Rejection can be pretty hard to take sometimes, especially when you find out you’ve not got a job that you really wanted. But you’re not the first person to ever experience rejection. In fact, a lot of really successful people were originally rejected before finally getting a break. Here’s just a few famous examples from Mental Floss:

1. U2

Like a lot of musicians, U2 were just teenagers when they started playing together as a band and sent off lots of demo tapes to various record labels. We can’t help but think that Alexander Sinclair from RSO Records is kicking himself now.

2. Andy Warhol

Possibly one of the most famous modern artists in the world, Andy Warhol once couldn’t get The Museum of Modern Art in New York to take his work for free. Funny that they now own over 150 of his pieces.

3. Madonna

Even Madonna isn’t exempt from receiving one of those horrible rejection letters through the post. We wonder how they feel now, having turned down one of the biggest selling female artists ever…

4. Tim Burton

Tim Burton is known for creating some of our favourite films and of course casting Johnny Depp in many of them. But back when he was in high school he received this letter telling him that while his ideas were good, they just weren’t good enough for Disney at that time. Fortunately, he pulled it back a few years later when he joined them as an animator.

5. Jim Lee

Possibly our favourite rejection story ever comes from Jim Lee. Back in the 1980′s, Jim sent some of his work to Marvel and received a brilliant response from the Submissions Editor telling him that his work simply wasn’t good enough – and actually looked like it had been done by four different people. Jim later went on to work for Marvel as an artist and is now the Co-Publisher at DC Comics.

Dealing with rejection

There’s clearly an important lesson to be learnt from these rejection letters. And that’s about not giving up when you don’t hear back from your application, or when you don’t nail that interview for the job you really want. We’ve got three really quick tips on how to deal with rejection:

  • Accept it gracefully. Easily said, not so easily done. You don’t want to be remembered as the person who screamed down the phone at an employer – you never know when you might have to face them in an interview again.
  • Ask for feedback. The only way you’re going to improve your future applications is by knowing exactly why it is that they didn’t want you for that job. Ask for that feedback or you could end up making the same mistakes time and time again.
  • Prove them wrong. So you’ve been rejected for a job that you really want? You know what you need to do, you have to show them why they made the wrong decision and succeed anyway.

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