Job Rejection and Reflection.
Today, I would like to focus on how to overcome rejection when you apply for a job and either you don’t hear back or you get an interview and are unsuccessful. When applying for work it is beneficial to have an idea of what sort of work you would like and what sort of company you would like to work for, but then be flexible enough in your search so that if something comes up that you hadn’t thought of you can match it against those criteria and decide if you will apply. Its not a good idea to focus on particular job titles as these can be misleading and may not be what you are expecting. Its good to try not to get too focussed on one particular job that is advertised (sometimes easier said than done) and its not a good idea to be too narrow in your search, or too broad.
Once you have applied for some jobs it is sensible to keep on searching and applying for jobs that interest you. I have worked with clients who have applied for one or two jobs, and then they sit back and watch the phone or letter box on and just after the closing date, becoming more and more depressed if they don’t hear back and sometimes very angry that the employer hasn’t even responded to them. Unfortunately this approach is not only demoralising and demotivating – it is counter productive and you are much more likely to succeed in your job search if you carry on searching and applying, keeping good records of those you have applied for and moving on to the next application form or CV adaptation.
If you have an interview and are told you were unsuccessful, it is good practice and often advice to ask for feedback. This can help you in the future if you are given constructive reasons why you were not chosen for the job. However, I would advise that it is good to think about the reasons given and if they are constructive, accurate and based in fact. I have had an experience where I was told I missed something out of a presentation but no examples were given of what I had missed so was left without anything solid to build any improvements on. Of course this may not be the real reason for rejection. It could be something else that they would rather not tell you about for whatever reason that might be, it might be that they had someone in mind for the role already or that there was nothing you could improve on but they had to make a decision and this time it wasn’t you.
It is good to reflect on the interview and if you can constructively criticise it yourself. Often we can tell when we could have answered a question more thoroughly or thought of a better scenario of where we have demonstrated a skill or quality. Think of these examples and write them down as they might come up again in another interview. Don’t beat yourself up though – in the moment when we are being interviewed we are often nervous and don’t always perform at our best. Each interview we encounter is good practice for the next time we need to go through this and hopefully each time we can improve on the last one. The more interviews experienced, the less nervous you will feel (and if this is not the case then I recommend that you access some support around this.)
Eventually, if you have your technique well honed and you have the skills needed you will be successful in changing your job. It is a matter of time, and a numbers game. The more applications you make the more chance you have of securing that role. If you take the rejection personally and give up, this is obviously not going to help you get a new job. It will of course take patience and resilience to achieve this goal, but keep going! Remember there are many people who apply for a job usually, with only one vacancy available. If you are getting interviews you are doing well and will be successful . If not you need to look at why you aren’t – do you need more training? Experience? Do you need to look at the information you are putting into the application forms?
There is help available for each stage of this process, so make sure you get it. If you need help to stay on track ask someone you know to hold you to account for the number of jobs you apply for etc. There is no need to do this alone – it is a difficult and time consuming time, so don’t give yourself a hard time if you don’t succeed – remember each application you fill in is taking you a step closer to your goal!