As you navigate through your job search, there’s one thing you will unfortunately see time and time again: rejection. While rejection is something you cannot avoid, it’s difficult to not fall into feelings of disappointment and dejection when it happens.
While it’s normal to feel upset as you watch a prospective job opportunity dissolve before your eyes, it’s important that you eventually get back on track and continue to pursue new opportunities. Job rejection is a universal experience among professionals and it’s a hurdle we all have to, and have the ability to, jump over once we settle back into the application process.
Recently suffer a set-back in your job search? Here’s how to bounce back:
Give yourself an honest, but kind, evaluation of your performance
Whether you got rejected from your dream job or an opportunity you weren’t totally committed to, you’ll probably still feel upset, or worse, blame yourself. It’s normal to feel this way about rejection, but you don’t want to let this negativity consume you to the point where you feel unmotivated to get back up.
After you find out you didn’t get the job, reflect on the application and interview process. Were there details in the original job posting that made you question whether or not you were the right fit? Did it seem like the hiring manager was looking for a more experienced candidate? As you evaluate your performance during the process, remember that there are just some things that are out of your control, and that those variables aren’t indications of failure. If you do feel like you said or did something that may have hurt your chances to landing the job, try to identify and pinpoint areas for improvement in the future.
Reach out to the hiring manager
Once you’ve cooled down and processed the rejection, send an email to everyone involved in the interview process and thank them for the opportunity. Even though you may not be in the most thankful of moods, you still want to show them your gratitude for taking the time out of their schedules to meet with you. Although this wasn’t the right opportunity for you, that doesn’t mean the company won’t keep you in mind for other positions that may come up in the future.
Take a break
Sometimes, a tough job rejection can put you in a bad spot emotionally and mentally. Should this be the state you find yourself in, don’t be hesitant to give yourself a day or two to collect yourself before starting your search again. It’s understandable that you may feel tempted to keep going, but sometimes it’s best to give yourself a breather before you dive back into the job boards. And who knows? Maybe the break will leave you feeling more motivated than you would have been if you hadn’t given yourself the time to re-focus.
Don’t give up!
While it is important to give yourself a break when you need to take one, it’s just as important to keep searching. Regardless of whether or not this is your first or tenth rejection, you should still tell yourself that there are plenty of jobs out there that you may be the perfect match for. Remind yourself that rejection and failure aren’t the same thing, and that you are capable of finding a new job opportunity.