Yep. The title says it all. I thought third year of university was my year of rejection. I used to go up to girls and they usually said: ‘Uh…I have a boyfriend…’ when they clearly didn’t. Some gave me a straight-up ‘NO’ which I actually appreciated as opposed to the invisible-boyfriend excuse. But I can confidently tell you, it is the last year of university that has become the year of rejection.

The Grief

When you graduate with all that excitement, you want to go out there and kick some ass. You got to show the world that all these years you spent studying are going to prove themselves in practicality but then BOOM! Here comes the walls that people and sometimes you put in front of yourself. It’s the reality. Employers are going to find all the reasons not to hire you. I just got an email that said they decided to pass up on me because of my spelling mistakes in the application. It’s starting to sound a lot like the invisible-boyfriend situation again.

The Truth

Employees want to see experience.

“Duh? We knew that, Amid.”

I know. I know. It isn’t just that. They want relevant experience. Here is what I see from my interviews. I apply, present myself and speak confidently on my phone interviews. When I come in for the interview, the hiring manager is not remotely interested in my background story, my education or anything that I can offer other than experience in that specific role. It is a bit odd. What used to be a joke where they demanded 2-5 years of experience from a recent graduate is starting to become the reality.

I even went out of my way to meet people at companies who were hiring roles that were not even closely associated with my degree; something in business operations. I thought I have the aptitude for it. Frankly, I think I had them convinced that I was the right fit and was waiting to come in for the interview to crush it. It didn’t take long before they emailed me and expressed that I lack relevant experience. So no need for an interview. They were and are, still right.

To break it down even further, employers want to see consistency. They want to see that you picked one role and passionately took on the same role within your projects at school. Well if you were someone like me who was eager to explore, took on so many different roles in your projects from embedded programming, iOS development to doing all the documentation and doing an internship in tech support, you might notice this at your interviews.

Acceptance

The challenge lies into realizing that this is a process and as much as it might feel like a struggle, it really doesn’t have to be thought about that way. Maybe I’m just trying to synthesize happiness by trying to make sense of the rejections but that is the whole purpose, getting immune to what others think you can offer versus what you can actually offer. It’s like going through the 5 stages of grief. At first, maybe you’ll be in denial, then you’ll get angry. I know I got angry after a specific interview where I tried to show case my past experiences in detail and with passion but clearly the hiring manger was not interested. Maybe you’ll do your bargaining, get depressed but eventually reach acceptance. That is accepting that not everyone sees your potential and values, as much as you try to sell yourself.

People are right when they say rejection makes you a better person. Maybe it will guide us towards our true purpose. My challenge is on-going. I know I have a lot to do. But I look forward to what the challenges teach me down the line.

PHOTO: THE SUN SETS IN ENGLISH BAY, VANCOUVER, CANADA – TAKEN ON IPHONE 6S