I have recently found Chris Dixon’s blog, and while I don’t always agree with him, I am finding many of the posts incredibly thoughtful including in his selection of topics. There probably will be a lot of linking to his blog as I get through the archive of past posts!
I love the insight that the payoff in job seeking is a “max function” as Chris explains in the excerpt below. In my experience, this is accurate and also an empowering way to think about things. Having myself been in the situation of being rejected for numerous things, while simultaneously having the discordant experience of getting rejected for things that are middling and considered for things that are extraordinary.
It’s the other side of the recurring theme in my blog posts that we aren’t always great nor are the processes we put in place effective for recognizing talent, particularly when it is looking for a cross-functional opportunity. Thus, rejection is not surprising even when you are well-equipped (although you must also have the self-awareness to know when it is you and make adjustments). Despite this, the great thing is that if you are resilient, aim high despite the rejections, get your break, and succeed, the next time a flood of opportunities will come your way since now your resume and background will make it through the pre-existing filters that once may have blocked others from recognizing talent. And the rejections don’t matter because of the max function quality of the eventual payoff. Chris’s experience is consistent with that.
“One of the great things about looking for a job is that your “payoff” is almost always a max function (the best of all attempts), not an average. This is also generally true for raising VC financing, doing bizdev partnerships, hiring programmers, finding good advisors/mentors, even blogging and marketing. I probably got rejected by someone once a day last week alone. In one case a friend who tried to help called me to console me. He seemed surprised when I told him: “no worries – this is a daily occurrence – we’ll just keep trying.” If you aren’t getting rejected on a daily basis, your goals aren’t ambitious enough.”