Featured How to stay motivated when you keep getting rejected

Discussion in 'Applications Discussion' started by f.2000, Oct 15, 2020.

  1. f.2000

    f.2000 New Member

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    Hi everyone, I don't meant to bring everyone down with me but recently I've been feeling pretty hopeless :(

    I've applied to well over 20-30 vac schemes over the last year, and I keep facing rejection after rejection. I know it's simply a part of the process and everyone goes through it, but I keep feeling like I just won't get anything. I've tried to build up my experiences over summer by starting my own company and last year I was a part of a committee for a decently large society. Work experience wise, I had two weeks of informal shadowing at DWF and I worked as a hospitality waiter over the last year.

    Apart from that I haven't really got a whole lot - I feel like everyone else applying just has so much more impressive stuff to talk about. I tried to secure some type of remote internships over the summer and didn't get anything. I just don't know where I'm lacking and what I can do in the short time available to me to improve.

    Sorry for this rant, I just feel a bit down about this whole thing. How do you guys stay motivated after rejections?
     
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  2. Jessica Booker

    Jessica Booker Legendary Member
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    You have got a whole lot that many others haven't - you have just listed it out for everyone to see.

    It may not be your experiences. It may be something else entirely and something thats much more fixable in the short-term. For vast majority of candidates it will be much more about how they present their experiences, rather than the experiences (or lack of) themselves.
     
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  3. Beth1201

    Beth1201 New Member

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    I can completely relate to you!! I have just had my 9th final stage assessment centre rejection over the span of 5 years and honestly I just want to give up. I have two degrees, paralegalling experience in 3 different firms, one international and I still can’t get a TC! But you have to keep going, I know I will get there eventually, we are all in the same boat. I keep thinking it’s the wrong firm or they are not the right fit for me, it is a two way process.
    I completely think Jessica is right about presenting yourself because that’s probably my reason for not being accepted yet- I’m not sure if you can expand on ways to present yourself well?
     
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  4. Jennifer

    Jennifer Esteemed Member

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    I was always tempted to say 'this application process' when asked for an example of when we have demonstrated resilience! Nothing will test your determination and positivity like this process will.

    I can completely empathise, with each rejection I lost a little more confidence and hope for the next one. Some things that helped picked me up was:
    1. remembering there is a huge element of luck involved. I have felt unlucky at times with who was interviewing me and I have also failed tests with a better score than previously, when I actually passed it that first time (still makes no sense to me how that is possible);
    2. it is a matter of 'when' and not 'if'. You have the experience and competence. Root the confidence in that in objective ways eg I was the committee of X so I am undoubtedly competent at Y; and
    3. celebrating the small wins along the way. A TC is the ultimate objective of course, but the process is so lacking in rewards along the way. I learned to celebrate the small wins. I got excited each time I passed an application stage and even more so for the tests. They became signs of my progress and growth. Previous failures stopped bothering me as much once I started focusing on present growth.
    Some practical notes that helped me improve:
    • Front load research as if I'm going to interview with a partner instead of just writing an app. Frankly I also tried to avoid firms needing an online test but that's just personal preference.
    • Really thinking through and creating a narrative with my experiences for what exactly led me to commercial law, and what led me to the firm.
    • Following a few (about 7/8) commercial stories in close detail analysing why it was happening, what it meant for businesses and firms, and what it meant for the wider industry, and then general commercial reading but not necessarily in the same amount of detail.
    Keep going!! It will be so so worth it when you get there.
     
    #4 Jennifer, Oct 16, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
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  5. Law2022

    Law2022 Star Member

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    I know how you feel, it is very difficult to stay positive after awhile. However, I think it is so important to take a short break from the application process and just learn to reflect on your accomplishments. Although the end goal is to get a TC- each experience, each rejection building up to that point is a learning curve!

    To stay motivated, I would make a list of where you are now compared to where you were at the beginning of your legal trajectory. Any law fair, open day, workshop, talk with a partner, online internship, competition etc is an accomplishment and has ultimately made you a better candidate. I always try to think that if I give up now, all of that would have been for nothing.

    You sound like a fantastic candidate, with a wealth of knowledge! Please don't think that you don't have impressive stuff to talk about, you sound much more impressive than I am. In terms of presenting your experiences- the STAR technique is great to provide concrete examples of skills you possess. Think of your next application as a clean slate and give it all the time you possibly can!

    Every rejection is a redirection. You will get there.
     
