At some point in your job search you will be rejected. I know. I’ve been rejected by three jobs in five days. Granted, most of those were nice rejections. This may seem like an oxymoron, but it isn’t. The people I spoke with thanked me for being thoughtful and well researched, which I appreciated. University of California at Irvine, one of the MFA programs I applied to, even sent me a handwritten note saying please keep writing. I’m keeping that particular rejection.
As I said before in my blog post, “Unemployment Tips,” the proper procedure for dealing with rejection is sitting down on the couch with a humongous bowl of ice cream. But if this doesn’t work for you, maybe you forgot to get groceries this week; I’d like to share a few other coping mechanisms I’ve tried.
1). Exercise. Exercise gets me out of my head. If I’m busy thinking about how much my arms hurt from doing push-ups, I’m not thinking about my job search troubles. Even if it doesn’t feel good while you’re doing it, it will feel good after. Endorphin anyone?
2). Ask your family and friends for support. Even if you’re embarrassed to be struggling, it’s worth it. Relatives, or at least my relatives, are soft and huggable. If you don’t have relatives, try your friends. If your friends aren’t around, I recommend you get a cat. There’s nothing softer than a cat’s belly fur—take it from me.
3). Do something that makes you feel in control of your life. Some people like to bake. Some people like to clean. I like to write. When I write I get to choose the character development, sentence structure, word choice, and so on. I can shape a piece until it’s exactly how I want it, or at least until it’s close to how I want it. Writers, like me, are notorious perfectionists.
4). Recognize the things you’re doing well. I know that can be hard when you’re not succeeding at what you want to succeed at. But it is possible. I, for one, can throw a mean side blade kick. A side blade kick is a type of karate kick where you use the blade of the foot. I’ve knocked people down with that kick. But then again, it’s not getting knocked down that matters; it’s getting back up.