Let's face it, (job search) rejection hurts. And sure, some may soften the blow with a kind promise of keeping you in mind or a swift email of encouragement and good luck -- but still, when you really thought you had a chance, it's enough to almost take the wind out of your sails.
Because you totally killed that interview. And the one before that. And that other one too, and you just can’t figure out why you’re not fitting in anywhere.
But, wait! Instead of getting down, think of the denials as career recon. And these are the things that you've learned:
You may not be able to abra cadabra yourself into a fly on the hiring manager’s wall, but if you’re working with a recruiter, you basically have a microphone taped under the desk. A hiring manager won’t tell you why you weren’t chosen, but they will tell your recruiter. And this is the gold found within the silver lining. Turn these insights into action and use the interviewing experience to your advantage. Did the hiring manager relay that you seemed disengaged, weren’t dressed the part or seemed to lack the experience? Cool. You know what to work on going into the next interview.
- Figuring out what you actually want
Be honest with yourself. Did you really picture working at that company? Look past the employment part itself and think about the actual work. You may answer YES! I REALLY WANTED THAT JOB! Or… if you’re pushed a bit to reflect, maybe it really just appealed to you because you have the skill set and don’t have a job. Did the company share your values? Could you see yourself thriving in their corporate culture? Would you enjoy working with the types of employees that work there? Sometimes, we concentrate too hard on the rejection part that we forget that we have to accept the position also. Often when you realize what you don’t want, it makes it easier to work towards what you do. The rejection could really be an affirmation that you need to follow your gut, so you aren't wasting your time or theirs.
- Capitalizing on extra time
It may seem like you have a lot of extra time on your hands these days. But instead of feeling down or unproductive, take advantage of the freedom. Set a job search schedule where you prioritize your resume, follow ups and interviews on a daily basis, and then pencil in time for yourself. It’s easy to fall into the thought that If you aren’t attached to job boards and your email that you aren’t being productive in your search. But when you do land your dream role, chances are you’ll be quite busy. So volunteer at that place you’ve always wanted to. Visit friends or family that you haven’t seen in a while. Or go see that movie you’ve been dying to watch. When you’re happy in your personal life, you’re way more motivated to excel in your professional one.
And remmeber, just becuase those previous experiences didnt work out, it doesn't mean that the right opportunity isn't out there somewhere.