A frequent question I get from job seekers is this – “how should I handle rejection?”
I thought it would make a worthy blog topic, so here is my take on the subject…let’s first talk about what NOT to do – “DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY”
Ok, easier said than done – I get it… but ask yourself this – do you want to win at this eventually, or do you want to give up and quit?
If you want to eventually win, you must make the choice to not personalize not getting the position…the decision to feel destroyed and distraught by circumstances is an easy one to make, although choosing that path will color your future efforts…usually for the worse…as I have said many times, self pity, anger and frustration all stem from taking rejection personally, and each of those is a form of mental cancer…the way to win is to train yourself to make DIFFERENT decisions in the face of discouraging events.
Instead of choosing to take rejection personally, do this:
Decide to turn the situation into a teaching tool: If you have rapport with the people you met with, ask them how you missed the mark. Many won’t say anything for fear of a lawsuit, but it never hurts to ask. Ask your recruiter for their take on why you didn’t get hired or, better yet, ask the hiring authority during the interview process if they have any objections to your candidacy. You are more likely to get a full and complete answer if you bring up the subject during the interview.
If you don’t get a direct answer, review in your mind everything that happened during the interviews, and then honestly assess your part. Sometimes the answers will come to you this way..
If you are working with a recruiter, or job search coach, make sure you tell them EVERYTHING you talked about during the interview…they aren’t impartial by any means, but they can give you their take on why you didn’t get hired… understand that the job search coach understands YOU, while the recruiter understands his client (not you), but they can evaluate your performance from the standpoint of their expertise. Oftentimes, talking these issues out will reveal the answers you seek…from there, you can evaluate and possibly change your approach for next time.
What if I’m getting no response to my CV when I send it out? Isn’t that rejection too?
This is the hardest to deal with because you don’t have anything to react to. If someone criticizes you verbally, you can refute or explain further…when you are getting no response, you have to just sit there and wonder what’s going wrong, and that hurts after awhile.
I still recommend the strategy of “don’t take it personally“
Look at it this way – you can’t be rejected by someone who has never met you or spoken to you…and you also have to remember that they are NOT saying you are a bad person. Or an incapable person… what they are saying is “judging by what we’ve seen so far, we don’t think you are a fit for our organization.”
I recommend you consider taking this lack of interest as a sign you need to change your approach. Again, it’s not you who is at fault, it’s the approach. And approaches can be changed.
1) Your resume doesn’t say what it needs to, so that people understand what you want and how you can benefit an organization.
2) Your networking skills need improvement
3) You aren’t talking to enough organizations, often enough.
This is just a small list, but you get the idea. Anybody can have the wrong approach, and all of these things are fixable, so it’s not just you being defective.
So take heart. Change your mind about yourself by reflecting on past accomplishments…change your thinking about the job search setbacks, and make them work FOR you, not against you…and most importantly, DON’T QUIT.
Somebody out there needs what you can do, you just have to help them find you.
All the best, Coach Tom
PS – Aside from having a coach, another way to combat rejection and stay inspired is to “buddy up” with another job seeker or two…working together, you can share ideas and critique each other’s approach…a very effective way to do this is to join the Five O’Clock Club’s weekly telephone strategy groups…They meet for an hour each week, and are led by a certified coach such as myself you can visit the Five O’Clock Club website below for more details and costs.
Thomas Patrick Chuna is a certified Five O’Clock Club job search coach. The Five O’Clock Club is a nationally recognized outplacement firm with a proven job search methodology that helps job seekers get better jobs faster.
Tom is also an experienced independent recruiter specializing in molecular oncology research scientists & MD’s.
Learn more: http://www.fiveoclockclub.com http://www.patrick-international.net