How To Handle Rejection In The Workplace


Have you ever worked in a hostile environment? You might be there right now, where no matter how hard you try, nothing is ever good enough . Are you in an environment where it seems as if everyone is against you? Have you faced bullying from colleagues? 

I want you to know that you are not alone. I would like to share a few tips with you on how to handle rejection in your work environment. Rejection is the dismissing or refusing of a proposal idea etc. It is the action of spurning a person’s affections. It is very hard to work in an environment where it is hostile. Hostility chokes one’s creativity but with these tips I am about to provide, you will overcome and rise above rejection in the workplace. 

What if I told you that the hostility that you have experienced and are experiencing actually serves a purpose. 

1. You are not defined by the rejection that you are enduring in your work environment. 

Rejection happens in the lives of every human being; no one is exempt from rejection. You are not defined by your colleagues’ or manager’s inability to handle you. You are not defined by the failure that you have experienced in your workplace. 

2. Rejection in the workplace is an opportunity to celebrate. 

Rejection is an indication and it is an announcement that you are bigger than the environment that you are in. I often use the scenario of a baby being born as an illustration of rejection. When the womb becomes too small to accommodate the baby, it rejects the baby and that’s when labour begins. When you experience rejection in your work environment, there are two things that are happening; (i) your environment is announcing to you that you are too big for the environment that you are in and (ii) you are being positioned for promotion- hostility is an indication that there is an opportunity. 

3. Rejection positions you for purpose. 

When you are rejected, there is a greater purpose. When I started my first job after graduating from university, I had learnt a lot of new skills, I had met a lot of people but it was a hostile environment. By November 2013, it got so stressful as well as other factors in my personal life I got ill. I almost died. Everything I did in my workplace, there was always criticism. When I left the room, they gossiped about me and made fun of me when I was ill. I remained respectful because I knew that my future was brewing. The conception of Release Me was bubbling on the inside of me that’s all I was thinking of. I looked into their criticism and improved my work ethic and I worked in excellence;  by the time my contract ended,  every task was completed. When I left my job at the end of my contract, my purpose began to come forth. By December 2014, the planning of Release Me had started. By October 2015, Release Me was launched. By November 2015, the manuscript for my book was completed- I had discovered my passion which led me to purpose and I discovered my strengths. 

4. Focus on your strengths not your weakness

In your work environment, fill out a SWOT analysis. This allows you to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in your work environment. Magnify and focus on your strengths and opportunities. Speak to your supervisors and managers on how you can best be supported with your weak areas or try to share tasks that you are weak with with colleagues who are gifted in those areas. 

5. In the case of bullying and hostility- get in touch with your Union & HR department. 

Speak to your manager first and if that does not work, take it to your senior manager. There are grievance procedures which can be taken by your HR department to remedy what you are experiencing. 

6. Know who you are.

Identity is a very important element when facing rejection in the workplace. For about nine months I accepted the hostility and something in me woke up- I realised that the new  love that I found for myself could not facilitate the disrespect that was being shown towards me. When I stopped accepting the hostility, more respect was shown.

7. Rejection is often perceived not intended

Sometimes the rejecter does not realise that they are rejecting you. When I started to perceive that the sudden hostility could be because of issues in their personal life, that increased my compassion towards them. 

8. Don’t retaliate- don’t be hostile 

Remain respectful. Be diplomatic but let it be known that respect must be shown.

9. Accept it 

When facing rejection, assess it, accept it and remain focused on your goal. 

10. Rejection is a reflection of the rejector. Remain authentic and when you get to this point, that is when you are unbreakable and unstoppable. 

Remember that you have  been rejected for purpose. God bless you and thanks for reading.

Author: Dahna Fearon

Dahna Fearon is the Founder of Release Me, a movement which aims to educate, empower and establish women into understanding their purpose and destiny.

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