Lauren Marinigh

A Guide to Dealing with Rejection

By Lauren | April 18, 2016 | 0 Comment

Life is filled with rejection.

… okay, that’s quite possibly the most depressing line I’ve ever opened a blog post with, but, it’s true.

Rejection is everywhere, from not getting chosen first in gym class as a kid, to not getting a callback for that dream job you were hoping to land, and it can tear you up and knock you down.

I’ve definitely faced all sorts of rejection, but the hardest rejection for me has always been in my career. When you finally land an interview with your dream job, and think you aced it, and know you’d be perfect for the job, only to find out that they weren’t going to continue on with your application. It sucks. It’ll make you wonder what you’re doing with your life, what you did wrong, and run each of your answers in the interview over and over again in your head looking for answers.

So how do you deal with it? How do you pick yourself back up, dust off the blow to your ego, and try again?

Don’t take it personally

Most importantly, don’t take rejection personally. You have no idea what the competition was like, or what exactly they were looking for, so taking it personally will do more harm than good. It’s natural for it to be hard on your ego, but thinking that the rejection meant that you as a person isn’t good enough is just silly. Don’t take it personally, and use the experience to grow.

Ask for feedback

It’s easy to get upset when an employer isn’t interested in pursuing you further for a position, but the best thing you can do is take this opportunity to ask for feedback and input. What was it about you that didn’t fit what they were looking for, or what can you improve on to be considered in the future? This feedback can help give you a better understanding and help you improve. Plus, it shows that you care about the business and the position enough that you want to improve so you can apply next time and be more successful.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

The one thing I’ve learned about job hunting, is that if you put all your eggs in one basket, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Job hunting is tough, and competitive, so if you are serious about it, remember that there could be hundreds of amazing people just like you going after that same job. Have alternatives, have backup plans, and don’t stop looking or applying as you wait to hear from that dream opportunity.

Determine next steps

How do you overcome rejection? How do you pick yourself back up and push forward? Make a game plan! If you haven’t already been applying to other jobs, get applying, if you feel that you may need to improve your resume or interviewing skills, get some friends to look over your resume, and invite professionals for informational interviews. You won’t get better and increase your chances if you just sit there waiting for your next dream job interview to find you.

The most important thing to remind yourself of is that interviews and job hunting can prepare you for the next big thing. Take these opportunities as learning opportunities, and grow from them. As cheesy as it sounds, remember that everything happens for a reason and that things fall apart so better things can fall together. So no matter how tough your job hunt is, no matter how devastated you are that you didn’t land what you thought was your “dream job,” or a job that you knew you were perfect for, there is a reason for it.


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