Una's Blog


8 How do you deal with rejection when job hunting?

graphic-4by Una Hearne.

You send out CVs, you apply for jobs, you do interviews and… months later, still nothing. What happens? You feel rejected and lose confidence. This lowers the quality and impact of your applications and interviews, which means you have less chance of getting a job and so it spirals on.

The key thing in a job hunt is to maintain your confidence so you consistently perform at your best. Easy to say I know. It means not allowing the process of job hunting to get you down or let negative thinking take over.

For example – all the experts agree it is a good idea to ‘review what you are doing and see where you can improve’.Good advice.

What I’ve noticed is how many people hear this as ‘I didn’t get the job, what did I do wrong?’

These sentences do not mean the same thing. The second is destructive, it assumes you did something wrong. It shows an unconscious choice you made to interpret an event negatively. Assuming you did something wrong and beating yourself up for it – no matter what the actual reality – causes a downward spiral of confidence and resilience. Becoming conscious of your thinking gives you the opportunity to choose to interpret events positively. Not fancifully or delusionally, but positively.

It is easy to take it personally when you don’t get a job, easy to feel you are not good enough, easy to decide you are never going to get a job, are bad at interviews and all the rest. But if you think about it for a minute there could be any number of reasons which have nothing to do with you, for example:

  • It’s not the right job for you, not a good fit
  • There was simple too many applicants and you were screened out for no good reason
  • There wasn’t really a job, they just wanted to see what talent is out there
  • The interviewer had a bad day
  • You wore a colour the interviewer hates
  • They had already selected someone for the job and interviewed others to appear to be fair
  • They are prejudiced against men/women, older/younger people, your ethnicity or any other prejudice you have zero control over
  • They just didn’t relate to you and liked someone else better

Adopting a more positive attitude is not about pretending to be positive or actually being delusional. It is not about making excuses. It is not about ignoring the basics like working on your CV, your interview skills, getting feedback, reviewing and networking. It is about ensuring you don’t damage your own confidence by interpreting things negatively. It is about allowing positive thoughts their rightful place in your mind.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.