Have you just been rejected by a company you desperately wanted to join? Are you now feeling melancholy because your future isn't going as planned? Don't worry! I've got a money-making and heart-mending solution for you.
In Three White Tenants, One Asian Landlord, I wrote about my experience getting rejected by over 100 tech companies back in 2012. As part of the unemployment benefits process, I was required to apply to at least five companies a week.
Instead of trying to use what little connections I had in the tech industry, I just applied to jobs that sounded suitable online. Googling each company's job openings and then applying directly on each company's website was the most efficient way to go. But it wasn't the most effective.
If I saw a job that sounded really good, I probably would have asked a friend at the company to help “move my resume along” or ask for a warm introduction. Alas, no job sounded that good. And I had no relevant connections. At the time, what I really wanted to do was take a break from the grind.
One thing to think about when using connections is this: if you get the job, you may always wonder whether you got it because of your connections or because of your abilities. This disconcerting feeling is why solopreneurship feels so good.
The Best Money-Making Solution After Being Rejected By A Company
Let's say there's a company you really want to join. You use the company's product all the time and like their culture. You also think the company is going to be a fantastic stock performer.
Unfortunately, after going through a bunch of interviews, no offer is extended. The hiring manager decided to go with the person who looked like them and went to the same private school. No surprise! Instead of feeling completely dejected, there's a better solution.
Invest in the company!
By investing in the company's stock that rejected you, you turn the equation on its head.
As a partial owner of the company, the people who rejected you now technically work for you. The more of the company's stock you buy, the greater they are working for you.
Of course, you won't have the opportunity to invest in every company that rejects you. Some companies are private while other companies are organizations that don't trade on a public stock exchange. However, when a public company rejects you, you have the opportunity to benefit.
Makes Perfect Sense To Invest In Your Rejector
If you think investing in the company that rejected you feels off, you simply aren't thinking rationally. You've got to put your Financial Samurai helmet on and go to war!
Whether you know it or not, every time you accept a job offer, you're placing a bet the company will be an outperformer.
After all, for most people, the greatest source of wealth is money they earn from work, not from their investments. The money can come from a salary, stock options, or restricted stock units.
If you're willing to dedicate your life to a company, you better believe it has great potential! Otherwise, you have no business applying.
Therefore, it stands to reason that if a company rejects you, it must mean that you are not good enough for their company. And since you believe the company is awesome and you are awesome, the rejection means that the company must be even more awesome!
Look, we all believe we are competent, intelligent, and hard-working. However, there are different levels of excellence that we all can't be a part of. Be careful suffering from Dunning-Kruger.
Therefore, the best way to benefit from other people's excellence is to invest in a company you think is excellent. If a company rejects you, you should logically assume the company has the potential to become a winner because you're a winner.
Whenever someone defeats me on the tennis court multiple times, I'm not going to irrationally think I'm better than him. Instead, I'm going to concede that I have work to do to catch up to his level.
Don't let your pride get in the way of making money! Face reality.
Investing In Your Rejector Makes You Feel Good Too
So much about building wealth is having a strong money mindset. If you believe you deserve to be rich, you will likely do better than someone who wallows in the mire.
Think about all the CEOs out there with mega-million compensation packages who get mega-millions more in severance after they torpedo their companies into the ground!
After too many rejections, your mental health may take a beating. Not all of you will have the fortitude to keep forging on. But having grit is what helps differentiate the winners from the losers. Keep on fighting!
By investing in the company that rejected you, you get a psychological lift. The reason is because you get to benefit from their wins without having to do any of the work. And who doesn't love to make money doing nothing?
Not only do you not have to do any of the work, you can also make yourself feel better by telling yourself their employees work for you. With such a mental lift after a rejection, you will then be emboldened to keep finding that perfect job fit.
Capital over labor for the win!
How Much Stock Should You Buy Of The Company That Rejected You?
The amount of stock you should buy depends on your net worth, risk-tolerance, cash flow, and level of desire. The greater the level, the more of the company's stock you should buy.
