The way to handle failure today is critical to future job search success. If you want to achieve, you need to gain confidence and pride—take on challenging goals, develop positive patterns and methods for success.
Handle rejection badly, and you will wind up choosing either extremely easy tasks or unreasonably complicated ones guaranteed to fail. Neither one is good for your job search since one provides little professional challenges, and the other will feed into a false sense of failure.
The first thing is to invest time and effort to make significant accomplishments outside of your job search.
Ten steps to manage rejection in a job search will help put your life, and career, in perspective. Use them and prepare for real success:
1. Don’t take it personally.
If one interview in your job search is the measure of your professional value, you are only holding yourself back from your true value. A decision not to hire you is usually based on specific criteria and present business needs. It might not have anything to do with you individually, or the way you interviewed.
You may not be the perfect match, but it isn’t that you are not a fantastic professional with exceptional attributes and talents.
2. Don’t use the job search to assess your worth.
If you’re using your job search only for professional validation, chances are higher that you will be devastated by rejection. Meet your needs elsewhere, for genuine confidence and accomplishment.
3. Don’t dredge up the past.
Failure has a way of turning a job search into a pity party; dredging up past failures and all the negative feelings associated with the other failures you have suffered. Minds go into overdrive reflecting the failures of our past. Stay in the moment; don’t let your past cast a shadow on the future.
4. Focus on your strong points.
It’s easy to blame yourself, focus on imperfections, or lessen your opinion of yourself when faced with rejection during your job search. Focus on the things you’re genuinely good at and your passions. Don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect.
5. Learn from the event by asking questions.
Ask questions to learn from your experience. Use it as a “teachable moment.” What could you have done differently? Take the opportunity to learn from the interviewing process. There must be some way you could have handled yourself differently. By asking, you focus the job search on learning, growing and moving forward.
6. Be realistic.
Accept rejection as a part of the job search. Support yourself emotionally, so you can handle the sadness that comes with rejection. These things will happen and occur often in a professional career! It’s part of life.
7. Stay grounded.
Rejection doesn’t mean that your qualifications and personal attributes are less than spectacular. Human resources, recruiters and hiring managers use different considerations when hiring. A number of them are simply beyond your control. Keep your perspective; a decision not to hire doesn’t automatically reflect poorly on you.
8. Don’t blame others.
Resist the desire to beat yourself up or blame others. Accept responsibility for your role in the rejection. Take responsibility for the part you played.
9. You are not the only one.
Every day, thousands of others experience job search rejection. In these times, mutual support, shared knowledge and camaraderie are extremely helpful. Go back to your contacts, job leads, friendships and those with shared technical expertise. Reach out to others who are on a similar job search.
10. Expand your limits outside of the job search!
Find somewhere in your life that you can push your limitations. Don’t take life seriously. Try something new, as a way to rejuvenate. Go out of your comfort zone to get inspiration—the initiative we experience when we go outside of ourselves and outside of our normal routine.