Handling Rejection

Posted: 2014-07-03

Like many other people, I have felt the sting of rejection. There have been jobs I was not hired for, contracts I was not awarded and keynotes I was not selected to deliver. To make matters worse, my 8th grade girlfriend broke up with me (Ocotber 1984). Ugh!

No one likes rejection. However, any good entrepreneur will tell you that you learn more from your failures than your successes. So when these challenges happen to you, how do you recover? What do you do next? Here are some ideas:

  1. job-reject-2.jpgRELAX: The first time I  was fired I took a break, moped around the house and watched television. My wife told me I could do this for 3 days and no more. Her rationale? Jesus got 3 days before the Resurrection and that was all I was going to get. I took my 3 days. I saw movies, relaxed and threw away old papers and promotional items. I also registered for unemployment. When my three days were over, I got back to work. I picked up the phone and started calling people. I read business books and magazines. I continued to expand my professional network. Result: I had a better job in 4 months.
  2. LEARNING POINTS: Anytime I don’t get a contract, I ask myself what I could have done differently. In some cases it is a timing issue. The prospective client may not have been ready to buy. Was my price too high? When I did pharmaceutical sales, I always  took time after an appointment to have a post call evaluation. After a job rejection, take some time to figure out what went wrong and what you will do differently the next time. Make sure you ask other qualified people for their opinion.
  3. PLAN: If you are going to apply for another job, have a structured plan. Before starting my current company, SciSpeak, I created a spreadsheet that included my skills, qualifications and job objectives. I also included people I knew at certain companies and how likely I was to actually get a job there. Instead of randomly applying on or Careerbuilder for every job listed, I had a daily schedule of people to contact. Similar to a sales funnel, I tracked the progress of my touch points with people.
  4. ACT: Eventually, you have to take the next step. If you are applying for another contract, fill out the paperwork and submit your Request for Proposal (RFP). If you are applying for another job, start emailing people or working your online network (LinkedIn). This is one of the hardest things to do because it exposes people to the potential for rejection. However, it can also be the step that leads to your biggest payout – financially and emotionally.

Michael Jordan was rejected from his high school basketball team. Abraham Lincoln was defeated in two runs for the Senate. Rejection is not pleasant, but it can be over come. When (not if) it happens, it can define you as a person. Successful people know to accept it, learn something and move on. Something better is coming.

Scientifically Speaking, of course.


My Experiment with LinkedIn: Premium

Posted: 2014-06-24

I now admit – I was operating from a position of ignorance. I had never actually used the LinkedIn: Premium service. I taught weekly classes on LinkedIn and people always ask me about it. What did I say? “Not worth it.” I was telling people the juice was not worth the squeeze, but I had never squeezed.

I’m Sorry…

What I had heard was that it gave users access to salary data on potential jobs. Although this is true, there are more perks to the paid version of the service. In May 2014 I received an email offering me a FREE 30-day trial of the Job Seeker Premium. What did I have to lose. Well, I could lose $250 / year, but only if I signed up. I typed in my credit card information (still necessary for a “free membership”) and clicked “Agree.” Here is what I learned:

  1. Businesswoman-using-laptop1.jpgSomebody’s Watching Me - When you are looking for a job, you want to know if recruiters are viewing your profile. As an entrepreneur, you want to know if potential clients are viewing your profile. These data will also tell you the trends of people viewing your profile. If more people are viewing your profile, you have done something right. If no one is viewing your profile, change some things. Worth it: Yes
  2. InMail = Email - There are times when it is appropriate to reach out to someone with whom you are not yet connected. It seems disingenuous to to reach out to someone and say they are a “friend” when you only know them professionally. If I read about someone in a journal and we are not connected, I can now send them an InMail without being connected. This action is especially valuable when looking for a job or prospective client. Worth it: Yes
  3. Introductions - Somehow I have reached the maximum number of introductions I can request. Not anymore! LinkedIn: Premium has given me a new lease on connecting with people in my network. I can reach out to more people and gain more warm leads. Worth it: Yes
  4. Salary Info - If you are looking for a job, you may want to specify what salary range you are interested in. You may not want 6 figures, but you may have a “salary floor” so you can pay expenses. When conducting an Advanced Job Search, LinkedIn: Premium members can filter on salary range. Although this information is interesting, most companies do not post salaries. Worth It: No

LinkedIn: Premium is not a requirement for those just starting with the world’s largest professional networking site. The biggest benefits will be seen by those who are using LinkedIn to find prospective clients and leads. Job seekers may want to save their money for another investment. Although you may see who has been looking at your profile, it will be awkward reaching out to a recruiter to say, “I saw you looking at my profile, and I wanted to say hi.”

As for me, LinkedIn: Premium has a sale. The free trial is going to pay off. This resource will be a good investment for my company and my brand.

Scientifically Speaking, of course.

The 7 Commandments of LinkedIn

Posted: 2014-06-23

Black Linked iN

By: Joel Beyioku

7) Thou Shalt keep thy profile professional and current.

On LinkedIn, your profile picture matters. When someone comes across your profile, it is the first thing noticed. Your profile is your professional brochure and many times your first impression. For your best chance of success, it is important to have up to date and relevant information as well as a professional and inviting profile picture that displays your charisma. Statistics show that profiles with a professional profile picture are 11 times more likely to be linked.

6) Thou Shalt Not be timid.

LinkedIn is a networking site, do not be afraid to reach out to connections, colleagues, or potential employers. Many time, reaching out and providing a meaningful note will give a reason to remember you. LinkedIn has over 150 million users, so it is important to be out going and stand out.

5) Thou Shalt join groups.

When you join a group on LinkedIn, it expands your network to everyone in that group. It also helps other to communicate with you and begin to know your interest. Be active in the group and post well thought reflective responses to interesting topics.

Also, don’t be afraid to abandon a group if it is no longer beneficial. There should be no hard feelings in the business world.

4) Thou Shalt Notlink for number.”

LinkedIn is not like other social networking sites where the objective is to gain followers or friends for bragging rights. This is a resource that should be used to create legitimate professional relationships. Do not just connect to people randomly to gain useless connections. It’s not a “numbers game,” Instead focus on people you know, trust, or genuinely want to get to know professionally.

Don’t be afraid to deny connections from people you do not know as well… 

3) Thou Shalt Not be overly aggressive.

It is important to take it slow when trying to establish new relationships on LinkedIn. You should treat the attempt to make a new relationship online the same way you would in real life. You have to develop the relationship and build rapport to create a meaningful connection. You can request a connection immediately after meeting but be sure to add, in the note section of the request, a reminder of where and when you met the person, so it is easier for them to remember you.

2) Thou Shalt protect thy privacy.

An extreme update of a LinkedIn profile is the biggest clue that you are looking for a new job, and that may not be something you want your current employer to know yet. Change your profile settings to not publish all changes or groups you have joined. You can change your setting back to public after the changes have been made. Here is a link you can use to update your privacy controls.

1) Thou Shalt Not rely only on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a powerful tool that can be used to jumpstart your career, but to remember that establishing real life personal relationships is most important to expanding your network and being successful. Use LinkedIn wisely and it will help you to maintain relationship, be remembered, and give your professional career the extra push to get you to where you want to be.