider these 5 resolutions to help you get there.

If there are any resolutions you think should be included here, feel free to add them in the comments, I’d love to read about them.

Top 3 Reasons NOT to be the First-Mover

“If you’re not first you’re last,” or so we thought according to Will Ferrell’s memorable performance as Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights.

As it turns out, this isn’t always true as it relates to marketing and the so-called “First-mover advantage.”

But wait, how is it that being first to market, doesn’t put you ahead of the curb?

Well for starters, let’s acknowledge that some of today’s most successful companies, were in fact — not the first to market.

I’m talking Facebook, Google, Starbucks, and Spotify.

Facebook

When we think about social media, most of us immediately think ‘Facebook.’ However, before Facebook entered the market in 2004, there were other networks such as Friendster and Myspace.

These sites were a hit for a while, but they ultimately failed, giving Facebook the opportunity to dominate the market.

Google

Shockingly enough Google was not the first search engine created. While it may, in fact, be the most widely adopted, before them, there were other search engines such as Open Text, Magallen, and Infoseek. 

Spotify

Music is something most people can relate to, however in spite this commonality, most first entrants such as Napster, and Pandora weren’t profitable. Spotify saw this as an opportunity, and they currently control over 80% of the streaming market.

Starbucks

Starbucks wasn’t the world’s first coffee shop, what set them apart, however, was their strategy. Everything from their value proposition, to the atmosphere in their stores, has played a crucial role in their success.

Perhaps the most significant similarity between these companies is that they learned from the mistakes of their less fortunate counterparts.

Of course, that’s not the only reason you shouldn’t rush to market. So, before you run off to work on your next venture, consider these factors:

1. It’s expensive

Launching a new product or service requires a ton of research. Companies resort to research to understand customers buying behaviors, their pain points, and how their product fits in.

Once they complete their research, they are usually looking at additional costs associated with educating the market.

As a result, early movers are usually far less profitable than late entrants.

2. Resistance to change

Consumers are creatures of habit. We want better and shinier things, but at the same time, we have a psychological attachment to our current solutions.

As a company, getting people to adopt your new solution is tricky.

3. No experience to fall back on

The obvious advantage of late-movers is that they can learn from the mistakes of early entrants.

What worked, what didn’t, how did customers react, how does our product compare, and more importantly, how can we be better.

To clarify, I’m not suggesting that innovation doesn’t matter. It does.

However, in a world where consumers are surrounded by choice, it pays to get it right.

Jumping to market too soon can pose a threat, but jumping in too late, can also be detrimental.

 

 

6 Reasons Why I Refused to take my Husbands Name

If you’ve been around for a while, you probably know that I’m married.

(Sorry, guys. Ha!)

In fact, I’ve been happily married (yes, that’s a thing) for over two years now.

What you might not know is that I didn’t take my husband’s last name.

Yes. That’s right.

We had a ceremony, said our I do’s, but at the end of the day our mail still comes home under two different names.

 

But despite the fact that it’s the 21st century, people still get baffled by the news.

Usually, they’ll tilt their head a little and say something along the lines of:

“What do you mean you didn’t take his name?”

 

“He was okay with that?”

Oh, and let’s not forget my personal favorite

“I would never let my woman do that!”

OK, I get it.

It’s not that common.

I’m going against thousands of people that follow this tradition.  And while I respect everyone’s decision, I feel the need to clarify my point of view.

So, for those that can’t fathom the idea, and in an effort to clear up all the confusion, here are the main reasons I refused to change my name.

 

1. It’s who I am.

As cliche as it may sound, my name forms part of who I am. It’s how I’ve always been identified. And I don’t think there’s any reason marriage should change this.

More importantly, my husband fell in love with me. And what could be more me than my last name, which reflects my origin and culture?

 

2. I owe it to myself.

While I haven’t exactly accomplished everything on my list, I’ve worked hard to be where I am today. There’s no denying that I owe a lot of this to my husband, but he is only one piece of the rather large puzzle.

At the end of the day, I owe myself that recognition—shall we say, in the form of a diploma, hanging on a wall in my office?

