There's nothing like a rejection.

Rejection hurts; we can all agree on that. ‘Sorry, unfortunately we’ve decided to go with someone else’ is a dreaded response one can get, in whatever context. It can go beyond emotional pain and piggyback on our physical pain and destabilize our ‘need to belong’. But what can we do about this? 

I moved to Sweden with a heightened sense of self-confidence and constant recognition. I was appreciated for my work, received an early admit to Chalmers (which was the only place I had applied to), awarded a scholarship. Heck! I even received my residence permit within three days of applying. Let’s say I was put on a high pedestal and I couldn’t have been happier.

When I started school, I was faced with an overwhelming amount of choices and opportunities ahead of me and I was ready to take on them all. Once I got accustomed to my class work, I began exploring these options: student committees, part-time work, the entire spectrum basically. And then the rejections came pouring in. After the 10th or 11th rejection, I was stunned. Did I really misjudge myself this much? Was I that terrible? My peers who seemed to be doing so well, did not help with my almost crumbling self-confidence. The grey days of Swedish winter added to this misery. I cried going through tubs of ice cream, journaled, whined to anyone who hadn’t grown tired of my whining already and eventually stopped trying. 

But here’s the thing about rejection. You grow numb to it and evolve, at least I did, and I have my sense of borderline narcissism to thank for that. I got around my self-pity, corrected my behaviour and decided to do something about it. I asked for feedback after every rejection and used it to better myself (I am currently on the 4th version of my CV and have up to 25 cover letters), took up self-paced online courses to improve my skill set, started hanging out with friends who had that contagiously wonderful energy and engaged in constant dialogue with professors to express my interest. 

​​So, this is my low-down on jobs to anyone looking for one. We will face several rejections here. We are competing with amazing talent from around the world and we will not always be the best fit. The same response goes to anyone who’s first question before applying for Masters is ‘What are the job prospects after my Masters’. The job prospects here are honestly the same as anywhere else in the world and it does not matter where you are from. Prove yourself and sell your skill set and you will get that job. But, take up a Master degree course that you have genuine interest in, want to learn more about and not just for a high paying job. Be prepared for those rejections and start thinking about your game plan to use them to your strength. 

Written by : Keerthana Jayaprakash​

Page manager Published: Tue 15 Aug 2017.