My older brother spent 10 years in the armed forces and subsequently I spent a lot of time with soldiers whilst they wound down from stressful duties. In other words we’d go out and get drunk a lot. Drinking with the professionals means that they have many ways of keeping drinking fun, therefore a night out always involved drinking games of some description.
One of the best was a game called “I thank you Tink”. Essentially over time a number of silly rules are applied which become increasingly difficult to avoid. They are things like no pointing with fingers or calling people by the name of the person sat to their left. Failure to follow the rules results in a drinking forfeit.
There was also a rule called happy losing. After several hours playing Tink, being selected to complete a drinking challenge could feel like being asked to climb a mountain, and you hardly feel like celebrating when selected. Happy losing means that you must celebrate and look happy regardless of how you feel, otherwise your forfeit doubles.
This means that when faced with disappointed you have to celebrate as though it were a good thing and only look at the positives.
Happy losing can also apply to the process of job hunting and the inevitable rejection that goes alongside it. The key to rejection is asking questions about why you were unsuccessful and using feedback as a gift, even if it feels negative.
So many people when they receive the dreaded call simply take the rejection and get off the phone as soon as possible. Do not do this. Instead take the opportunity to ask a few questions. Why not ask “what did I do well in the interview?” and “what didn’t I do so well?” Put the recruiter in your shoes and ask “if you were me what would you have done differently” and “how should I improve for next time?”
If you’re using a recruitment agency make sure that you set ground rules about feedback before you go to interview. Make sure they understand that either way you require detailed feedback, and therefore they must retrieve this for you. Too many agencies simply disappear when you’re unsuccessful so take control and make sure that each step is a step forward, even when it feels backwards. If the recruiter doesn’t call you after the interview, call them because they have an obligation to do so. It can also reflect positively at interview if you mention before you leave that any feedback, good or bad will be greatly appreciated. As strange as it sounds, a final demonstration of maturity may be the final element that convinces an employer that you are right for the job after all.
Remember “Smooth seas do not make skilful sailors”
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