First, to those who read this blog religiously, I apologize for my extended hiatus. It has been a very busy couple of weeks since my LSAT exam, and has subsequently provided me many things to write about!
First – an update:
1.) Took my LSAT and anxiously await March 7th, when I will receive my score.
2.) Interviewed at a very interesting technology company in the Advertising space where I had the pleasure of meeting with a few ex-DoubleClickers. Unforetunately I was not selected for the position.
3.) Currently in conversation with a few other companies positioned at the ever-evolving crossroads of technology, advertising, and e-commerce. Continuing to research and scout opportunities in the music space, although most companies seem to be gearing up for SxSW and therefore contacts are generally preoccupied.
4.) Just bought my tickets to the LCD Soundsystem’s farewell show in NYC. Needless to say I’m very pumped!
5.) Continuing to intern at Thrillist, and to learn a tremendous amount every day. Specifically about product management, iterative strategies, and UX design.
My second point, though, is what I’d like to expand about in this post. That is, I’d like to talk about my recent experiences with rejection.
Rejection sucks – we all know that, and are acquainted with the feelings it elicits. Some of us more so than we’d like. That said, being selected from a pool of candidates is something most of us are nonetheless accustom to. Be it a P.E. dodge ball team, college admissions, or a job interview process, we all have experience with a system that is restricted both by numbers and meritocracy; i.e. not everyone can be chosen, and only the best will be.
Therefore, intrinsic to any form of rejection there is an underlying implication of inadequacy. No matter how friendly the rejecter frames it, not being picked always results in the same thing – nothing, except for hurt feelings. When it comes to job interviews, most of the time you won’t even get feedback! That’s like being broken up with and the other party insisting, “It’s not you, it’s me. Sorry, it just wasn’t going to work out.”
Where does that leave us? Well, besides being in a bad mood, it puts us in a perfect position to simply say, “Ok, on to the next one.” Much like going through a break-up and having to deal with the torment of those equally horrible set of emotions, I have learned to find refuge in what some consider a cold and hardly comforting fact, and that is: The world does not stop to wait for you. It can, however, catch up to you.
What I mean by this is to say that when it becomes painfully apparent that the world doesn’t revolve around you, it is doubly important to work even harder to stay one step ahead of the pack. If you spend any serious amount of time reliving one failure it shuts the door on X number of opportunities. It is in my own persistence that I find the most comfort in trying times, and in the face of rejection.
On persistence, I offer one of my favorite quotes:
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
Finally, and in summation, I arrive at my overarching conjecture which is that anyone able to consistently hoist themselves up after a bout with rejection in order to try again, and repeats this process until finding success, has what it takes to be an astounding sales person. And seeing as how common this cycle is for many people right now, I’d say we’re going to come out of this economic turmoil with a heckuvalotta fantastic sales people. In short, persistence is necessary to success, and is the cornerstone of sales. When facing rejection, try to view it for what it is – a continuation of a very important learning process.
*Addendum: I also think that we place too much emphasis on the merit side of rejection, and not enough on the numbers. Whether or you’ll admit it to yourself or not, it is a number’s game. The other day, Google in their infinite wisdom tweeted something to the effect, “Just broke a record – 75,000 applicants this month alone! Apply today to become part of the team!” via their @googlejobs handle. In my opinion it is truly ridiculous to think that they’re baiting anyone into applying by touting that abysmal figure. Think of the amount of HR staff they’d need simply to give each application a cursory once over… especially considering they handle everything internally.
So, being extremely perturbed by this and of finite wisdom, I retweeted with the prefix, “Tweeting this makes absolutely zero sense… #c’mon.” I sure showed them! Would I accept a job at Google? Of course! But would I run myself over the emotional coals when I know the odds of being lost in the shuffle? I think I’d rather place a smarter bet by focusing my efforts elsewhere… but according to 75,000+ other people, that’s just me.