Rejection: I’m Possible

Without a doubt the most difficult part of the job search process for mostly everyone is the rejection — whether it comes through a phone call as it did for me, when I called to follow-up on a job I had applied to, and I was told, “I’m sorry. We went with a more qualified candidate” or whether it is done impersonally through an email, or even more coldly through no response at all, rejection for a job can pinch, poke, prod, or even turn you purple in pain. 

Truth is in our “regular lives” most of us are not very used to being rejected. It’s one of those things most of us avoid. And even clients, like account executives or sales reps, who are in jobs where rejection is part of their job, struggle with rejections for positions. It just feels differently somehow, they say, for a client to reject buying your product or service than it does for an employer to reject you for a job you really want. 

Intellectually we all get that it was possible that we just weren’t the right candidate for this particular role. We understand (intellectually) that there are millions of jobs out there and the right one is for certain out there for us. We know (intellectually) it doesn’t mean that we aren’t terrific if not extraordinary in many ways. 

But in the moment that’s not how it feels. 

Rejection feels awful. 

And look, it’s really okay to feel badly. Really badly even. 

Nothing wrong with feeling the feelings of being bummed out, discouraged, frustrated, or even angry, but when we are now turning that all inward on ourselves, well, that’s a big, big, big problem in this process. 

And this is what often happens with job seekers. They turn it inward. And I have to tell you that the nation of career coaches is not helping because they are, unintentionally, encouraging this self-mutilation of the job seeker. “You got rejected? It’s got to be because your resume wasn’t ATS friendly enough. Or BOT beating enough. Or because you didn’t use my 12 tips for answering “Tell Me About Yourself” or my “template for a thank you letter.” Had you done that, this awful result of rejection would not have happened. Guaranteed. Promised. Here’s 2000k reviews that say exactly that.” 

Of course this can send a message to the job seeker that you did something terribly wrong and this rejection is completely and totally your fault. And for some, this creates an endless cycle of rejection, self-doubt, loss of confidence, and even can result in a complete meltdown. 

Here’s what I want you think about every time you get rejected for a job. 

  1. You are doing your job as a job seeker.  If you are not getting rejected, you are not applying enough. 
  2. Mourn, get angry, feel what you feel. But limit that to 2 hours. And do not blame yourself.And if someone tries to blame you, turn away. 
  3. Apply for more jobs when the 2 hours are up. 
  4. Keep working to improve your actual interviewing skills and your application materials. It’s difficult for most of us to perform well in those areas. And we can get better with feedback from a professional, practice, more feedback from a professional, and more practice. So get help to get better. I think that’s what our JobMorph clients value the most is getting clear direction on how to improve their application materials, how to follow up with jobs, and how to network. And seeing their skills in these areas improve and with that seeing improvements in their results. 

And remember this: “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” – Audrey Hepburn

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