On Rejection


We're looking at day 49 of free agency, for those of you who maybe lost count. I have always had a very specific career goal -- I was always going to work in the Community Affairs department for the Atlanta Braves. That was always my end game.

When I graduated college there weren't any open forever positions with the Atlanta Braves -- so I started applying for other jobs. My senior year of college, before I even went to the PBEO job fair at Winter Meetings, I must have applied for 75 jobs (including the Trainee program). I probably heard back from ten of those teams, and interviewed with three over the phone. None of those teams ended up offering me a job (that's roughly a 13% success rate hearing back from teams, and a 4% success rate getting interviews) but they did suggest heading down to Winter Meetings.

I went to Orlando that year without knowing a single person who would be there. I wasn't sure if anyone I had worked with previously would be down there, I was on my own. Luckily I made friends the first day. While at Winter Meetings, I dropped off a solid 50 more copies of my resume, that's 125 job applications. I even applied for the Trainee program again while down there. I interviewed with teams, accepted a position I would later turn down, and eventually took a position completely across the country in California.

At the end of my year in California, it was clear I still wanted that job with the Braves. I applied for the Trainee program again and it was radio silence until my first day at my new job in Texas. I worked in Texas for a year before applying for the Trainee program again. The last time I applied I put all of my eggs in that basket. If it hadn't worked out my parents would have killed me. I gave up a perfectly good job to hopefully get my foot in the door in Atlanta.

Fast forward through what was probably the best and worst 11 months of my life, I'm right back where I started. Applying for job after job after job and hearing absolutely nothing until I get a generic rejection e-mail from TeamWork Online (TWICE. They always send me the e-mail twice). I've found that is the second worst type of rejection to receive. The worst kind? When you don't hear anything and then find out through the grapevine (ie, the team welcomes their newest staff members).

Long story short: I've been told "no" more times in my life than I've been told "yes" but I'm still an incredibly positive person absolutely sure that I will be an asset to any team that gives me a chance. That is the only way to deal with rejection like this. You take the entire process and learn from it. What can I do better in my next interview? How can I improve my cover letter to make my resume stand out? Can I improve on my resume? The best way to be rejected is by a real human being. Yes, it hurts, but it's a chance to ask those questions. More often than not, a hiring manager is more than happy to explain how you can improve for the next opportunity.

Sometimes you do absolutely everything right, you're qualified, you would kick ass at the job, and you absolutely rocked your interview -- but you still don't get the job because you're not a fit for the organization. That kind of rejection always hurts my heart, I think "I'm a great person + I would have blown that job out of the water, how could you not like me as a person?" It's absolutely nothing personal. It's not your fault and in the long run it's probably something to be thankful for. Even if you're the best possible candidate for something and you aren't a good fit for the organization you would be miserable. If you can't get along with the people you work with every day, you will not be happy.

Keep your head up, your dream job is out there + you're going to find it when the time is right.


  1. looking for a job for time in 8 years this coming February. Im not going to be picky but im a nervous wreck. looking at the basics of Excel via youtube...doing pretty well. Thanks for this post...im glad i stumbled upon it today:). Have a great weekend! I found your blog via Frikken Duckie...please follow back! Thanks!

    xoxo, K.Lee

    1. I'm glad I could provide a little bit of inspiration!! Good luck with your job hunt -- it's definitely a challenging time but I think it gives you a good time to figure out exactly what you want and how to get it. :)