Rejection is hard.
I recently applied for a new position in another district. This meant revising my resume, gathering three recommendation letters, researching the district’s philosophical approach to literacy, completing the lengthy online application, and hours and hours of interview preparation. Of course there was also the issue of what to wear: Should I wear a jacket, or is that too business-like? Maybe a dress? Too summery? Pants and a sweater? Too casual? The process was hard, long, and very stressful. And in the end, I didn’t get the position.
I was, of course, disappointed. No one likes to lose. It’s hard to get that phone call and hear the news (even when people tell you all sorts of positive things about your qualifications and experience) that the job has gone to someone else; someone who they decided was a better match for the position. But at the same time, I was a bit relieved. I am highly engaged in my current job, and my colleagues can’t be beat. We are on the edge of doing some great work. I’m already re-energized for the rest of this year and the years ahead.
Going through this process also helped me realize how powerful it is to “take stock” of my professional life. Reviewing my many years of experience, the positions I have held (in teaching, but also in other fields), the people I have met along the way, the challenges, and the celebrations, helped me to identify those things that I do well, the things I need to continue to work on, and most importantly, it helped me to articulate (to myself and to others) my vision for the literacy work we do.
Rejection is hard, but maybe it’s an essential part of crafting my professional narrative.