“Thank you for applying for the open opportunity,” says the note in your inbox. Your heart starts to flutter, “Is this finally it?” you think to yourself. Then, you see the first word in the next sentence, “Unfortunately…”
All it takes is one word and, suddenly, you’re deflated, defeated.
Welcome to the not-so-wonderful world of job search rejection! If you’ve ever had to spend time looking for a new job, you’re probably no stranger to the word, “no.” Whether it’s not receiving a response from an online application, failing a phone interview or missing the mark in-person, it can be disheartening and, frankly, down right confusing trying to understand what went wrong. In fact, a recent study found that 70 percent of top American companies do not provide rejected job applicants with any sort of feedback.
If you’ve ever been left in the dark by an uninterested employer, you are not alone! Don’t let rejection get the best of you. Consider these tips for staying strong on the way to a new job:
Multiple Eggs, Multiple Baskets
We all have a dream job; that one perfect role at the one perfect company that would make life perfectly perfect. Unfortunately, for most of us, that dream job might not be waiting for us the second we start to search. That’s why it’s important to avoid putting all of your effort into one shiny opportunity. Instead, focus on casting a wide net on your job search, one that includes multiple companies, areas of focus and styles of work. That way, if one employer lets you down, there are more chances for success on the horizon.
Ask (the Hard) Questions
As mentioned, employers aren’t always great at providing feedback to potential candidates who are passed over. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including lack of available time and legal concerns. However, it’s still worthwhile to ask your interviewer the tough questions after a rejection. What, specifically, could I have done better on interview day? What type of training do I need to make me a better fit for a role like this? These are questions job seekers should be asking themselves already, so don’t worry about bringing them to a potential employer; after all, what do you have to lose? Their feedback could be key in building a better application for future opportunities.
Mix It Up!
Insanity is commonly defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Skip the job search crazies and add variety to your career journey! If you’ve been applying via online job boards, consider visiting a company you’re interested in joining in-person; if job interviews make you a nervous wreck, consider trying out a few, low pressure informational interviews. When it doubt, mix it up! The job search is much more than just the repetitive process of applying and waiting for a response. If you feel stuck in a rut, consider shaking up your routine.
Self-Care is Key
The pressure is real when you need to find a job. When your professional growth becomes your main focus, it can be easy to lose sight of the other things that are important in life. If your physical health, relationships or mental well-being has been strained recently, devote some time to really taking care of yourself after a defeat. Reconnect with loved ones, spend a day working out or simply close that laptop and let your mind rest. Self-care is essential on the way to a new opportunity! After all, if you aren’t confident in yourself, how can you expect an employer to be?
When it comes to finding a new job, rejection comes with the territory. Don’t let these let downs get you down! How do you find strength after rejection on the job search? Share your story in the comments below.