Sooner or later, everyone faces a situation where they don’t get a job they thought was a lock. Maybe they called you in for three interviews, or the hiring manager acted like you already had the job. It’s devastating when the rejection email or phone call comes. It can leave you depressed, angry or sap your will to keep applying. If this is your situation, here are a few things you can do after that rejection.
Don’t Focus on the Feelings of Failure
It’s easy to assume that you failed in some fundamental way; however, it doesn’t mean you did. The other candidate might possess some skill that wasn’t in the job description but the company needed.
Do your best to take the long view. It’s unpleasant right now, but you will land a position. Those feelings of failure and rejection will fade fast once you get a job. Letting a single rejection derail your whole process will only hurt you in the long run.
It’s Not Personal
Every rejection feels personal because, from your point of view, it’s happening to you. The thing you must remember is it’s not personal for the company. The person tasked with filling a position is looking for a set of skills, level of experience, and intangibles like culture fit.
This means they face a complex checklist and the chosen candidate must tick all or most of those boxes. Plus, open positions sometimes get nixed entirely by a company before a hiring manager gets a chance to fill them. Don’t assume the problem is you unless someone specifically tells you it was.
Take a Break and Volunteer
It might seem counterintuitive to take a break from a job search to work for free, but it has benefits. Volunteering gives you a chance to help achieve a goal or complete a project. This can have psychological benefits. It’s also a golden opportunity for you to expand your network. For all you know, the guy standing next to you at the food bank might be a hiring manager
Volunteering gives you a chance to build skills for your resume. You can get management experience by taking on leadership roles with teams or in the organization. You can gain PR or marketing experience by offering to work for the organization’s communication team. Just because it is volunteer work, it doesn’t mean the experience doesn’t matter.
Facing a rejection during a job hunt can leave you feeling awful, but you can’t let it destroy your job hunt. You can get that rejection for a host of reasons that have nothing to do with you. Instead, remember it’s not personal. If you need a boost, do some volunteer work that lets you lock in some easy wins.
Still reeling from rejection? GPS can pair you with employers that are a good match for your skills.