How to Deal With a Job Rejection
Picture this, the job search is on. You have had a few interviews with companies you quite like, and your experience is a good fit for the role. But then all of a sudden, you are rejected from a role.
Firstly, you’re not on your own in experiencing rejection after an interview. You may or may not have been feeling confident after the interview, but it doesn’t mean that a rejection hurts any less. You may feel as though your confidence has taken a knock, especially if your job search was positive up until this point. All these feelings are perfectly valid and normal.
But we are here to tell you that this rejection is just a stumbling block on your way to landing your dream role, at your dream company. Believe in yourself and your abilities!
It is important to remember that the way you handle rejection is just as important as the skills on your CV when it comes to securing a new role. If you allow rejection to knock your confidence and make you doubt your abilities, it could negatively affect your performance in future interviews.
If you are struggling with a recent job rejection, we have put all our decades of recruitment experience together to offer you advice on how best to deal with the emotions you are feeling right now, and how to springboard off from these emotions into a positive mindset ready to start job searching again.
1. It’s in your human nature to be affected by rejection
Rejection weighs heavily on our minds because our brains are programmed to focus more on negative elements rather than positive ones. This hard-wiring is why a rejection can feel completely disheartening to us. The reality is that you may be exaggerating the reasons behind why you were rejected from a role and this is what is causing you to feel so unmotivated to carry on your job search.
If you were rejected from the role because you are simply not the correct fit for the role, we advise that you take a step back and realise that you may be overgeneralising the situation. Just because you have been told you are not right for one job does not mean you won’t be right for jobs you apply for in the future.
In reality, you are still a strong candidate and you should remember that one rejection doesn’t define you. Take this stage in your job-seeking process as an opportunity for a fresh start to do even better next time.
2. A rejection is all part of the process
It’s a hard fact that facing a rejection is all part of the job application process. You’re not going to get every job that you apply for, no one does! Coming to grips with a rejection is really important in building your emotional resilience.
Plus, a job rejection is a great opportunity to start thinking outside the box. If you move away from the classic structure of job – apply – outcome you will open your mind to a more informal approach to a job hunt, which could open many doors for you as a job seeker. For example, connecting with a company you would like to work with either through an e-mail, a direct message on Linkedin, etc. could open up a conversation with an employer who isn’t actively recruiting at the moment, but may be in the future. And who would be on the top of their recruitment list? YOU!
3. Identify learnings and build a personal development plan
Think about feedback from past rejections, and from appraisals and the like. Are there any recurring themes? What should your development priorities be?
Make a note of any weaknesses or issues that you can do something about, and use them as a focus for the way you approach your preparation next time.
Turn these requirements into a plan. What can you do to fix the gaps in your performance? Depending on the issue, there may be some training or informal coaching you can undertake to help you develop. Or it may simply be a case of working harder on some of your answers, and finding someone to practise them with.
4. Build resilience
In today’s rapidly changing workplace, as technologies accelerate and companies transform themselves with great agility, developing a mindset of grit and resilience is essential for long-term success.
See each setback as a challenge to grow both your self-understanding and your ability to bounce back and deal with disappointment. Overcoming obstacles on your career path will increase your chances of landing the right role. So make a point of staying constructive, and do all you can to learn from the experience to help you get ready for the next opportunity.
After all, getting turned down from a job happens to everyone, the most important thing is what you learn from the experience.
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