Why are people terrified of rejection? The level of fear and intensity of rejection depends on the situation and specific desirable outcome. For instance, asking someone out on a date creates a greater fear of rejection than calling the video store to check if “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” is available for rental. Silly comparison maybe, but the point is that while some situations are obviously harder than others to step out on a ledge, how will you ever get what you want without asking?
My friend, the ballsy intern
Think for a second about who’s considered powerful in the work place. Supervisors, Directors, and C-Suite individuals top the list. Interns fall towards the bottom of the power ranking, so its easy to understand why most interns lay low, work extremely hard, and stay clear of asking questions that shake up or change how their organization has historically functioned. Step in my friend, Kylie.
Kylie is a Human Resources intern with German software giant, SAP. She works here in the states in one of SAP’s Pennsylvania offices. For as long as I’ve been friends with her (over a year or so), Kylie has worked for SAP supporting their Human Resources Business Partners (HRBPs) in a strategic intern role. A month ago, Kylie noticed an open internship position that was similar to her job, but located at SAP headquarters in Germany across the globe. Realizing international HR/business experience would be incredible, she immediately pursued the opportunity.
Kylie quickly found out the following:
- An intern based in the US had never been sent to another country
- Everyone (both in her current office and in Germany) loved the idea
- SAP was sending her to Germany!
Starting in January, Kylie will spend 6 months drinking German beer, making German friends, speaking German, and learning how international HR/Business is conducted. All she did was ask a question.
When you fall off the horse…
Sometimes you’ll hear no, it’s bound to happen. In asking for a raise or promotion, hearing no means your next question is to ask what must be done to be given the promotion/raise. In asking a girl/guy on a date, hearing no means it’s time to ask someone else. When asking if you can transfer to your organizations German office like Kylie, no might mean to find another job. My point here Corn Heads is that “no” isn’t the end, it simply means work harder, try again, and/or reassess yourself.
Do you have a story similar to Kylie’s? Have you been afraid of rejection and forced yourself to go for it?