By Sunny Simon
Recently one of my favorite clients called me. She had distressing news to report and it had to do with a heavy dose of rejection. Donna accepted a new job last February. We both felt it was a good match for her skills and expertise. The compensation package was generous and she was excited about the company, her co-workers and her new boss. After returning from vacation last month, she was told her services were no longer required. I’m not talking downsizing here, essentially my client was fired.
California’s labor code is “at will” meaning an employer may terminate an employee at any time with or without cause. In this case the reason had little to do with performance, and more to do with perceived soft skills. The motive for her termination is really not the point. It’s about what happens when someone decides you don’t fit in.
What Donna experienced was disappointing, disconcerting and add to that surprising. Mr. Manager felt the chemistry wasn’t right while his employee happily hummed along professionally executing her duties. My client and I spent some time trying to sort out what happened hoping for some insight or at least a lesson learned and came up short. She sought his approval while he sought her departure. Bottom line is plain and simple. Sometimes in life we experience extremely unfair situations.
Difficult as it may be, our only recourse is to get past the rebuff and move on. Few of us escape rejection whether it is in a personal or professional relationship, a tryout when you didn’t make the team, or an opportunity such as not getting the promotion or winning the big sales contract.
My recommendation is a course of action taught to me by one of my mentors. Mentally send blessings and positive vibes to those who deemed you did not make the cut. Yes, I’m serious and I’ll tell you why. For your own benefit. We cannot move on toting the heavy cloak of anger and negative energy. By releasing ill will and giving a nod to rejection we can rise above despair and begin planning our ascent to the next challenge. A wise man once said, “A setback is a setup for a comeback.”
By the end of our session Donna agreed it was time to file this one under “things I may never understand.” She acknowledged her talent, a strong resume and possession of exactly what she needs to be successful. Game on! With a renewed and heightened sense of purpose I know she will bounce back and make that stellar comeback.