Job rejections are one of the most challenging aspects of the career process.
Despite having graduated with an MBA on 100% scholarship, foreign working experience, and a 3rd language, I got rejected by over 300 companies. Today, as I expand my career into Web3, I still face rejections.
Receiving a rejection email or zoom call can be a demoralizing experience. But, it’s important to remember that it’s not the end of the world.
In this article, I’ll share some tips and strategies for dealing with job rejection. I’ll draw on close to 10 years of my personal experience in the job market as well as 3 years of practice as a career coach.
Show them how you bounce back
My first career did not turn out well. For 4 years in my banking job, there were no promotions or significant salary increases. Little opportunities for growth.
Meanwhile,my friends began moving upwards in their career paths.
I felt severely behind, so I made a plan to improve my situation in life. Pursuing foreign graduate studies consituted part of that plan. Getting into a new industry helped as well.
Noted below are ways to move forward after rejections:
- Trust the process. The typical job hunter receives 6 to 10 job rejections before landing an offer. In life we face multiple challenges. Whether it’s failed relationships or sudden deaths in the families, it’s part of the circle of life.
- 10,000 hours rule. Malcolm Gladwell in his book, Outliers discusses how world-class talent put in thousands of hours of work before achieving success. The application process requires multiple skills from verbal communication, to email writing, and profile editing. These are impossible to master in 2 to 3 interviews.
Trust The Process: pic.twitter.com/2RM9VFwBah
— Seek Life Mastery (@SeekLifeMastery) March 20, 2023
Keep rolling. Fall down seven times, get up eight.
Don’t take job rejections personally
After all the rejection emails and no replies, I began to doubt the effort I placed in myself. I gained significant working experience abroad and multiple connections. Was this all for nothing?
When we transfer from one job to another, we think that our additional experience in our current organizations give us an advantage. But the reality is harder than what we imagined. Negative thoughts begin to enter our mind.
There could be many reasons why you didn’t get the job, and many of them may have nothing to do with you:
- The employer found a candidate with more experience. There’s always someone better than us. Even Lebron James gets old and will retire. The only constant thing is change.
- The company decided on a different direction. With the rapid pace of business, companies may suddenly have to implement freeze hiring. There could be an opening one day, and next month they have to pull all open positions.
Don’t beat yourself up over something that is out of your control.
One of the best ways to learn from a job rejection is to ask the employer for feedback.
Citibank provided me great feedback during the final round of their Management Trainee application process. I vividly remember how they indicated my 1) lack of clarity in personal goals and 2) how I failed to answer how I would contribute value.
Since then, I have incorporated those two things in my interviews. Interestingly, the majority of my job offers came after that rejection.
Here are other learnings I’ve gained from feedback:
- Provide impact in your resume. Most resumes indicate responsibilities from previous work experience. Hiring managers want to know how you impacted the organization. Revenue, cost savings, headcount hired, and partnerships closed among other things.
- Dress for success. Even with the Work from Home setting, first impressions matter. You may have to turn your camera on. See these tips on the best WFH attires.
Use the job rejection as an opportunity to learn and grow. Evaluate your application and interview performance and identify areas where you could improve your skills and experience for future job applications.
Take a rest from the job rejections
After experiencing multiple failures, I turned emotional and began rage applying to other job openings. While this may seem smart at first, I ended up burning my chances at those opportunities. Neither did I adjust my approach nor integrate feedback.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
– Albert Einstein
When we’re very emotional, our mind becomes clouded and we engage in rash and poor decisions. This could manifest in rage applying, bad mouthing interviewers, posting negatively on social media, or even suicide and depression.
Use these tips to settle down:
- Unplug from electronic devices. Not only do you want to unplug from social media, where it’s easy to compare your friends’ career success against your rejections, but you also want to refrain from constantly checking your email for the hiring manager’s feedback.
- Movement is key. Exercising increases blood flow and leads to a happier lifestyle. Whether it’s hiking in the mountains or simply long walks, these physical activities can clear the mind and prepare you for another day
Once your emotions have cooled down, then you can begin looking at more job applications and going thru the process.
In the end…
Job rejections hurt. But as you progress in your career, those rejections hurt less and turn into opportunities to become even better.
Learn how to increase your chances of getting a Web3 career through here.