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  6. Matt_96

    Matt_96 Esteemed Member

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    I reckon that I must be one of only a handful of people who has been rejected by nearly every level of law firm London has to offer after an in-person interview. I have been rejected after interview at an MC, SC, two US firms, two national firms and a blue-blooded private client firm. All I believe I need to add are rejections from a boutique and a high street firm to get the full innings!

    It can be disheartening, and after my first round of rejections when I finished undergrad, I was very bitter about it. But now I have a process as I know that most of my rejections have been for very different reasons and took place at very different stages of my life. When you get the news, it is immediately disappointing, especially when you think the interview has gone well. What I do is take a step back, take stock, and then move on. There is no point reflecting on anything beyond the feedback you have been given. All you can do is stay level-headed and focused on your goal. It only takes one 'yes' for the 'no's' to fade away.
     
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  7. cgs97

    cgs97 Star Member

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    Like Jessica said, it certainly sounds like you have impressive things to write about! Perhaps it's about reframing your experiences - partly in regards to how you present them in an application, but, without sounding incredibly cheesy, it sounds like it might help if you tried to reframe your own feelings towards your applications? If you don't think that you're good enough, this is likely to seep through into your application - it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy to some extent. And even if you get through the application stage, think about how your mentality may impact you at interview, if you think that you aren't as good as other candidates. This isn't to criticise at all, I'm sort of in a similar position at the moment, but I'm trying to tell myself all of these things! After so much rejection, it's so easy to feel like you're not a great candidate, but the fact that you keep applying shows how dedicated you are, and that dedication isn't to be undervalued. Plus, it may not feel like it, but with each cycle, you're probably getting better and you're getting closer. Celebrate the small things and look at your progress!

    On a more practical note, over 20-30 applications sounds like quite a lot - perhaps you need to reduce the number you do and spend more time on each one?
     
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  8. Camilla

    Camilla Legendary Member
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    I agree with this - mindset is so important!

    A friend of mine said something to me a couple of weeks before he was offered a TC which is ingrained in my mind. He said something like "wherever I end up, they will be so lucky to have me". My initial reaction (at the time) was wow this guy thinks highly of himself. Because I didn't feel the same way about my own skills and value, I couldn't relate.

    Fast forward 15 months, 30+ rejections and 1 TC offer, I now realise this is absolutely the confidence and faith that you need to have in yourself when going through this process (although make sure it doesn't border into arrogance!).

    I would try to keep improving your application writing skills/interview skills. Starting a company during a pandemic is a really interesting experience that I would really enjoy reading about! Make sure that you are proud when talking about that experience to ensure that your enthusiasm shines through. Then celebrate all of the small wins that you see!

    To help with mindset, I really recommend keeping an affirmation diary as it is a good way to reprogramme inner dialogue and banish self-doubt - which will likely enable you to keep going with a smile on your face :) I really think it is one of the key ingredients of a successful application.
     
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  9. f.2000

    f.2000 New Member

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    Hi everyone, thank you so much for all your feedback. I'm staying more positive now and I'm sorry if it seemed like I was ungrateful for my experiences, I know I've got some things on my resume that I should be proud of! Here's to grinding through and staying positive, whatever the results of this cycle!!
     
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  10. Jessica Booker

    Jessica Booker Legendary Member
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    You didn't sound ungrateful... you just sounded like you needed to be reminded how great they are ;)
     
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  11. gricole

    gricole Legendary Member
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    Hi @Camilla! Can you please expand on the affirmation diary idea? Sounds very interesting!
     
  12. Camilla

    Camilla Legendary Member
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    Yes of course.

    This is the diary that I use (link here). It is quite expensive for what it is... you could just use any old notepad but I have linked it so you can see the layout.

    It's quite cheesy but in the 'positive affirmation' section I wrote "I am a trainee solicitor" and in the "I'm grateful for..." section I would write that I am grateful for being confident, good at interviews etc. This was at the time that I had a number of post-interview rejections so it wasn't exactly true, but I found that writing something every day over a period of weeks made me believe it. I was of course still working on my interview technique alongside writing these affirmations.

    In the "things I am grateful for..." section, I would write all the small wins I experienced that day, even if it is just something minor like a compliment, or something bigger like passing a Watson Glaser test. Then, before an interview, I would read all my mini-achievements which I would have otherwise forgotten, and it was like a mini-pep talk/confidence boost.
     
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