Embrace rejection and you’ll get what you want in life

Photo by Jerry Zhang on Unsplash

It may sound counterproductive but it’s what you have to do

It doesn’t seem like the thing you should be doing on the surface, but it is. Rejection is one of the biggest defining factors you should embrace if you want to get the things you desire in life. There really isn’t any other option out there. It sounds scary because it is. It may hurt you a little bit inside, but you’ll be okay. I promise it’s 100% worth it.

Putting yourself out there when you know that you’ll fail is huge in helping you figure out the next steps in your plan. In the past, I’ve gone way out of my own comfort zone for the sake of seeing what I can do. You could almost consider it to be a little test of what I’m capable of at that given time. Maybe I hit the mark. Maybe I don’t. But who cares?

Rejection is the mechanism that shows what you need to work on to get better.

If you put yourself in these types of situations, you’ll surprise yourself more often than not. You’ll be given a roadmap on what you need to do in order to improve. Understanding what to improve is key to getting you closer to what you want. Rejection is just the vessel that gives that clarity.

I see the same patterns over and over again

I prepare people to enter the tech industry every single day. I help teach, mentor, and coach individuals to become junior software developers. It’s not an easy job but the rewards always outweigh the difficulties that come with it.

People often work their tails off for months to graduate from our program. I see them digging deep and proving that they can do the impossible every single day. But many often turn all of that hustle and grind into a waiting game soon after graduation. This is the wrong move.

As a side note, I always advocate for people to take a few days off after accomplishing something big. It’s great for the brain and body to catch up with itself and relax for a second. At the very same time, I want to make sure that people don’t risk losing crucial momentum as well. It’s all about balance.

After a tiny break, people should be getting up every morning at 6 AM, making changes to their resumes, sending out emails, getting out of the house, planning to attend some meetups with people in the industry, and working on their craft. It’s merely a continuation of what they had been doing beforehand. They already have the habit locked in. They only need to continue doing it.

This is exactly what I did when I moved out to Colorado a few years back. I didn’t know a single person in the tech industry but got connections going fairly quickly. Within weeks, I had an offer on the table as a junior developer. That would have never happened if I hoped that something would magically happen to me because “I worked very hard.” Hard work is only a single piece of everything.

When I tell my personal story, people often say that the industry was incredibly different back then. It definitely was. There were less junior developers floating around looking for work in the Denver area. But what do you think would have happened if I never did anything about getting work? Absolutely nothing. The same thing would apply if there were two junior developers versus 500. The key difference is taking action or doing nothing at all. Consistent action will always differentiate you from others. You should be asking yourself, how badly do you want it?

Opportunities won’t magically land in your lap (unless you’re incredibly lucky)

Never expect things to magically happen for you.

Most often, opportunities don’t just land in people’s laps. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen from time to time, but it’s not common. If you get an opportunity that lands in your lap from a friend, mentor, or family member, don’t overthink it or reject it. Take the opportunity, see where it goes, and run with it. And if you aren’t satisfied with that particular opportunity, just remember that it doesn’t have to last forever. The opportunity can be temporary if you want it to be.

On the other hand, if no opportunities magically land in your lap then you need to get moving. Sitting on your couch and staring out the window with the hopes of a job landing on your doorstep isn’t realistic. The people who sit back and do this are the ones that go into a job search that will last longer than their budget allows.

This can be 100% avoidable if you go into a job hunt assuming that nothing will happen unless you take consistent action.

Keep moving no matter the outcome

Momentum. You have to keep moving, no matter what happens to you. It’s a fact of life. If you stop moving, it becomes incredibly more difficult to start again.

This is huge.

As I mentioned above, I often tell people to take a handful of days off after graduating from our program. It’s good for your mental health and well being.

But after that, you have to hit the pedal again. Many of you don’t have the luxury of slowing down. Years ago, I was in the same position. I didn’t have a long financial runway and I couldn’t afford to move at a snail’s pace. Instead, I went all out with what I was doing every day and played it to my advantage.

Whatever you do, don’t lose all of the momentum that you gained over the last few months. That momentum is your superpower right now.

Let momentum be the thing that gets you out of bed at 6 AM every morning. Set a schedule and write down three of your biggest tasks to accomplish on that day and get to work. They can even be micro-actions. They don’t have to be something that turns your world upside down.

You have to seek more opportunities to be rejected

When I was looking for my first job in the tech industry, I would go into many meetings with companies knowing that I could ultimately be rejected.

But it didn’t matter to me.

I saw meetings with companies as a lesson on what I needed to become in order to get the job. If things don’t work out with a company, ask what you could improve on to get the job in the future. I approached every meeting like this and it took the pressure off.

So what are you going to do about it today?

What’s your plan? Are you going to sit around hoping that something great will happen to you? Are you going to stop coding after you’ve graduated? Are you going to catch up on the video games that you missed out on for a few months?

Or will you take advantage of the incredible network around you and start working on getting your foot in the door? There are so many resources around you that it’d be foolish to not use them.

You absolutely need to embrace the reality that if you don’t take any action, then nothing will probably work in your favor.

I know you want a job. But are your words and thoughts matching up with your actions? If not, then I honestly don’t believe you really want a job.

What you need to do is put yourself out there and embrace the fact that you’re going to be rejected multiple times before something sticks. It’s just a fact of life. But if you keep a schedule that forces you to consistently take action towards your desires, then you’ll get there sooner than later.

The rejection piece is a clue as to what you need to do in order to get the job. Don’t shy away from it, but embrace it.

And if you embrace it, then you’ll be on your way to getting that first gig as a junior developer.

Take action and keep moving.

— Cory



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