So the job search often goes like this: you write and submit an application, wait for half an eternity for a response and then get a rejection – or worse – no answer at all!
Then, go back, look for another promising opportunity. Rinse. Repeat.
Sound familiar? Whether we like it or not, job rejections are an inevitable and unavoidable part of the application process. But that doesn’t mean we have to like it, does it?
Even for the most resilient, strong-willed job candidates, a few negative job application responses (or non-responses) is bound to lead to major frustration. How do you make sure you stay motivated in your job search, even when it seems like no one is willing to give you a chance?
Well to start, know that you’re not alone. EVERYONE goes through it. And then next, realize that there’s a typical process to this whole job rejection thing. We’ll share with you the four main phases of mourning after a job rejection – because knowing what you’re going through is the first step to getting over it and moving forward with a good attitude!
Phase 1: Denial
The first reaction when faced with bad news: you just do not want to admit it. It can’t be that it has not worked again. The questions from family and friends unfortunately make the situation even more difficult. So you try to avoid these conversations and prefer not to check the inbox so often. It seems easier to pretend that you are waiting for an answer. But no matter how long you try to ignore the rejections in the email inbox, eventually you have to face them.
Phase 2: Anger and sadness
And suddenly, the words “We regret to have to tell you … ” resolve to only one reaction: anger. The emotions boil over and your anger and lack of understanding about the refusal become more and more obvious. Even if you wanted to get the hiring manager’s feedback about WHY (because who knows, he probably hired his nephew instead of you) – do not do it. They probably won’t give you a real answer and it also just makes them feel uncomfortable, which is not an impression you want to give.
The key now is to avoid falling into self-pity and doubts about yourself and your competencies. For neither self-doubt nor wild conspiracy theories mitigate your frustration.
Phase 3: Let go
It is important to keep in mind that everything has an end. Also, this seemingly low point in your job hunt will eventually pass. Meanwhile, you can use the time to find out what’s really important to you in a new job. Did you ever wonder if this position really suited you and what you want out of your career? In many cases you will realize that you focused so much on this one job that you lost sight of the big picture – that there are tons of other opportunities out there waiting for you. Many of which could be way better for your future and lifestyle. So leave the past behind and look into the future with a keen eye.
Phase 4: Acceptance and new beginning
It’s time for a fresh start: so look forward to what awaits you next! You WILL find the job you’ve been looking for, although it may take more time than you thought. It is very unlikely that your search will be fruitless forever. Just don’t forget: you will survive this as we all do.
Until then, enjoy the lessons earned, the job search experiences created, and get started on that next application.