How to deal with job rejection

Job rejection is not personal

If you have applied for numerous jobs without success, there is a chance that you might start to lose focus and feel out of control with the situation. The experience can be extremely demoralising and may leave you feeling anxious and defeated. Rejections tend to be taken very personal and can lead to a sense of not being “good enough”.

After working for many years as a university career adviser, I can share this with you: job rejection is not personal. It has nothing to do with you as a person. Do not consider a job rejection a statement about who you are and your capabilities. 

In the fast changing modern day economy employers need to make quick decisions and choose one candidate that they believe is best suited for that particular role. They make a judgment based on the information they have available on your CV or application form. They briefly look at the work experience and skills acquired, they check your CV’s structure, qualification, spelling errors and everything happens within a matter of a few seconds. It is very much a subjective evaluation and has nothing to do with you and your potential. 

Always learn the lesson

That does not mean, however, that the response you get from a job application is not important.

It is essential to reflect on that experience and learn from it. The key here is to reflect on the potential reasons as to why your application was rejected and understand how you can improve. It may be an opportunity to have someone review your CV, to develop new skills or gain additional knowledge about the industry you want to break into.  

When you assess where you are in your career planning and identify your strengths, but also your gaps and weaknesses, you gain a sense of satisfaction and empowerment, and you feel in control, driving your life in the direction of your dreams. 

In order to do this, it is mandatory to let any negativity go away. For this, you will need to shift your thinking from the negatives of the situation (understanding that it is not personal) to the opportunities of growth and development it has presented.  For example, you might fail to get a job, but you will gain some awareness around the interview questions and some insights into what the employers might be looking for in their candidates.   

Whatever the outcome of a job interview, you can use the knowledge and teachings of each application to advance in your career development.  

Photo by Sergey Tinvakov, Unsplash

Winners are people who keep trying

What to do after a job interview rejection?

Set up and follow a plan of action to help you reach your career goal. This reflective exercise will help you feel in charge of your own development and next moves.

When you have clarity around your goals and where you want to be in life you feel excited with the next steps ahead. This is why it is necessary to equip yourself with confidence, focus and ambition and move each day towards your destination.    

Useful tips in job hunting

Here’s some ideas to help you in your job hunt:

  • Remember, there are many candidates for one job and only one person can get it on each occasion. Your time will come when you apply for the right job.
  • Get clear on your goals. Recognise what is important in your career and lifestyle.
  • Establish broad aims and set out mini goals to help you move towards your destination.
  • Identify any personal blocks or life constraints that may be in the way and seek to see how/whether you can overcome them.
  • Surround yourself with positive people and seek support from a mentor or professional to help you along your journey.
  • Review your progress regularly to track your development. Be willing to adapt and reassess where you are. Life is unpredictable and sometimes we are required to take a detour. Nonetheless, do keep your eyes on your final goals and readjust your actions as needed. 
  • Finally, mistakes happen and errors will be made along the journey. Be kind to yourself. Everything happens for a reason and what comes on your path is meant to teach you something. Use the experience to learn, brush yourself off and move forward. 
  • Remember, you have a dream to achieve. Keep your eyes on your destination and when the time comes you will have reached your destination.
Written by – Patricia Nnadi Leveque

Featured photo by – StudioByTheSea, Unsplash


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