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Handling Job Rejection

By Sarah Jacob Subscribe to RSS | August 9th 2012 | Views:

Rejection is never pleasant, but when it’s a job it can be even harder because you may worry about your financial situation or your future. This is especially true if it’s your dream job, as you may be concerned that you will never achieve it, but it can be equally worrying if you are rejected for something like customer service.

There are a number of things to remember to help deal with job rejection, the main one being to not take it personally. The rejection is not a measure of your professional worth. Employers are inundated with applicants for any given job, even the specialised ones like a software architect, and the odds are that someone will be more suited than you, either through experience, qualifications or their personality matching the job better. What this also means is that you will be better than everyone else in a different working environment. Remember that you can be an outstanding professional who just wasn’t the perfect match for that particular role.

With this in mind, it’s important to keep it all in perspective. Employers consider many factors when deciding whom to employ, many of which are out of your control. It isn’t all down to your CV and wearing a nice suit on the day. Knowing this should help make it easier to handle the rejection.

Something else to remember is not to bring up the past. It’s easier said that done, as people tend to have a habit of remembering past rejections and failures when a new one occurs. It’s important not to do this though because it will only make you feel worse. Instead, focus on all your achievements and the positive things in your life. This will help increase your confidence to try for another job.

It’s also a good idea to ask yourself questions. This doesn’t mean interview yourself in preparation for an interview (although it is a good idea to ask friends or family to do this), but rather recollect the interview in your mind and ask yourself what you would have done differently, what you learnt from the process so you are better prepared next time, how you would have presented or handled yourself differently and so on. These questions will make you an even stronger candidate in the subsequent interview.

You may also want to consider asking for feedback from the employer. This is the same principal as asking yourself questions, but by getting specific feedback from the employer you will be able to address key areas that an employer is looking for, some of which may not have occurred to you. This will not be so useful if you were rejected solely because someone else was a better fit than you, but if it’s because of something you did (or didn’t) do within the interview, or a customer service related issue, then you can address it for your next time.

One option that some may consider worthwhile is hiring a careers coach. This is not for deciding what your best job would be, but is to increase your confidence in a supportive environment. A coach will also advise you on an action plan of achieving your goals and give you excellent pointers on how to improve your chances of success when in an interview.

Ultimately, it’s important to bear in mind that rejection is a natural part of the job search. It’s extremely rare to get offered the first job you apply for, so don’t let it affect you too much. The main lesson is to acknowledge that rejection is normal, work out how to improve your CV and interviewing technique, and keep applying.

Sarah Jacob - About Author:
Sarah Jacob is editor in chief at EmptyLemon, one of the UK's leading IT jobs boards.

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