Nine Tips to Deal with Job Search Rejection
By Sampurna Majumder
Dealing with rejection in your job search can be very difficult, especially if rejection is a typical response. Add in that most job hunts involve a long, tiring process, and it's common for fatigue to set in. The key to success is to avoid getting depressed by staying positive.
Consider the candidate who was scheduled for four interviews in single day. He started at 8am that day and ended after 8pm that night, and through the day he was rejected by one employer after the other. As a new college graduate with little practical experience, this became almost his daily routine. For the next four months, he dealt with rejected applications, return calls never made, and promised offer letters never appearing. But he didn't give up. Instead, he made changes to his resume based on feedback he received from interviewers, and he continued to schedule interviews as best he could. He finally landed a job that was well suited for his skills, where he continues to work today.
Whether dating or job searching, most of us have faced some rejection in life at one point or the other. Surprisingly, therapists say that job rejection can lead to as much depression as being jilted by a prospective lover. Fortunately, the big difference is that job rejection can be forgotten much faster than a failed relationship.
Nonetheless, dealing with job rejection can be equally tough, especially if you face a steady stream of rejection over time. So how do you survive and prosper? Here are nine proven ways of dealing with job rejection:
Never take it Personally: Don't use a job interview as a measure of your professional worth. The hiring process at most companies is often difficult to gauge and typically out of your control. So just because you didn't make past the interview round doesn't mean you're not the qualified for the job.
Always leave Room for Plan B: Don't pin your hopes on one specific job in the belief that it's a perfect fit. If you don't get that job, depression will follow. It's also smart to pursue multiple opportunities even when you don't want to.
Avoid getting your Needs Met through Interviews: Never consider an interview the best way to satisfy your professional validations. If you do, you're bound to experience disastrous results, since employers want to know how you can help them, not how they can help you.
Ask for Feedback: While most employers refrain from sharing solid feedback if you don't get the job, there's no harm in asking for a constructive feedback. While you might not like what you hear, at least you will get information that can help your campaign and erase any doubts about why you didn't get an offer.
Accept Reality and Avoid Blaming Others: Life isn't perfect and we'll never get everything we want. If you're rejected for a job, accept it and move on. You probably weren't the best candidate. It's very easy to blame external forces to justify your own failures, but avoid this approach at any cost. By doing so, you'll undermine all of your job-search efforts.
Never Bring Up the Past: Once rejected, we tend to relive the situation and discuss it with others when we shouldn't. Instead of focusing on rejections, try to focus on instances when you've succeeded and when your expectations were met. Remembering those positive outcomes will help you boost your morale and provide the feeling that you're meant for something bigger and better.
Consider Your Strengths: Once rejected, it's very easy to blame yourself and find faults with your resume or even your personality. Don't beat yourself up just because you've been rejected for multiple jobs. Try and focus on your strengths and identify opportunities that you are passionate about, and that passion will show through in interviews.
Understand That You Aren't Alone: Many more people are turned down for jobs than land them - that's a simple fact. Once you accept that, you can focus on the next opportunity.
Keep a Positive Attitude: The best way to deal with rejections is to keep a smile on your face. Turn each rejection into a learning opportunity and stay focused on your ultimate goal. The day will come that you and great job are finally matched.