We all have all experienced rejection in some way. The guy or girl you like turning you down or that art project that you worked so hard on gets a bad review or even that time you aced that job interview and were already planning your first day outfit in your head to only get a cruel thanks but no thanks email. Rejection stings and it can tank your confidence.
When you experience multiple rejections, this disappointment can quickly spiral into a full-blown pity party. There have been countless times that I have seen a client get stuck on a “no”, beating themselves up and categorizing themselves as a failure and I must remind them that it’s okay to feel disappointed but not to let a rejection hold you back from any future chance at success. That wasn’t the right thing for you, and something better is waiting!
“A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.”
Dealing with job rejection can be tough, especially when you deal with multiple rejections in a short period of time. So, how can you survive the disappointment and use it to prosper and succeed?
While rejection will never get easier the older you get, here are a few ways to help you deal with rejection a little better.
Don’t take it personally
It’s easy to take a job rejection as a personal attack on you. So often, you get that no thanks rejection and you begin to concoct stories of how the hiring manager was out to get you, that they made a conscious vote against you. The reality is this, hiring is hard. As an employer, you need to make a decision based on who you believe is the best fit for the role, combining skills, experience, and personality. While you might have been loved by the hiring manager, there is a great likelihood that there was simply another candidate that resonated more strongly with the hiring manager.
Don’t put all your eggs (and hopes) in one basket
I see this mistake quite a lot – you found a job that you love, and you are sure that it is yours, so you stop your job hunt. Then… you get the bad news. Your dream job went to someone else. Depression, regret, and stress start to take over. Be smart and avoid this pattern by realizing that there are a million different reasons why you might have not gotten the job so, always, always, always be pursuing multiple opportunities (even if you don’t want to)!
Don’t play the blame game
When the rejection sting sets in, it’s easy to blame everyone else when things don’t work out the way you want. It’s human nature to make ourselves the victims of a situation in which we were hurt. So, we begin to say, ‘it’s their fault they didn’t see my value’ or ‘they didn’t even take the time to get to know me’.
Next time, try to reflect and recognize the role you played in the situation. Ask yourself if you really were as prepared as you should have been? Was this job really the right role for you? Could you have asked better questions? And more. Sometimes there is nothing more you could have done and sometimes you need to accept responsibility for something that might have contributed to your being passed over.
Focus on your strengths and attributes
You are smart, talented, and would be a great asset to any organization, so why are you focusing on the negative that is out of your control? Focus on you! On how many great skills and abilities you possess. Try to do daily affirmations of 5 things that you really love about yourself or develop a list of all of your positive traits. Both of these exercises will help remind you that you are great, and that job simply wasn’t the right one for you.
One of the best ways to deal with rejection is to keep a positive attitude and mindset. Find ways to incorporate rewarding behaviors into your daily life. Practice self-care which can range from meeting with friends, attending exercise classes, getting a massage, or doing something that you love. By incorporating these healthy activities, it will help maintain a positive outlook even when faced with disappointment.
There’s no denying that rejection is painful, but remember that you aren’t alone – the fact is that only one person out of hundreds of applicants will get the job and you are not the only one feeling the sting of rejection. Stay focused, turn it into a learning opportunity, and in time you will find that right position and the right company and be the last person standing!