How to cope with rejections while job hunting
- 5 tips to learn and grow-
Are you currently in the application process and struggling to deal with rejections on your applications? Or maybe you’re even one step ahead and just the thought of possible rejections is holding you back from really giving it your all and sending off your applications. One thing is for sure, there are a lot of women who feel the same way at this very moment. In this blog post, I discuss the negative spiral of emotions during the application process, especially when dealing with rejections, and give helpful tips. If you feel the same way, this blog post will surely help you. But I also invite you to go one step further and talk to other women at one of my Global Coffee Dates or talk to me directly.
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Are these thoughts familiar to you?
In my work as a coach, I am working together with women all around the world aiming to re-enter the workforce. Some have moved countries, and others are returning from maternity leave or are switching career paths. No matter the reason, they all articulate similar doubts, fears, and limiting beliefs:
“My age is a barrier”
“My skills are not sharp enough”
“I feel outdated”
“I feel like there are a lot of tech gaps”
“I feel regret for not staying at my last job longer”
“I feel angry for being in this position right now”
“I have done my homework but I still don’t get any calls”
“My self-doubt is creeping in when reading through the job posting. I am far from ticking all the boxes”
“Should I even bother applying when my CV is not that attractive?”
What do you feel when reading through those statements. Do they sound familiar to you? What does it tell you, that you are not alone with these thoughts?
Having these negative thoughts is very common in the long and sometimes lonely process of job hunting.
You feared the moment of feedback and here it is. You dealt with your inner critic and prepped yourself but then reading out loud that the company is not interested in you leaves you behind a bit less motivated and a bit less confident. One rejection notice at a time – in case you even get a notification notice.
How to react to rejections within the job search process?
Ok, you know that you are not alone with this but still, the issue remains on how to deal with these negative feelings coming up. Now it is decision time:
You can choose to learn from this
or you can continue to dwell.
It might be tempting to give in to the inner critic and read rejections as an official letter stating: You are not wanted in this work world. These thoughts are keeping us stuck in the same vicious downward spiral
However, as you know for sure deep down: Negative self-talk is never in your interest. It is crucial to focus on what you can do differently next time. Make yourself aware of what you can control and act on that.
Tip 1: Zoom OUT
Keep in mind that this next role might be the one and that there is a good reason that this was not a good fit. Accept what you can’t change and focus on what you can change. It’s natural to feel disappointed, but don’t lose hope. Zoom out! Focus on the big picture before you hit the panic button. Look at the forest, not just the tree. Acknowledge that you even got to the point of hearing back. You are still making incremental progress. Imagine you are one step closer to your overall goal.
Tip 2: Don't internalize it
Rejection is an energy that can be internalized as a personal flaw. It gets personal and emotional very quickly. So it is really important to know how to nurture yourself!
To counteract this negative energy identify activities that refuel your spirit. These might be
- Daily affirmations
- Read a book
- Build a vision board
- Take some time for yourself
- Spend time with people that make you happy
- Be good to yourself
Tip 3: Identify skill gaps
Especially when you get constructive feedback you can act on it.
Take a constructive assessment of your skills and listen to your inner self: What competencies feel intriguing?
What skills might you think about brushing up on?
What new skills might be beneficial to add to your repertoire? There are tons of free or easy-to-access platforms to work on your competencies. YouTube, LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, Coursera are just a few of them to check out.
Tip 4: Remember your goal
Remind yourself what your strengths are, what your passion is, and your ambition. Keep on track to keep striving toward your goal. We often need these well-timed reminders that we do actually have so much to offer.
Ask yourself: Why am I looking for getting back into the workforce? Why now? Why is this the right time? Much of that has to do with the desire for personal growth, the wish to contribute to the family income, or contributing to a larger team at work. Whatever it is don’t lose sight of that. If you have not done so already, manifest your why. Take a sheet of paper and write down why you are on this journey!
Ask 5: Ask for feedback
If the company you applied for has an open feedback policy, it would be incredibly helpful to close the loop by asking for feedback on your application and your interview.
A step forward: Defining the next top 5
A little exercise to get you started again and widen the room of possibilities a little bit is defining your top 5:
- What are the top 5 companies or industries you would like to work with?
- What are 5 potential job titles you feel are valid options?
- What are 5 things you need to do to get this process started?
I know the job search process can be lonely and frustrating. I invite you to find peace in knowing that it is not personal. In most cases, it is not a personal assessment but a matchmaking scenario. Both parties are looking for the right fit and both parties have a lot to lose when not doing their due diligence in the process.
I hope these 5 tips are helping you to deal with rejections. I am more than happy to support you in your personal journey to get back to the workplace. Partner up with me and let’s do it together! From time to time 1:1 coaching spots are opening, and if you want to take the next open seat send me a message to email@example.com, or let’s hop on a free discovery call. I am looking forward to meeting you and getting you back to work!