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Anecdotes on Rejections and Overcoming Adversity

AI art illustration of a person walking through a dark, shadowy landscape with physical obstacles and barriers in their path.

Rejections are a part of life. While it may often cause discomfort, sometimes it may open up paths previously unimaginable. Sometimes it’s just sad. How we deal with rejections tells us a lot about ourselves. 

We asked our WisGen, “Tell us about a time you faced rejection in your life. How did you deal with it? Did it impact you in any way?”

Read below to find out how they met with rejection and are forging forward.

Arvind Kumar

Director Technical, MECL

I was preparing for a director interview with Maharatna company but was not selected. I felt depressed for a while and pledged myself that I had to clear the next interview at any cost and started preparations for the next interview. Fortunately, there was an interview at another CPSU shortly. I prepared very well and got selected. The message: Any rejection shall be analysed with a view to knowing what, where, and how one missed the interview, which shall be examined. Later, preparation shall be done accordingly with confidence. That is only success “mantra”.

P Gopinath Menon

I retired as CFO from Omantel, the top listed company in Oman. I have over 34 Years of extensive hands-on experience in Managing, Leading and Transforming the Finance Function across multiple hierarchies. I am currently engaged in project-based consultancy with Arthur D Little, an International management consultant and also looking for Independent Director Opportunities. I like cooking, which gives my wife a respite.

Rejections are part of one’s life, and success depends upon how one can absorb and manage the rejection positively. I joined as a Junior Executive in one of the top listed companies in Oman, grew within the organisation and became a CFO before my retirement. This achievement has come from managing rejections positively throughout my career. I was a math graduate when I joined the firm, and I reported to a financial expert who was a qualified fellow Chartered Management Accountant. He was always hesitant to share the work with me, stating that it was difficult to learn since I was not a professionally qualified person. I was quite dejected as it curtailed my learning ability, which set an ambition in me to acquire the prestigious qualification from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK (Fellow) and later an MBA from Manchester Business School in Finance. The qualifications, along with my work ethic, helped me to gain the management’s trust to hold various senior management positions and finally become the CFO of the company.

Gopalakrishnan Menon

My last job was abroad as a Unit Manager in the Life Insurance industry where I performed recruitment of Advisors and training them to retain them. I managed a team of 20+ advisors on board all given a single time. I had to resign from it, seven years ago since I was required back. Ever since, I have been managing my real estate business in Mumbai, my home town. My hobbies are swimming watching sports and general news on TV.

I have faced rejection many times in life in the last 48 years of my career. Every time I was rejected or failed, I always bounced back, forgetting the past, correcting the reasons for the same, improving those errors not to repeat in future and putting in more effort to succeed. That’s the key to where I got various opportunities in life. It brought me to age 66, and now I am living happily.

Venkataraman Ananthakrishnan

I am retired and self-employed.

I had some misunderstandings with my top management and could see how they sidelined and irritated me for a long time. I kept adjusting to it but, at one stage, decided to move out and work elsewhere. In the new workplace, my talents and performance were so admired that I rose to the director level. The insults I received made me reach top positions in my career. 

Pratibha Karakkayala

Accounts Professional

I was rejected and fired from a job due to being overqualified. Rockwell Industries has a sister concern, VMF Finance Ltd, where I was the Accounts Officer. I learnt and expedited Sap accounts in this firm. They gave us training for a week and asked us to practically implement the current year accounts, which I completed. Immediately after completing, they fired me, saying I was overqualified. However, I did not lose my heart. The above incident happened even to my technical colleagues. We all joined together and started our own Deep Freezer Manufacturing company as a competitor to Rockwell. We succeeded in our R&D by increasing standby freezing up to 20 hours. Rockwell gives 18 hours of freeze standby. This has benefited many hand-to-mouth ice cream cart sellers. Rejection is beneficial in multifold. 

Kerman Barjor Bodhanwala

I have held the position of CFO in a construction company for the past 23 years. I am a photographer, nature lover, walker, trekker, and biker and love to travel at all times.

Rejections are a part of life. While they may often cause discomfort and are extremely hard, one should have lots of courage to build themselves back up. I had to face double rejections in my lifetime once when I lost my Job in Mumbai and was unemployed for over eight months with a family of 5. Second, immediately after this, I was forced to leave Mumbai in search of a job in Pune, where my in-laws played a dirty game with my family. I had to get a divorce, and both my children were my entire responsibility, as my younger son was just seven years old. But I could manage my responsibilities with great support from the Almighty, and today, both are doing well in sporting activities. Face your situation with a cool mind and never get excited or worried about the situation. I like to say, “Worry is the interest paid before it is due”. Read it until you understand the meaning. 

Sitharaam Jayakumar

I passed out of IITBHU  as a Metallurgical engineer in the year 1988After graduation, I embarked on a career in Information Technology and retired as a Lead Software Engineer in the year 2019. I have taken up writing in earnest since then. I write articles on gender equality, politics, fiction, flash fiction and several other areas. I am the author of four books in all, have contributed to several anthologies and am a published poet.

I have faced some major rejections in my career. I was faced with a long period of illness, and it was very difficult for me to get back on the career path. One of the main reasons for this was the inability of organisations to accept that a long break in work could happen because of a genuinely valid reason. Organisations have a suspicious attitude towards people who have been away from work for long. They automatically adopt a ‘dal mein kuch Kala hai‘ kind of attitude. The only thing to do under such circumstances is to persevere with hope. It was an extremely daunting task for me to even attempt an interview at that stage.

I even started something on my own. But I left that once I landed a good job in a medium-sized organisation where I had a long stint as a lead software engineer. What matters is, of course, perseverance and the belief that, sooner or later, things will work out in one’s favour as per the law of averages. The other thing I had working in my favour was the excellent support I received from my family and friends. Given the time, sooner or later, a break will turn up.

Nandini Manoli

I am a pathologist with 30 years of experience in a medical college. I am involved in research and writing for women's health topics like cervical and breast cancer. I enjoy music, writing, painting, and fashion.

I have also recently faced rejection as a researcher. I have many medical publications in my name but was not selected for the expected posts of various publications houses due to competition. This came as a surprise to me, even after 30 years of experience. The lesson I learnt was that one has to learn one’s limitations. 

Sridhar K V V

AGM, PROJECTS looking for a change. Interested in technicalities. I believe in sanathana dharma, Indian culture.

Rejection is like the two faces of a coin; it depends on how you take it. A clever person always finds a way to tackle either positive or negative but never holds any grudge against the rejector. Treat it as one of your reflections.

Partha Das

Interested in the field of Administration with having more than 15 years of experience as an Administrator.

In my view, without rejection, the taste of success can’t be enjoyed. Yes, I was also rejected at times, but it did not stop me at any time because it became more of a challenge to get over the rejection and succeed, which I did.

To share your articles, blogs, and other written content related to your post-retirement experience, write to us at content@wisdomcircle.com.

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