Facing Job Rejection and Planning Your Next Steps

Facing Job Rejection and Planning Your Next Steps

With all the effort that goes into securing a new role and the excitement of potentially landing a dream job, facing job rejection can be very hard thing to process, no matter what stage of the search journey you are at.

Your confidence can certainly take a knock and it can be easy to beat your self up but the key to remember is with the right mindset job rejection can be used as a powerful career development tactic. Learning how to deal with rejection is a valuable talent to have and one that, if mastered, can only make you stronger.

We have gathered a few ways to help you prepare or in fact, help you through a current struggle from job rejection plus what next steps to take.

This can be easier said than done for some, however…

Initially it can take a bit of time to accept, during this period only focusing on the negatives of your process, criticizing your self and thinking poorly of your abilities and performance is not going to help nor change the out come, in fact it will just make you feel a lot worse! You can of course do this constructively which we will touch on later in our blog.

Holding frustration or resentment on the situation will only hinder your job search because of course, facing job rejection is not the end of your search.

If you got as far as interview stage, that’s already more than many and you did extremely well. Remain positive and focus on all your amazing skills and qualities to help pick yourself up and confidently walk into your next interview. Now is the time to keep believing in yourself!

It may seem strange we are suggesting that you thank someone following a job rejection. However, in the long term, it can be beneficial to your career. Your thank-you note is an opportunity for you to expand your network, ask for feedback and request consideration for any future opportunities.

As we mentioned a follow up message gives an opportunity to gather feedback. This can sometimes feel slightly daunting but blending it in to a soft follow up email can make it much easier!

It’s never nice hearing negative feedback about ourselves, but first of all it is important to remember that feedback is not always negative. It may perhaps be you are overqualified for a role or perhaps they don’t feel as though they will meet your cultural expectations for example.

Either way, feedback can only have a positive outcome as we learn and move on with a deeper insight and development of ourselves, it is something you can take and use to your advantage in your next interview.

Remember to ask what they thought went well too, this a positive way to end the feedback and help you feel encouraged by other areas of your performance.

Your qualities and abilities are still amazing even if you were denied, so don’t take that as a reflection. When it comes to the hiring process companies weigh up multiple considerations, not to mention they can face hundreds of initial applicants. There can be so many factors out your control as to why you may or may not land the job.

Try to focus on what you can control and let go of what you can’t.

Remember that what one employer may not want, another may love and have the absolute need for – we cant be perfect for everyone, equally as they are not always perfect for us!

Acknowledge that rejection is a necessary part of life we all go through and accept the rejection with acceptance. What is meant for you will be, so however frustrating the situation try to keep that message focal in your mind.

If you accept failure with an open mind, you are opening the door to other new opportunities and taking yourself down a new path that will lead to your success and happiness!

Working on these areas will help you stay positive in your job search which must go on.

So, what next steps should you take?

Once you receive your feedback take some time to process each area, take a look at each part and what the interviewer felt could be improved.

  • What went well, where were mistakes and what could have been improved.
  • Did you do enough research on the company?
  • Did you prepare your answers thoroughly enough?
  • If you had to present, were your presentation skills the best they could be, was your presentation accurate and detailed enough?


Try and understand each area of the interview you gained feedback on and identify what was not right for this company, or what you need to work on going forward.

Use your experience and feedback as personal development for future stages of your job search.

Make note of key areas from your analysis, particularly any weaknesses or issues that going forward,  you can use to fix any potential gaps within your performance and try to avoid in future.

If job rejection is affecting your confidence build your self a ‘bragging list’.

Make a list of all your accomplishments, qualities, skills and any stand out contributions in past roles.

Within your list you could include some key achievements such as obstacles you have faced in your career and what you did to over come them. Questions like this are not only great to showcase, but they can be common in interviews so you will be pre prepared with strong answers.

This straightforward task can instantly transform you from disheartened to totally excited by recognising your talents and capacity to succeed in the face of a difficult situation.

Practice makes perfect, you can never do too much of it!

It’s always great to be prepared and this is particularly important if you think it could be where you fell short. Focus on areas you struggled with and maybe even try practicing with a college or family member for your next interview. Check out our past blog full of lots of interview prep tips to help you build that confidence for the next time one occurs.

One of the most important next steps, Get back out there!

Although going back to square one can feel extremely draining at times, looking for your next role can help keep your mind busy and distract you from the recent rejection. Plus, finding roles which excite you will help to remind there are more great opportunities out there and may help return some of your motivation and joy to the job search!

While dealing with rejection is never easy, it can be a great way to learn more about yourself and improve your job search strategies. Good things are always worth the wait, and with perseverance and a positive mindset, your dream career could be only around the corner.

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