When applying to your dream job, it is not uncommon to be rejected or even ghosted by recruiters and hiring managers. The problem with rejection is that it becomes demotivating at a certain point. People begin questioning themselves, their skill set or if they have become outdated in the industry. This lack of confidence will ultimately destroy your motivation and drive, potentially causing you to fail interviews or outright quit. This article aims to help you understand how to deal with rejection.
First, you must accept that rejection comes with the process. It is rare for someone to avoid rejection when applying to jobs. Once you have accepted that you will be rejected, you can avoid the demotivation that comes with it. Just like playing basketball, you shoot 100 free throws, but only 60 will land. So understand that rejection and ghosting are a part of the game. I talk to hundreds of job seekers every year; every single one of them goes through rejection, so remember that you are not alone.
When being rejected, it is time to self-reflect. Reflect on your interviewing skills, your résumé, your cover letter and so on. It’s important to look deeper into what you could have done differently — but the important distinction is to not let it shatter your confidence; you have to use your self-reflection to improve yourself and do better next time.
When being rejected, quitting is the worst thing to do to yourself. If you have a chance of being rejected and a chance of landing the job, then continuously applying to jobs could increase the chances of your landing the position. Volume is everything — applying to 10 jobs and being rejected by all 10 is not a sign that you should stop; it is a sign that you should explore the possibilities that led to the rejection and continue applying while taking different approaches.
Let’s say you are already struggling with your confidence to land your dream job. You must first rebuild your confidence. Positive reinforcement is a way to reboot your mind: Keep telling yourself, “I will nail this interview,” “I am worth more,” “I am talented,” “There’s nothing that can stop me from getting my dream job” and so on. Plus, have an accountability partner who will keep you motivated to apply every week. You can ask a close friend or even hire a career coach for help.
What is also going to help you boost your confidence is having a strategy for landing an offer. It’s not just a random process of finding jobs and submitting applications. I coach my clients through a three-step process that has been landing many of them offers in a period of six to eight weeks: 1) branding, 2) networking and 3) interview prep. In this previous article, I outline the exact steps on what to do.
Learning new skills during your job hunt is also a great way to add more meat to your résumé. Maybe there is a new programming language that has been getting a lot of traction in the industry, maybe you could take an extra course online that will boost your skill set or maybe you can finally get that certification that would put you at the top of the candidacy list. There are plenty of ways to refine your knowledge and skills, which could ultimately benefit you not only in your current job hunt but in the future.
Finally, you must power through. Job hunting can be tough and daunting at times, but resilience is crucial. Do not overthink it — trust the process and keep pushing on while remaining grounded and self-aware. Continue to apply, rework your process, take different approaches and, most importantly, remain confident in yourself. Relish the small victories along the way, and remind yourself that this is temporary and your dream is right around the corner.