Job rejection happens to every job seeker. In each application process, not every candidate gains the opportunity to get hired, let alone reach the final round of interviews. Many of us have experienced long and tiring job hunts, and from one application to another, we have dealt with rejection, failed hopes of getting returned calls, or not receiving the final offer.
We have all faced rejection even outside of job hunting. Getting rejected by the boy we really like, a client rejecting our proposal, an audition going bad, or a grant proposal getting denied.
I have personally faced rejection multiple times in my life. I started modeling at the age of 13 and I would attend castings and auditions and hear so many no’s until I finally got booked for a job. I have always been very ambitious, so I would apply for scholarships, I would apply to attend conferences and seminars, and I’ve heard the word NO more times than I can count! I’ve been rejected from job offers and from clients, and I learned very early in my life that rejection is part of the story.
If you’ve never been rejected, you might be living in a bubble or simply not taking enough risks. But from all the rejection that I’ve faced, I have learned some key strategies that have been extremely helpful in getting me up after the rejection hits and helping me move forward to other (and always better) opportunities that were awaiting me.
Let me share with you the Strategies to Overcome Job Rejection, or any rejection for that matter, using the FOUR R’s:
Take a moment to accept and process the rejection, and to deal with your emotions. After every rejection, you need to take some time to internalize and process what has happened. Acknowledge that the rejection occurred before you can move on to the other steps. Take a deep breath and process. Allow yourself to feel sad, angry, and dissapointed, but don’t dwell here. Letting yourself process your emotions ensures you move forward with a clear heart and mind and without bottled up emotions that you have prevented yourself from feeling.
Take every rejection as a learning opportunity. Now is the time to reason and evaluate why you got rejected. Every prospective employer or recruiter has a reason why they reject your application. Some of the reasons could be that you didn’t tailor your resume to this specific job, or that you did not properly prepare for your interview, or maybe your skillsets just weren’t the right fit for this specific position and there were more suitable candidates. Take this opportunity to write down the reasons you got rejected (or obtain feedback from the recruiter) so that you don’t make the same mistakes again. There is a saying that goes,
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.”
Don’t take the same actions in your job search and expect a different result! The key is to learn from the failure before moving forward.
Take a different approach. After determining the reasons why you got rejected, the next thing to do is redirect. You can restrategize your job search and take different approaches like tailoring your resume differently, finding a job or career that is a better fit for your skillset and interests, or by hiring a career coach to help you throughout your job search journey. This is a time for you to pivot, but make sure that when you pivot, you pivot in a direction that will set you up for success.
Onward and upward! Pick yourself up from that rejection. Go for that job, career, and interview confidently, strategically, and relentlessly. The only direction you can go after a fall is UP. You have to stand strong, and go at it again wholeheartedly.
Rejection is not the end, but simply a redirection to bring you to where you are truly meant to be. I hope these tips can help you stay positive and motivated when job rejection hits. Recoup, Reason, Redirect & RISE!