Reinventing Rejection

October 23rd, 2010

No one likes the word “no”! Very few of us wake up in the morning and say: “Yeah, I get to look for a job today!”

So, we all find ways to avoid the potential rebuff.

We use search techniques that put space between ourselves and rejection such as trolling the internet, networking with strangers, answering ads, chasing leads, sending out numerous inquiries and resumes hoping that the sheer volume of activity will result in a win. However, a greater proportion of those activities are ignored or we are sent an anonymous negative response, which may leave us thinking we are too old, too young, over experienced, have no skills, or are just plain unemployable. The larger the general application approach and the further away from a professional or personal connection, the greater the proportion of rejection to effort. More exposure and risky techniques like targeting companies, getting introductions, calling upon contacts with specific ideas and requests actually yield a higher quantity and quality of response per effort.
Personally, I hate rejection, so I have learned ways to work around the inevitable No.

Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Begin with a spirit of adventure and curiosity: Think about what interests you about your field, your target companies, what the future of your industry holds. Conduct your meetings with the goal of gaining more information and sharing what you are learning., rather than asking about available opportunities.

2. Never be in a wait situation: If you send out an inquiry or make a call, control the follow up by saying you will contact the recipient by a certain date.

3. Avoid the “casting calls”, job fairs, and even job listings put you in a competitive position with many more candidates trying to squeeze into criteria and compensation formula. Targeting, positioning, laying the connection groundwork can unearth needs before they become an advertised position.

4. Create desire: Using data from research and contact information, connect what you have to offer, your interests and values to anticipated trends and needs so that when a position opens up, you will be thought of. Or better yet, propose ways you can contribute so that opportunities can be explored before they are listed on an organization chart.

5. Stay connected: Find ways to help others, share information, keep people posted as a daily focus. Join professional organizations, read and respond to LinkedIn and industry chat groups, socialize. Be visible.

6. See rejection as a way to learn something, like when you did scientific experiments in biology: you are testing out the marketplace for fit and interest.

7. Great sales professionals see the sale as beginning with “no” because they re-frame a negative response as a request for more information. They open up the dialogue with questions about whether the objection is based on a factor such as a compensation limitations, or condition, such as a job freeze. Each of these objections can be explored further.

One comment on “Reinventing Rejection

  1. Taunee Besson on said:

    An excellent article. My we send it to our clients and give you credit for writing it? I would like to share it with my database. Taunee

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