Thanks to the elimination of stock trading commissions, you can now buy a small amount in a company without a commission drag. A $1,000 position may be enough to soothe your ego after a rejection.
However, based on my experience, once you start investing over $10,000 in a company, that's when it starts to feel like you're really benefitting. Every year that passes, if you still believe in the company, you can continue to invest another $10,000.
Another way to determine how much stock to buy in the company that rejected you is figuring out how much stock you would have gotten if they had accepted you.
For example, perhaps the company would have given you $120,000 in restricted stock units that vested over three years. Therefore, if you have the capital and conviction, you may want to buy $40,000 worth of stock in the first year and see how things go.
The potential compensation amount will be highly correlated to your existing compensation and net worth. Therefore, this method of buying the amount of stock you would have been given by year makes sense.
Investing Is A Great Equalizer
The more we put ourselves out there, the more we will get rejected. Don't take things personally. Instead, use rejection as motivation to build greater wealth!
Even if true, once you start constantly thinking you got rejected because of your race, sex, age, weight, etc, you may end up down a deep rabbit hole. Your discontent may start ruining your overall attitude, making getting new opportunities even harder.
The great thing about investing in stocks, just like with real estate, is that it is also a permission-less activity. Therefore, if you feel wronged in any way, just invest in the company's stock when possible.
If the company ends up winning, you do too without having to do any work. Of course if the company ends up crashing and burning, so do you, but not to as great an extent! Dedicating years of your life to a failure is no fun.
Get Rich Through Rejection
Over the years, I've bought stock in Netflix, Google, and Apple because none of them gave me an opportunity to work for them. Now, it really feels like their thousands of employees are working for my family.
Don't let your lack of pedigree, connections, or appearance prevent you from participating in building great wealth yourself. Instead, use rejection as a way to get rich!
When someone tells you, “no,” immediately think, “not yet.” There is always a silver lining or a solution to your problems.
And in the meantime, do your best to also build your passive income streams. This way, you may one day never have to face a gatekeeper ever again.
Rejects of the world, UNITE!
Related posts after getting rejected by a company:
How To Make Six Figures At Almost Any Age
Examples Of Good Resumes That Good Jobs
Who Are The Top 0.1% Income Earners Making $1 Million A Year
Readers, anybody else like to buy stock in companies that reject them? Where is the flaw in this type of thinking and investing? What are examples do you have where you turned a rejection into a benefit?
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25 thoughts on “The Best Money-Making Solution After Being Rejected By A Company”
Investing in companies that you admire but were rejected by makes sense to me! In the book “Everything is Figureoutable,” the author talks about how there is a solution to everything. You might give up after getting turned down for a position but the better mindset to have is to figure out how you can still get the results you want. In this case, applicant couldn’t make income from the company as an employee but can still make money as a shareholder.
It’s generally good advice, Sam. I definitely agree that investing in a company that rejects you can be a good investing strategy but as you’ve mentioned, some are literally impossible because they’re private. There’s one company that I got rejected at that had a $180k compensation package (technically, I guess government) and you have no idea how much I would love to invest in their operations!
Maybe I should have invested in Apple in 2015 when they rejected me in 5 minutes after the interview started.
Personally I’m not a fan of this approach.
It’s investing based on sentiment, and I’d prefer to leave feelings out of the situation since I won’t get any satisfaction over the illusion of influence.
It’s also coming at an opportunity cost of other investments, for those of us who haven’t reached a “fun money” level of wealth/independence.
I don’t get where the sentiment comes from with investing in them. You were about to invest hours/years of your life. So why wouldn’t it be worth the money? I think it’s more sentimental not to invest in them because the rejected you.
Working for a company in return for compensation (salary/bonuses/stock options) is one thing. Investing your own money to buy the company’s stock is a totally different game. The cost of RSU option is $0, so as long as the company’s stock is listed on the stock exchange, you are guaranteed to make money. Buying that stock on the open market carries no such guarantees. There is nothing wrong with investing in the well-run companies, but leave all emotions aside when selecting when and how much to invest.
