You send your resume and after 3 weeks they still didn’t respond to you?
They never call you for a second interview?
Or you just receive rejection letter for your dream job?
No matter what stage you are at in the job search process, to be deducted from job application is never good. Being turned down for the job you really wanted is never fun, and it sure can tank your confidence.
And when you’re vulnerable, disappointment can quickly influence your mood. I often see clients who are receiving a “NO” from a prospective employer, beating themselves up and categorically slotting themselves as a failure all around. But the truth is, thinking that rejection has ruined you not only feels tragic, it also holds you back from any future chance at success.
A better way to handle rejections? Operating with a resilient mindset. Resiliency involves meeting challenges or failures with a constructive approach and focusing on the opportunities created when things go in wrong direction.
To become resilient, you must accept that success and rejection go hand in hand, and that you simply cannot advance if you always play it safe.
If you’re stuck in a rejection rut, here are four ways to make you feel better:
1. Stop your negative thoughts
Rejection are overestimated because our brains are paying more attention to negative events than positive ones. This “negativity bias” is exactly why when we receive a “NO” we feel so disheartened.
When you receive negative response, think about the other circumstances that could have led to the rejection. For example, while you may think you were turned down because your resume wasn’t quite impressive enough, in reality the company could have made an internal hire.
Even if you know you receive rejections because you weren’t the best fit for the roles, pay attention not to overgeneralize the situations, accusing yourself of being incapable of ever getting a job. Instead, change the rejection story you tell to yourself. Start to see it as a fresh opportunity to do even better next time. Think of it like the New Year, each year we leave behind old regrets and we are trying to improve ourselves for the next year. Same here, resolve to blow your next job interview out of the water.
2. Remember that is just part of the process.
It’s a hard fact that you’re not going to get every job you apply for. In reality, no one does. If you learn to accept the rejection as part of the process, it will help build your mental and emotional armor.
Plus, once you let go of the need for a guaranteed outcome, you open yourself up to a world of other opportunities, other jobs or companies that could be an even better fit. For example, one of my friends recently had interview with her dream employer. The hiring manager for that position explained it wasn’t a good fit. My friend responded to the rejection with resiliency and persistence, continuing to look at the company’s listings weekly. Later on, she found another opening that was a great fit, she was able to use her contacts to secure an interview, and she later received an offer.
3. Quit over-analyzing.
Was my handshake strong enough? What could I have said differently?
You can drive yourself crazy rethinking the scene over and over again in your head, thinking about the reasons you are constantly receiving rejections. But the truth is, thinking about it keep you stuck in the past and makes you useless in the present. Whenever a negative thought pops up, remind yourself that it’s entirely unproductive. On the other hand, taking action is the number one best strategy for leaving rejection behind.
Try this: When you will receive job rejections, e-mail the hiring manager to ask how you can improve for the future. It might feel awkward right now, but sending a simple mail asking how you could improve your interviewing skills or qualifications is actually quite common. And by incorporating this, you’ll be able to continually position yourself as a stronger candidate in the future.
4. Build stronger job esteem.
If you find yourself constantly underestimating your accomplishments and feeling like a failure, create a list of bragging rights. Write on all your accomplishments and contributions, and develop three key stories about times when you overcome an obstacle in the past. You might write about when you stepped up to lead a project, how you landed new business, or even the skills you used to solve a sticky office situation.
By recognizing your strengths, this simple exercise can instantly build stronger job esteem. Bonus: It’s also a great tool that can help you to give better answers at your next interview.
Remember, while a job rejection might seem like the end of the world, it’s really an opportunity to learn more about yourself and the job search process and improve for the future.