 

3. I was no damsel in distress.

Despite the negative connotation of the word, I wasn’t a maiden looking to be rescued. My husband and I, are no different from each other. So why should anyone assume my identity is disposable?

 

4. Screw tradition!

In case you didn’t know, the law initially required married women to use their husband’s surname for a variety of things. This was primarily because the law viewed wedded couples as a whole. As a result, men were the only ones that could vote, own property, etc.

Unfortunately, this held true until the 1970s, when several intelligent people finally realized how nonsensical this was.

 

5. It’s the only thing I have left of my father.

This is a tough one, but I’ll try to keep it short. My father was never around, and while I should perhaps want nothing more than to remove any trace of him, it’s the only thing I have left, and I can’t seem to let it go.

 

6. We’re united by a lot more than the syllables in our names.

My husband and I share a life together. We share hopes, dreams, fears, and so much more. Taking his name would have no tangible effect on our relationship.

 

So there you have it.

In the end, there is no right or wrong.

But, to me it’s relatively simple:

I kept my name because it’s mine.

 

My husband respects my decision because he loves me and he knows I that I do too.

 

Women aren’t objects. They come with a mind and an identity of their own.

What do you think about women keeping their maiden name?

Go ahead, let me have it.

Grad School Is Not for the Faint of Heart

It’s been three days since I started school and I can already feel the sleep deprivation and lack of social life starting to creep in.

It’s actually funny because I used to complain about undergrad not being challenging enough and wellit’s safe to say that I no longer have that problem!

Today, was especially tough.

I made careless mistakes on a quiz and got my head torn apart by time value of money and perpetuity.

me + finance = recipe for disaster

On the bright side, I wasn’t the only one struggling. So, it’s nice to know that I’m not at this alone.

So, before I go off burying my head in books for the rest of the evening, I found it adequate to remind myself why I’m here and why no oneabsolutely no one, should give up on their dreams:

a) Nothing worthwhile comes easy
b) It’s impossible to grow without pushing yourself
c) You never truly fail, unless you give up
d) Things are never as bad as they seem in the moment
e) It’s okay to feel overwhelmed

So, there you have it!

That will be my mantra for the remainder of the year. But for now, off I go to study and of course, eat my weight in ice cream.

We’ve Officially Moved!

Six years ago, German and I moved to Austin with nothing but clothes and a few hand me downs that fit in the back of a little red car.

We had no bed, no couch, no dining table and very little money.

A few weeks ago, the pattern repeated itself.

Only this time, we had to sell our first home and seriously declutter in order to fit everything in our new (much smaller) space.

Since our decision to move, we’ve gotten several concerned looks from people who don’t understand why we’d leave our comfortable lifestyle and beautiful home so I can pursue—yet another degree.

My response to that is that we’re crazy.

Yes, that’s right.

We’re completely and totally insane!

I, for one, find it exhilarating.

I mean c’mon, what could possibly be more satisfying that leaving my safety net and secure job to pursue a career in something I’ve always wanted?!

Journal Entry, 2010

A friend of mine joked about how I’d be paying school loans the rest of my life. She sounded so certain about it.

But instead of being upset, I just stood back thinking about her significantly larger car loan.

I just can’t wrap my head around the idea that someone is willing to spend more money on a vehicle, than they are to invest in their education.

Meanwhile, I drive around in my modestly size Corolla, that doesn’t have the luxury of self-warming seats.

And you know what?

I’m perfectly okay with that.

I’m okay with still having to turn a key to start my car. I’m okay with the lack of leather seats and GPS.

While everyone’s allowed to spend their money as they please, I’m okay with neglecting a few things in exchange for others.

So, for those that still have comments about what we’re doing, I’ll say this: It takes balls to drop everything the way we have.

There, I said it.

Leaving the place we called home was not easy, but we did it because we believe there’s better things waiting for us.

And no matter where you are in life, you should always strive for better!

5 Life Lessons I Learned in College

Yesterday, marked the end of my undergrad journey.

After years of hard work and more homework than I care to admit, I can finally say I did it!

But, as I sit here and reflect, I realize that some of the most valuable things I learned, weren’t related to the courses I was taking, but to the personal life lessons that were shared by the professors.

So, in honor of that, here are the top five things I learned in college.