That’s true, regarding the different in cost. HOWEVER, your RSU compensation is PART of your overall compensation. Therefore, it is NOT free money. It is baked in.
Curious Sam, this isn’t really a question for this post, but what do you mean by retirement in 2022? Aren’t you in your 30 or 40s? Do you not enjoy working? I don’t mean as a 80 hour IBanker but I sure would be bored with no meaningful task to do even having kids. As a college student, although I haven’t truly experienced working in a corporate level for decades, I sure get bored when I have nothing to do for ex this past holiday weekend! That’s what brought me to starting my side hustles and business to keep me happy working and paid. I plan on retiring whenever I need to which most likely will be the median retirement age of 70-80 when I get tired. I think retiring through the FIRE approach under 60 is a little risky but of course it’s your choice so feel free to go for it! It’s not all about the money for me to stop working, purpose is what drives me! Anyway, so by retired you mean no more posting on FS, your main job? Thanks. I hope this didn’t come across as offending or anything! Just curious how you are confident to retire at a young age and motivated without a job!
My best answer to you is to give working a go for a good 10 years, then reassess and let me know how you feel. Even the best jobs get dull after a while.
Please let me know what job you end up getting. Also, you never responded to how you were able to get a condo in Manhattan that is now almost paid off before graduating. That’s a very intriguing story! Thx
I’ll let you know Sam what I end up doing 10 yrs from now, if either of us remember’! But all I can say is that I’ve interned at banks to tech firms since I was in HS early mornings and late nights and have the genes for working a lot! I would say I’m an unusual teen, don’t have social media and wake up at 6am to workout and innovate/create not at noon and the others you could say a typical teen does. Both my parents worked in Fortune 500 firms, including GS their whole lives and still continue to do so as immigrants so they didn’t get any special priveledges. They are older than you and love every day of working. I’m sure that instilled my workaholism and love for it as well. They’ve truthfully never felt burnout, ironically only after a long weekend. We take screen time, weekends and relaxation seriously though to rejuvenate for more fun at work. Obviously when they were younger they worked longer hours-5 to 11pm typically and didn’t get to see me as much as a child but now as they’ve gotten older, adjusted their hours to spend lots of time with me and they still love working at home during COVID and all. We could easily live off our investments and real estate but they always tell me they would get really bored with no purpose in life! sitting on the beach gets boring after a week and I completely agree as well. We talk about your retirement plan at the dinner table often and they said they could never stop that young. Everyone has different tolerance, work ethic, motivation,plans,etc nothing to be ashamed of Sam. Your doing what’s best for you and I respect that. About the studio I lease out, happy to talk about! I think it would be best if I laid it all out in a blog post you can check out on my site so you have all the details and I’ll mention it under the comment on your page once I get to it! I’m not a full time blogger like you so don’t count on it right away but I’ll make a note of it now. I’m busy as a student and just checked a reader asked about it now in the comments. I’ve noticied the replies to my posts go to spam, that’s probably why I don’t see them. And shoutout to Sam for getting me involved with blogging! Now it’s one of my several side hustles! Not sure if I will be blogging for 10 years but I certainly enjoy it so I appreciate the encouragement. But you still didn’t answer my question, what does retirement mean to you? Stop posting or just 1x a week instead of 3x? Thank you.
I think you’re destined for great things! And just be prepared to go with the flow. There are so many variables one cannot account for. But the longer you try, generally the more success will come.
Ngl, I felt like there is quite a bit of mental gymnastics going on here. By this logic should I be donating $$ to schools that rejected me during college admissions because they are so much better than me?
I feel like the better take away is that rejection from a company should not be indicative of your self worth or that you are an abject loser/failure.
Yes! If you can profit from the schools that reject you in some way, then you should invest/donate in them why not. Maybe you’ll give your kids a chance if it is a private school that welcomes donations.
Not sure where you got the idea that getting rejected from a top tier company means you are a loser or abject failure. It just means you got rejected and probably don’t feel as great.
