How To Process Job Rejection

Getting rejected from a job is never fun. And we’ve all been there (well, if you haven’t, then pat yourself on the back, you are the exception and not the rule!). But the truth is is that rejection is a fact of life. Going through it is always hard, but it is also very character-building. It teaches you to appreciate, to reconsider, to reflect, and to get better—but these things are all easier to do with certain tools and mindsets going in.

With the world’s state adding a new layer of complications and fear of job rejection, it may feel more hurtful. Our contributor, Jenna Wohlwend, is here with some strategies to try so you can move on swiftly to the next great thing waiting for you.

Know That It Wasn’t In Your Best Interest

Life always has a funny way of shaking out. Have you ever looked back and thought, “Oh, thank goodness that happened” or “Oh, thank goodness that didn’t happen”? I sure have on both accounts and sometimes it’s good to just accept that it is for the best. That role, those co-workers—they just weren’t meant to have your friendship and talents. And that’s OK, there’s something great waiting out there specifically for you. 

Don’t Dwell

Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t say “if only.” Just take the feedback that you need to do better next time and move on. Stay present, the past won’t help you too much. 

Don’t Take It Personally

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I’ve been on both ends—plenty of rejection and plenty of rejecting, and I’ve learned on the rejecting side that these things are never personal. I’ve talked to many talented, wonderful candidates who maybe didn’t fit the bill as much due to some nuance that is just individual to our team’s needs or maybe some skill that was prioritized that another candidate just had more experience in. Maybe you were great in everything but the stars just didn’t align. Don’t make it too much about you that you stop believing in all the wonderful things you do have to offer!

Say Thank You

Never burn a bridge. You never know what opportunities can lie ahead and how quickly things can change. Say thank you, ask for what you can do better next time (sometimes it might come straight down to there was just another candidate with more experience). Just don’t get mad. Instead, be grateful for the opportunity and move on.

Keep Moving

Give yourself a day to grieve and then let it go. Hop back on the horse and start again. Perseverance will prevail, just keep moving and doing something each day to push you toward your goals. Practice skills, keep applying to roles, and stay consistent to keep your momentum up.

The right role is out there for you and though it may feel hard and frustrating, your work and positive mindset will pay off. The best part about going through rejection is that you are less inclined to take your next role for granted as you remember how hard and competitive it is out there. Your gratitude will amplify.

Either way, the right job is out there for you. We wish you all the luck on your journey!

Jenna Wohlwend is a content strategist at a tech company in San Francisco and runs her own lifestyle blog, Jenna Rose Colored Glasses. She has her B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and loves karaoke, reading, cooking, and traveling with her husband.

Image by McKenna Bryn — see their office tour.

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