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Your Rejection Letter is a Gift. Be Grateful.

Dear Applicant,

After reviewing your resume, we find that you are not a fit for this position. We will maintain your resume on file for one year and notify you if something fitting your qualifications comes available.


<Insert Company Name Here>

We've all received some version of this letter.

And, if you're like most job hunters, you felt let down and bummed out. You might even have said, "If only they got to know me they would realize how great I am for this role, their company, etc." Then your family/friends chime in with, "They don't know what they're missing out on.", "You would have been perfect for them." etc.

You know what we sound like when we say these things? We sound like a bunch of teenagers lamenting over the boyfriend/girlfriend who broke up with us and didn't give a satisfactory reason.

There was a book written about this very circumstance. It's called, "He's just not that into you", it's written by Greg Behrendt, and it highlights exactly why you should be glad you found this out sooner rather than later and should stop pining over someone who doesn't want you. 

I think it's time someone wrote a similar book for job seekers. "They're just not that into you." If seeing your resume and your LinkedIn profile doesn't have a company running to their phone to chat with you, perhaps that's an indicator that you aren't right for each other.

"Not a fit" is a real thing, it's not something recruiters made up to blow people off. And knowing you're not a fit is a good thing because it allows you to move on!

You see, employment is a relationship. Both parties need to be equally in love or the balance of power shifts very quickly and will result in a split. That split may be amicable or very very ugly, depending upon the parties involved, but a split it will be nonetheless. Why force something when it isn't right from the outset? 

Sure, you want a job. Sure, there are bills to pay. I hear you loud and clear. But if you rush in to the wrong relationship, what price do you pay? How many people do you know who are on their second marriage who knew the first was a mistake but did it anyway? How much pain and suffering in their own lives could they have avoided by waiting for the right one rather than settling just to fill the void? While jobs are less permanent than marriage, they are contractual give-and-take relationships nonetheless. Behrendt says, “Alone also means available for someone outstanding.”  Apply that to your work situation. Rejected by the wrong fit means you will be ready when the right fit comes along.

Stop spending your energy lamenting the one that got away because they just couldn't see your genius. Follow Behrendt's relationship advice and reallocate that time to figuring out exactly who you are, finding your voice, and shining where you are. When the right opportunity does come along with the company that will be the perfect match, you'll be ready and available.

And be grateful.

Be grateful for the fact that you found out now rather than down the road.

Be grateful you know where you stand, can check it off the list, and move on.

Be grateful someone respected you enough to notify you that you're not a fit (think of the first date who says they'll call then never does - that sucks right?).

Be grateful you didn't spend your energy trying to convince them how great you are, realizing you couldn't truly be yourself, and stifling you in order to fit their mold.

Be grateful. For all of these things could be your story, but they aren't. Because you're not a fit. And that? Is perfectly ok!