Face it: No matter how qualified and skilled you are or how well you present yourself at a job interview, you’re not going to get every job you apply for. Sometimes the listing was a mere technicality and the company already knew who it was going to hire long before they held interviews and sometimes someone just as qualified as you will apply for a position and ask for half of the salary you demand. No matter how good you are, you will be rejected at some point in your job search.
When a rejection email pings into your inbox, here a few things to remember to help you remain positive, optimistic and motivated.
It’s not all about you. Don’t use a job interview to measure your professional worth. The decision to not hire you was based on the company’s specific criteria and needs which may or may not have anything to do with how you showed up at the interview. Just because you weren’t the “perfect match” doesn’t mean that you’re not an outstanding professional with excellent attributes and talents.
Don’t bring up the past. It’s funny how failures have a way of digging up all our past failures, as well as all the negative feelings associated with the failures. Stay present; don’t let the past take over. And remember, your recent rejection may be a gift from the universe. That particular company may have been a terrible fit and it’s just as well that you move on to your next great opportunity.
Focus on your strengths. It’s easy to blame yourself and focus on your imperfections when faced with a job rejection. Focus on what you’re really good at, and what you’re passionate about. Don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect.
Accept reality. Accept that rejection is a part of the job search. Prepare yourself emotionally to handle the sadness that comes with rejection. Give yourself a set amount of time to wallow. Know that rejection is going to happen once in awhile throughout our lifetimes. Know that rejection is evidence that you took a risk, not evidence of your failure as a job candidate.
You’re not alone. Know that every day, countless others are sharing your experience. Seek out others — the mutual support and shared knowledge will be enormously helpful. Contacts and job leads, as well as friendships and offers to share technical expertise with people who are on a similar job search journey.
Stretch yourself! Find a place in your life that you can “go to the edge” and be extreme. Don’t take life so seriously. Do an activity you’ve never done before and rejuvenate yourself. This is where inspiration emerges from – the creative places we go to get outside of ourselves and outside of our ruts.
We’ve all been there and it’s never a pleasant experience. Depending on how long you’ve been searching, it can be easy to feel dejected and disheartened. No matter how many “thanks but no thanks” emails you receive, approach each new opportunity with a fresh perspective. Tailor your CV to best match each position, and fully research and prepare for a new interview. If you made mistakes or felt unprepared in your last interview, learn from the experience but don’t keep it at the forefront of your mind allowing it to impact your self-esteem.
Starting from scratch with each opportunity allows you to maintain a positive perspective and focus on the unique things that your personality and experience bring to the table. So pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.