We’ve all been there. You’ve written a great CV, crafted the perfect cover letter, aced the interview, waited for the phone call or email with bated breath and… received the “thanks, but no thanks”. If you’re lucky enough to receive a response at all.
Rejection, in any form, is difficult to take. Even if you’re the most confident person in the world, rejection can make you start to doubt yourself. And when it comes to job-related opportunities, the sheer level of competition on the modern job market means you’ll probably face this over and over again.
So how can you cope with rejection and, even better, turn it to your advantage? After careful consideration, we’ve come up with four essential points to keep in mind:
Rejection… isn’t always about you
One of the main things you can’t control within the job hunting process is who else might be job hunting alongside you. No matter how well you meet the job description and how perfect you know you are for the role, there’s always the chance that someone out there has just a little bit more experience. Those extra few skills. That additional qualification. Small differences certainly, but when 100 people have applied for the same job it’s often enough to propel that person to the top of the pile.
Recognising this will help you to understand that rejection doesn’t mean you’re bad. It can simply mean that someone a little more qualified came along. Hang in there and next time, that someone might just be you!
Rejection… can be a good learning experience
The more jobs you apply for, the better you’ll become at it. Equally, the more interviews you take part in, the more you’ll know what to expect and how to prepare. Ask for feedback whenever you get the chance and make sure you take it on board. In this way, rejection can actually help you to refine your approach to job hunting and improve your chances of landing that job further down the line.
Rejection… can mean something better is waiting for you
You never know what’s going to happen in the next minute, in the next hour, in the next day. Rather than seeing rejection as a failure, why not look at it as an opportunity? Whatever the job you missed out on was, you’ve been freed up to take advantage of the next one that comes along and who knows? It could turn out to be so much better.
Rejection… can boost your self-confidence
It sounds counterintuitive, but experiencing rejection can actually be positive. Rejection helps you to recognise things about yourself you might not have noticed before and also to identify the real reasons for your negative feelings. If you’re upset about not getting that job, is it because you really wanted it? Or could it be because you’re just tired of rejection? Asking yourself these types of questions can be the key to adjusting your job search strategy and finding success.
This increased self-awareness will also help you to not just acknowledge that it wasn’t about you, that it can be a good learning experience, that something better is waiting – but to really believe it. You’ll start to see that while rejection is always going to sting, it’s not the end of the world. It’s just a regular part of life and something you can use to grow stronger.