Thanks for Rejecting Me: A Love Letter to Everyone Who Said No

I don’t enjoy asking for things. Whether its personal or professional, I hate waiting for a response. In person it isn’t all that bad. Usually it requires the alternate party to say a simple yes or no. I’m completely fine with that. What I hate is the quiet.

In today’s age of email requests, voicemail, and texts it doesn’t even require a second thought to completely ignore the need for a favor. As a recent college grad, I have sent out hundreds of emails and made dozens of phone calls. They consisted of job applications, requests for information, asking for recommendations, and even requests to volunteer. There was only one consistent response, silence.

With so much effort put into trying to make a contact, it’s a bit vexing to never receive a response. This however, has made me appreciate something that used to be much more mundane, the rejection letter.

We’ve all received one.

“Dear interested party. Thank you for your application/request for information/submission/etc. Unfortunately we have decided to…”

These impersonal and generic letters used to be the worst, now they signify the moment I can stop holding my breath; the end of the waiting game.

Even better than the generic rejection letter is the human rejection letter.

“Hello Derek. It’s great to see somebody like yourself putting your content out there right now. Sadly, right now…”

At this point I want to fully emphasize that I am not writing this sarcastically. I genuinely appreciate receiving a rejection letter. Obviously, it feels way better when I actually get the interview/submission/etc. But hearing back is a great feeling too. Feedback is how we improve. When somebody tells me I’m not qualified, I can ask how to become qualified. If my writing isn’t good enough, I can learn how to change or tailor it for the situation.

In closing, if you recently told me you couldn’t do me a favor, I appreciate your honesty. If you rejected me for an open job, thanks for telling me. If you don’t like my writing style, then you’re wrong (but actually I totally get it, so no hard feelings). Thank you for reading the email I sent you, thank you for listening to my voicemail, and thank you for rejecting me.


Derek Haas