  1. Your past does not define your future.

    It doesn’t matter where you are from, or the circumstances you were raised in, if you want a better life, you can have it! All you need is the right mindset, and enough nerve to power through when things get tough.

  2. Always be prepared for an elevator speech.

    Regardless of the career path you chose, it’s important to know how to sell yourself to others. Talking about your accomplishments and goals doesn’t make you a showoff, it makes you confident! So, don’t be afraid to go out there and tell people how hard you’ve worked to get where you are.  Besides, if you’re not confident enough to believe in yourself, who else is going to?

  3. Success doesn’t come easy, and that’s okay.

    Whether your goal is to get an incredible job, earn a six-digit salary, or to fit into an old pair of jeans, achieving it will not be easy. There will be many curve balls thrown your way, but the important thing is to keep at it. If it were easy, everyone would be out there making things happen. But, let’s face it, not everyone does. So instead of moping around wishing things were easy, embrace it! You’ll be that much happier when you reach the finish line!

  4. Travel as often as you can.

    Traveling gives you the opportunity to learn things that can’t be taught in a classroom setting. It opens your mind to different cultures and beliefs. At the end of the day, nothing can substitute real-life experiences. So, travel as often and as far as you can!

  5. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals.

    It’s tough to stay focused on your goals when you’re surrounded by people who lack ambition. So, chose your friends wisely. Don’t be afraid to say you can’t go out for drinks when there’s something else that takes precedence. And always remember that real friends are those that encourage you to be the best possible version of yourself.

 

 

 

I’m Going to Grad School!

Last Friday, I got admitted into my graduate program of choice.

And while a simple status update on Facebook would’ve probably sufficed, I felt the need for more.

I started my application in mid-February, mildly underestimating the process.

Juggling school, work, grad school applications, and exam preparation, was tough.

But, between restless days and a non-existent social life, I did it!

That morning, as I was walking towards the cafeteria at work to get a cup of coffee, I saw their email just sitting in my inbox, waiting to be read.

I immediately froze.

Sure, I was excited. But to be honest, I was also scared.

I rushed over to the universities website, typed in my ID and password and stared blankly at the screen without clicking over to the next page.

Just then it hit me.

T H I S  I S  I T!

This is the moment I’ve been anxiously awaiting for months. This is the moment that defines a lot of other things to come.

I’m about to find out if I’ve been accepted.

But, what if I don’t get in?

What if I’m not good enough?

The decision was made too fast, so it must be bad news!

All these thoughts flooded my mind, but just before I could compose a different scenario in my head, I logged in.

And there it was:

“Congratulations! I am pleased to inform you that …”

At last, I could breathe.

I can’t wait to start this next chapter in my life. I can’t wait to take it all in. I can’t wait for the highs, the lows, and the concept of it all.

While I know that grad school will be about ten times harder than undergrad, I’m excited to take on this new challenge.

P.S.
I’d like to thank Jenny Moore, Josh Brodesky, Lynnette Gonzales, and Vince Guzman for helping me with letters of recommendation and advice.

I will forever be thankful for your kind words and support.

Hook’em!

Change Can Be Terrifying

We often become so accustomed to our little routines that the moment change begins to poke its head through the window, we immediately close the blinds.

Fear of change is not uncommon, and it’s certainly nothing one should be ashamed of. But it’s important to know that without change there is no growth.

Recently, my husband accepted a new job position that will require quite a bit of change. At first, when the opportunity presented itself, we resisted. We told ourselves that our resistance was justified, that the job he had was fine and that there was no reason to change something that wasn’t exactly broken.

Sound familiar?

We do this all too often.

We don’t apply for the new job with better salary because we’re comfortable right where we are, we don’t engage with different people because we like our group of friends, we don’t seek out new opportunities because we’re afraid of the unknown.

But what can be more frightening than not changing at all?

All change, whether it be good or bad, presents an opportunity.

Is it ok to be afraid? Yes.

Should you embrace it anyway? Definitely!

If all else fails and you don’t like where change has taken you, you can always venture onto something else. But if you keep yourself from trying, who’s to say that what’s out there, isn’t the opportunity you’ve always wanted.