I was having a discussion with a colleague of mine about a week ago. He was sharing with me recent experiences his son had gone through in interviewing for internship employment for the summer. While the experience had not gone the way the son had wanted in that he did not get the position he sought, his dad did impart upon him a bit of wisdom that when he repeated it to me, really made an impression upon me. The father’s exact words were, “Remember a no is an opportunity for a yes someday.”

We all face rejection at one time or another in our life. In fact, we may face it several times when pursuing something we really desire. However, if we don’t reach out at all and make our interests known, no one knows what it is that we desire or have to offer. Those that go it alone, especially when entering an area to which they are new or trying to break in, make things that much harder for themselves if they don’t look to connect with those who have guidance and experience to offer to them. In today’s difficult job market, those that sit behind their computer and post resumé after resumé to online job sites may believe they are job searching. However, all they’re doing is holding back their progress from the inevitable need to connect with those who may be in a position or may actual have the employment opportunities into which they are looking to be hired.

A no to a request or an offer we are seeking is only permanent if we let it be so. The no may mean that currently you are not qualified for what you are seeking, but with a bit more education or a bit more experience the person turning you down today, may be more than willing to work with you in the future. A no may mean that currently you are not displaying the enthusiasm and drive for that which you are seeking, which causes the one you are asking to doubt your commitment or desire to meet their needs.

However, time can be the great equalizer. Time can allow us to reexamine how we approached our request the first time. Perhaps we indicated the way we would do something didn’t clearly state our abilities properly. In following up with more details we can address the objections of the one who turned us down. Time can allow us to get the training we need to perform what is expected of us. It may also allow us to explore other opportunities that are similar to the one for which we were rejected, and pursue them as a better fit for our talents. While the rejection itself may seem like the worse thing that has happened to us, it is our reactions after the rejection which can be worse than the turn down itself if we let it stop us in its tracks.

The wisdom that our father above looked to impart to his son is not only something to be shared with our youth. Discouragement is the number one enemy that job hunters of all ages are displaying in today’s employment market. A Wall Street Journal study showed that the average time that it is taking the unemployed to find employment in 2010 was between 30 to 35 weeks. While those figures may vary by industry type and age, on average those seeking employment are stopping their searches on a full time basis only after looking for only 20 weeks. Lack of follow-up, lack of a strategy that is pursued on a continual basis to keep momentum going and lack of an organized plan in terms of conducting job searches are as much an issue for many as the job market itself.

Yes, it is hard to hear the word no. The temptation may be to think we’re not good enough or not wanted or worse yet not worthy of what we are seeking. However, for those who don’t lose sight of what they truly desire, keep track of those whom they meet and realize who may be able to help them when they’re most in need, and have the perseverance to continue to follow-up and make sure people still are aware of their dreams and what they offer, the chance to turn a no into a yes someday increases substantially. What is good wisdom to impart on members of our younger generations is also outstanding advice for those of at any stage of their life who are looking to move on to that next big step they are taking on their lives’ journey.

Author's Bio: 

Tony Calabrese of Absolute Transitions provides suggestions, approaches and information on how you may want to approach those “midlife transition issues”, which appear to come along relatively frequently, particularly between the ages of 45 to 60 years old. Get 3 free reports on how to approach your midlife and the transitions that come along with this new stage of your life at http://absolutetransitions.com.