How to handle a job rejection
Whether you made it to the final interview, didn't even make a phone screening, or were ghosted entirely, facing rejection is not easy. Since I decided to pivot my career to experience design, I have had my fair share of job rejections already.
You experience such a rollercoaster of emotions when you're applying for jobs. The excitement you feel when you find what seems to be the perfect position for you, the possible frustration of constantly updating your resume and cover letter to match that job description, then the anxiety of waiting to hear if you made the next steps.
Then you finally see it - an email from the hiring manager with the title "[Insert Company Name] - Following Up." However, that's all you see, and instead of opening the email up right away, you're playing through every possible scenario that could be in the body of that message.
Excitement, apprehension, anticipation, and every emotion in between hits you up until the moment you read the email. If you're lucky, it's followed with complete joy because you made it to the next steps or landed the gig! If you're like many, it's followed with disappointment and frustration because, alas, it's yet another rejection.
There are a lot of ways you can take rejection, both good and bad. I'm here to share some positive ways you can handle this situation.
1. Ask for feedback and thank them for their time and consideration
As difficult as it can be to hear directly from the person who denied you the job, it's important to understand why you didn't get the position. If the issue was that you didn't use enough technical language when explaining your experience, you now know what to fix before your upcoming interviews. If they say it's because you don't have enough experience, well, we can all argue that that is the whole reason for applying for a job, especially if it's entry-level or an internship. However, use this as motivation to start a new project or learn a new skill that will help you in the long run!
Don't forget to thank them for their time and consideration. You should look at this as another opportunity to network with professionals in the field, so leave them with a positive impression!
2. Learn from the experience
Every interview should be seen as a learning experience, whether you nail it or completely miss the mark. Reflect on how you felt during the interview and on what questions you stumbled on.
3. Use it as motivation
Due to my personality, I tend to get down on myself if I don't land something I was hoping for. To help combat this, I have started using rejections as another motivational push because I want to prove whatever company didn't accept me as a candidate wrong. Make them see what they missed, not the other way around.
4. Congratulate yourself for the work you put into that application
Preparing applications and getting ready for interviews can be mentally exhausting. However, while you were preparing, you were still growing as a professional, so reward yourself however you see fit!
5. Keep on going
I completely understand how disheartening it can feel to keep on applying, especially after experiencing rejection after rejection. This perseverance and persistence will only help you land that dream job. Keep on going! Your future self will thank you.
Facing rejection is never an easy thing to do. It can take a real toll on a persons' mental health, so if you need someone to chat with through this process, hit me up! Happy to be your hype girl. :)