5 Silver Linings That Come Along With Professional Rejection

woman on laptop

Anyone who tells you that rejection doesn’t affect them is lying. The only bigger liars are the ones who claim they haven’t been rejected before. Because no matter how fine, smart, or talented you are, rejection is a part of life. Not just personally, but professionally too.

Accepting this reality doesn’t make it feel much better when you find a job that piques your interest, get called in for an interview, and walk out thinking “I killed that!"...only to find out that they decided to go with someone else.

Be disappointed. Scream (inside of your car or bedroom). Have that glass of wine. Then read the rest of this article. 

No matter how bad being rejected may have made you feel, there really are some silver linings; even in the professional world. If you’re open to receiving them, that is.

Conan O'Brien saying "why"
1 / 5

Why Did You Apply For The Job In The First Place?

It might sound like an obvious question at first. Duh, to get some money. But if that’s the ONLY reason — or even the top one — for why you applied for the position, the Universe may be trying to tell you something. 

Most of us spend at least one-third of our lives at work. Wherever you’re going to be, it needs to be a place where you feel fulfilled. It also should be a place where you can grow professionally.

If the place where you applied honestly wasn’t going to give you these things, not getting the gig could be a real blessing in disguise. It opens the door up for something that will give you more than just a steady paycheck.

JAY Z doing so-so
2 / 5

The Gig Might Not Be As Great As You Think

It’s always a good idea to thoroughly research a company (or person if you’re applying to be something like a personal assistant) before applying for a position. 

Say that you didn’t and you did get the job, only to find out that you’ll have to work overtime (they didn’t tell you that), the morale is low and the turnover is pretty ridiculous (usually not a good sign). 

While there are some things that you can only find out once you work someplace, looking at their website, paying attention to the energy of the office and going into the interview with a list of your own personal concerns can give you a heads up more than you might think. 

Don’t focus just on what you want from a potential employer. Figure out if they can meet some of your non-monetary needs too. 

woman telling people to settle
3 / 5

You Might Realize You Were Settling Just To Have Something

Searching for a job is somewhat like searching for a relationship. If you’re too needy, you’ll settle just to have something. You’re better than that. 

If you’re in an interview and you know that you killed it but they still took a pass, don’t doubt your value or worth. If you know you have the skills and kind of personality that would be a real asset, then it’s their loss that they took a pass on you. And if they did, that means they probably wouldn’t have appreciated you if you did come on board. 

Who wants to be at a gig — or with a person — who doesn’t appreciate them?!

man talking about learning lesson
4 / 5

Rejection Teaches Awesome Life Lessons

Rejection comes with all sorts of life lessons. It teaches us how to handle disappointment, how to push through despite our feelings and how to be positive even in “negative” situations. 

Bottom line, handling rejection with poise and grace is a strength, a superpower. 

Sometimes life hands us a big ol’ bowl of it, just so we can see how strong we really are.

little girl holding an "I'm next" sign
5 / 5

Is It Time To Step Out And Do Your Own Thing?

There are tons of articles in cyberspace citing the fact that female entrepreneurs are making a major impact in the business world! Maybe the professional rejection that you’ve experienced is a sign that it’s time to break out and do your own thing. 

Sure, it’ll be a risk, but can it be any riskier than applying for job after job and hearing “no?” Or working at a place that you hate? 

If it’s been several months and nothing has materialized, consider taking a different approach. Downsize your life, look for a part-time job (or do some work online) and visit websites like SBA.gov

This might be the season to enter into the entrepreneurship world. 

The irony is you just might have rejection to thank for that!



Just a woman who digs all things relationships. HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS, that is. I've been writing (professionally) for close to 20 years, including having two books published. I'm also a marriage life coach and doula. Sometimes I speak to large audiences or do radio interviews, but usually I'm sitting in my favorite chair, surfin' the 'net and penning stuff that I wish I had read in my early 20s.

Listen, I don't have all the answers, not by a LOOOOONG shot. But whatever I can do to spare folks any heartbreak, bitterness or straight-up drama, I'll devote some keystrokes to doing. 

That's it...in a nutshell. For the most part. Kinda. ;)


Confident black woman

Before You Fall In Love With Someone Else, Make Sure You're In Love With Yourself

blue ivy beyonce

The Do's And Don'ts Of Grooming In Public

a couple on their honeymoon

6 Reasons Why You Should Go On A (Mini) Honeymoon At Least Once A Year


Forget Self-Confidence — Here's Why You Should Be Developing Self-Compassion Instead

processing a friend who is a pathological liar

One Of My Semi-Famous Friends Turned Out To Be A Pathological Liar


9 Things Your Waitress Desperately Wishes You Knew