Bouncing Back From Job Rejection

Rejection recovery_nov2011_webJob searching for an extended period of time can put a strain on your positivity and well-being. As the months drag on, you can sometimes feel like your emails and résumés are being sent to this mystical void where no one sees them. The few employers who respond to your résumé send you the typical rejection letter.

With a sluggish economy, more and more people are facing this type of rejection. It can be discouraging to receive rejection letter after rejection letter or even no response at all, but there are ways to turn that negativity around. If you remember these simple steps, you can bounce back from being rejected during your job search.

It’s Not You, It’s me
Sometimes, there isn’t a particular reason you weren’t chosen for an interview or offered a position. You could have marketed yourself as a competent, capable candidate, but reasons outside of your control could have been the deciding factor. To employers, it’s about making a good match. Hiring managers could have had a better connection with another candidate during an interview, you might not have been a good fit for the company culture, or you were too strong a candidate and maybe they felt you were overqualified and would leave at the first opportunity.

During my job search, I was asked to interview with a paper supply company for a project manager position and was given a vague job description. I got the hiring manager’s attention because of my publishing background. After 10 minutes into the interview, I learned the position managed pre-published projects and made sure the process of packaging and shipping went smoothly. I was expecting to write and create content for these projects. So, sometimes the jobs and your skills and expectations don’t mix, and it’s no fault of your own.

A Learning Opportunity
Feedback is necessary for development. If you weren’t offered the job, consider asking your interviewer what you can do to improve in the future. Be respectful and clear that you are seeking feedback for improvement purposes only. You might disagree with some of the feedback, but do not get aggressive or defensive. Thank the interviewer for their time, make note of their comments, and discuss them with a family member or trusted colleague after to find what you can change.

Be prepared to put a plan in place to make changes if possible when you receive your constructive criticism. Take the time to clean up or focus your portfolio, learn some of the latest trends in your field, or take some courses on the latest software being used by your professional peers. Discuss with friends and family what you can do to strengthen yourself professionally and keep them in the loop with your job hunting endeavors. Having a support team can help keep you positive.

Remember What You’ve Learned
A lost opportunity is your chance to consider other positions. Take what you have learned from the experience and use it to prepare for the next opportunity. Each new job posting or interview is a new chance. Don’t be held back by negativity you kept from previously rejected applications. You took what you learned and are a better candidate for it. 

You may have been passed on by one organization, but if you’ve been effectively job seeking, you’ll have multiple opportunities to work towards and your previous rejection won’t be your only hope. You may have that one job or employer that would be ideal, but never lose sight of the job that will be right for you or help you become better at your line of work.

What are some ideas that could help you stay positive through a wearisome job search?

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