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Career Advice

Overcoming Layoff F.E.A.R.s - Part Four: Rejection Fear

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

March 3, 2009

This is the final post of a four-part series on Overcoming Layoff F.E.A.R.s (Financial Fears, Esteem Fears, Achievement Atrophy Fears, and Rejection Fears)

You lose your job or you fear you may lose your job. You fear that you are being rejected by your company, your boss, and your co-workers.  You feel like you are not wanted there any longer and you fear that others won't want you either.  You fear of being rejected over and over.  It is a valid fear that must be overcome to get back out there and land the next gig.  Here are some things you can do to help with the fear of rejection that often comes with a layoff:

  • Get ready to kiss a lot of frogs. It's likely going to take awhile to find your next job because there isn't much hiring happening right now.  It's important to remember you are not alone and just because you don't immediately get a job you want, does not mean it's you and that you shouldn't keep at it.  I am huge believer in timing and, in many cases, it is the timing that makes the difference between you and someone else.  The best way to manage chance and timing is to be there every time that you can. If you don't get back in the ring, there is no fight to win.  So, don't question whether or not an interview is a good use of your time if you are only going to get rejected or turned down. You never know what will happen, what you will learn, who you will have in common with the interviewer, etc.  Accept any and all challenges even if you know already that rejection may be the outcome.
  • Find the "Bobo Doll" in you. Bobo dolls are those punching dolls that you can hit and knock over but they bounce right back up because of that weight down inside of them. You see this trait in great sales people who are driven regardless of rejection.  We each have to find our own bobo weight.  That weight can come from needs in our lives, other people, our dreams and/or our faith.  Whatever that weight is inside of you; what is important to identify it and let it bounce you right back up over and over.
  • Remember: You're bigger than the job. Your job is not why people accept you - at least not the people who matter.  I know in my own career there were times that because of my job title and company I could pick up the phone and some really important people would respond.  Would they today? Maybe not. Does it really matter?  Not really.  What matters is that the people who I love and care for and those who love and care for me are still there and they don't reject me because of a loss of title, job or company status.  This is a hard lesson to learn, but once you do, you will be well on your way of overcoming the fear of rejection.

We all have fears as it relates to being laid-off, losing or changing our jobs.  There are many more than what we have covered with financial fears, esteem fears, atrophy fears and rejection fears, but I am confident that if we can address these basic and maybe primal fears, we will be better positioned coming out the other side as a better person and professional.

None of this is easy and there are no silver bullet solutions.  The solutions for you are as unique as you are. Please just remember that you are talented and that your talents cannot be taken away from you.  Continue to strengthen who you are in this difficult time and you will grow from it whether you know it or not.  Just like we tear down our muscles to make them stronger, the same can happen to us when we feel like we are being torn...we can come out stronger.


I'd love to hear your perspective on ways you've found to address and overcome fears surrounding layoffs.