Breaking into the career market was a struggle for me in my earlier days of searching for a job. I had just completed my Project Management certification and had minimum experience in this field. Moreover, the career market was saturated with equally qualified experts who had more experience and better looking CV than I had.
Rejection from interviews was the order of my day. I either got rejected by not getting my CV noticed or got rejected after I attended an interview and that call or email says ‘I am sorry…BUT”.
The reality is that, rejection hurts. Any form of it can be a huge dent to your self esteem, confidence and motivation. When you have worked really hard to get an interview and you get a NO? That feels like getting your heart ripped out of your chest.
I have been there, so many times, and I will like to share 5 ways I handle job rejections.
Talk about it– Find a trusted friend or partner and express your emotions. I find that talking to someone who knows you and believes in you always helps diffuse those negative emotions. Share how the rejection made you feel and I bet your trusted friend will help elevate the anger you may have been experiencing.
Self Evaluation- Be honest about the interview process by evaluating how you think it went versus how the outcome was. Most times, I know when I allow nervousness get the better of me and when I did a great job at showcasing my skills. Evaluating your interview process will help you get over the frustration of rejection and key into what worked and what didn’t work.
Try getting some constructive criticism (also known as feedback)- This can be very tricky. Depending on the method you got the interview – either through an agent or through the company recruitment department- feedback is good if it is given. So, ask for it either way. Pick out what you know is missing or was considered a gap and do your best to work on it. “The greatest room in the whole world is the room for improvement” is always my watch word. So, use the feedback to grow.
Develop more at each rejection phase – I do my best to ensure that I am a learning or knowledge or fact better than my last or previous interview rejection. Try to ensure that you do not remain at the same level between your last rejection and your next interview.
Role play with an expert- I was lucky to have friends who were willing to share their knowledge and help me develop more in my chosen career. They also support my pre-interview process by role-playing questions they have been asked at various points. The goal is to also help you check back with them to certify if the rejection was due to some gaps caused by you or gaps caused by the recruiter.
Please note that interviews are a check to see if you are a right fit for the role and the organisation. Do not take it as a personal blow but as a professional review of your position at that particular point in time.
Jack Ma has gotten so many rejections and he lives to joke about them.
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