The art of rejection and how to deal with it.

With the season of vacation scheme applications opening I thought it would be the perfect time to talk about rejection, and how best to deal with it.

After spending hours perfecting your application, and asking your parents to read it for the 100th time, to make sure you sound ‘commercially aware’ and offer the perfect amount of ‘ambition’ without sounding like you're a know it all, you send off the application to the firm of your dreams, and start picturing yourself at work parties and how you’re going to be the next Harvey Specter. However, this isn’t always how it turns out, and when the rejection emails start rolling in its easy to get disheartened and feel like it was all a waste of time. However, as much as it might feel like it at first, it’s not the end of the world and there’s a lot to be learnt from being rejected, and yes while eating a whole tub of Ben and Jerrys might make you feel better in the short run, it’s not going to help you in future applications. I’ve had my fair share of rejections already and here’s what I have learnt:

Firstly, depending on what size of firm you are applying to, they may or may not offer feedback on your application, it’s always worth asking if they don't give it in the initial email as it's a good indicator of where you have gone wrong and allows you to know what you can do to improve on when you are applying to other places, or even when you apply again the next year.

Secondly, look at gaps in your application, didn't have much to write about in the work experience section? Have a think about what you could do to improve on those areas, so for this example think about where and when you could do some work experience, or Pro Bono work so for the next application you write so you have more to talk about.

Thirdly, consider whether where you applied to is the right place for you, whilst at first glance you may have thought it was your dream job and you’ll never find one quite like it, you might find you were looking in the completely wrong direction. And only through trial and error and experience will you become more aware of what area of law you want to go into, which in the long run will be a huge benefit because, in my opinion, it is better to be rejected than starting a job and 6 months in realising you aren’t where you want to be.

Finally, DON'T WORRY, rejection is completely normal and many top lawyers receive numerous rejection letters before they were accepted into the job they wanted. It will be worth the wait in the long run, and I hope you’ll thank me later.

Ruby Holland, Brand Ambassador at University of Reading for Paul Robinson Solicitors.

This article is created by a Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP “Brand Ambassador” who are students and unqualified. The article provides their views on the topic and does not necessarily deal with every important topic or cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not designed to provide legal or other advice and nor does it necessarily reflect the views of this firm.