This is it—the job you’ve been waiting for. You nailed the interview. You’ve got your hopes up—and then, bam—you’re rejected. You read the email and see the dreaded, “We’ve decided to go in a different direction” dance. We’ve all been there. Rejection hurts, and sometimes it hurts more than we expect it to. The right position is out there, and you will find it. Keeping a positive attitude will bring you closer to landing the perfect job for you. In the meanwhile, here are six tips for helping to deal with a job rejection:
Don’t take it personally. Give yourself a day or two to process your feelings. You may be feeling angry, let down, or defeated, but don’t beat yourself up. According to psychologist Guy Winch, “The greatest damage rejection causes is self-inflicted. Just when our self-esteem is hurting most, we go and damage it even further. Our natural response is to become intensely self-critical.” Being too critical of yourself will just make you another obstacle to overcome, which will slow down your job search and keep you from landing a job.
Objectively evaluate your interview.
However, if you know you made some mistakes, figure out what you could do better next time. This is a learning opportunity so that you don’t make the same mistakes twice.
Ask for feedback. You may not always get solid feedback, but it can only help to ask. Constructive feedback will help you in your next interview. Asking for feedback shows that you are motivated to seek self-improvement.
If you’re working with a creative staffing agency or headhunter, you may receive the company’s feedback from your recruiter, and he or she will use this feedback to help you ace your next interview. Let your recruiter know that you’re open to receiving this feedback.
Stay connected. While you may be tempted to disconnect yourself from the company and anyone you interviewed with after being rejected, don’t burn any bridges. You never know how your connection may benefit your job search.
When you receive the dreaded rejection letter or phone call, reply with a ‘thank you’; something along the lines of “Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you and to learn more about the company. I’d like to stay in touch.” Our world is small, and chances are you’ll cross paths with this company or hiring individual again. Continue to focus on making a strong positive impression.
Connecting on LinkedIn is a great way to keep in touch. Should another position come up at the company that you’re interested in, you can reach out to your contacts to help you get an interview. Staying connected via LinkedIn also helps you stay top-of-mind for future opportunities.
Boost your confidence. Make a list of your top professional qualities and jot down times when you overcame a challenge. Recalling a time when you took the lead in a challenging office or client situation or used your unique skills to bring a fresh perspective to a project will help you realize your accomplishments and reinforce the fact that you can indeed overcome a challenge. Psychologist Guy Winch says that “applying emotional first aid in this way will boost your self-esteem, reduce your emotional pain and build your confidence going forward.” Bonus: you can use these anecdotes about yourself to enhance your resume and answer tough interview questions.
Keep your head in the game. It’s important to keep going strong in your job search. You never know what opportunities your next job application, interview, or new professional connection will bring you!
Yes, rejection can be tough to face, but you’ll get through it! As the saying goes, “Everything happens for a reason.” If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be, right? Keeping a positive attitude and being resilient will help you on your way to getting the job that’s right for you.
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