Love this idea. Almost makes me want to come out of early retirement at 60 to get some rejection. I am holding about half of what I would’ve fully vested if I had stayed at the last company I was at. Hedges the leavers/sellers remorse in case it doubles or more. I’ve even added to the position once I left and was outside the restricted buy/sell window. Plenty of the FAANG stocks through index funds, but not quite the same feeling as owning the company.
Nah, stay retired and enjoy retirement! I’ll be joining you by 2022 for sure. Just need to make a couple more bucks.
Love this concept! If you truly believe in the company you are applying/interviewing with, this is a great hedge against not being hired.
Not only that, but if you think about your job applications in terms of if you would invest in the company, that is a great way to choose a winning job as well. I think too many people haphazardly apply for jobs not really thinking through if this is REALLY a company they want to work for.
I have done so many interviews where potential hires couldn’t even tell me anything beyond our About page on our companies website. Pass.
But if you are serious about finding the right fit, this is a good approach from an employee’s POV. Also a good way to make some money :)
I applied for one position shortly before I retired. That was to run a major trade association for a large industry in DC. Would have involved a lot of travel, a lot of Sunday morning news talk show appearances and a lot of testimony before congressional committees. Exactly the kind of thing I enjoyed in my lobbyist days. But I didn’t get it, they really wanted a lawyer instead of an engineer. It’s a nonprofit so I can’t invest in it and frankly, retired life is too much fun. I probably wouldn’t take the job now if they called me. Since my company was on the board of the trade association it also let them know I was a short timer and improved my severance package, although you did much better at that than I did.
“…once you start constantly thinking you got rejected because of your race, sex, age, weight, etc, you may end up down a deep rabbit hole. Your discontent may start ruining your overall attitude, making getting new opportunities even harder. ”
The entire country needs to listen to Sam.
I was nodding my head so many times reading this article. I never would have thought about investing in a company that didn’t hire me. Yet it makes SO much sense. I should have done this years ago. You’re a genius Sam! Great way to turn a negative into a positive!
ABP and AGR! Always Be Positive and Always Get Rich!
Great post Sam!
This is exactly what I do and it has helped me make money and get through the day. You laid out the process and the rationale behind investing in winners rather well.
Love this article because truly shows the power of the mind is greater than the resume, the hiring manager or the HR Dept. Show those folks their rejection letters (if they even bother to send one) are plus 50, 100 or even 400k up in your assets.
Thank you Sam
This is a great article and puts into words stuff that’s been running around in my head for a while. I also like that by investing in more than one company, it’s like placing a bet on several horses, but there can’t be more than one winner!
If you’re REALLY an asset the a company, and the company doesn’t have the good judgement to recognise your promise after an interview, do you really want to be an investor in such a company? Where else could they be exercising poor judgement? Where else could they be settling for someone who’s less than the best? I would rather short the company’s stock…unless I think they were right in declining my application.
Absolutely, because when you’re applying to the best companies that are the most innovative with the greatest products that also pay the best, competition will be fierce. Only the top candidates will be able to land these positions. Therefore, the chances are likely you will not.
Most of us are average, not top tier. It’s just math and reality. That shouldn’t stop of us from TRYING to be the best or apply to the best companies. We most not suffer from Dunning-Kruger if we want to get ahead!
But I get what you’re saying! If you are truly the best, you that motivation to prove them wrong in many ways! My favorite way is to start you own company and compete. Put your money where your mouth is.
I own Amazon. At 71 Amazon wouldn’t hie me. That’s ok. Amazon’s 800,000 employees work to make Amazon profitable. This makes my investment profitable
Microsoft would not hire Gates. Amazon would not hire Bezos. These are brilliant men who started two of the most important companies in the world, but today their lack of relevant education, would keep them from being hired.
Amazingly, their own companies would not hire them. If you look at your rejections in this context, you should not feel too disappointed.
You can tell your friends you weren’t hired and neither was Gates or Bezos.
Nothing written here is a criticism of these two great men.