By Marjorie Kavanagh, Owner & President of Panoramic Resumes, LLC
Rejection is a necessary evil when it comes to the job search process. Most times however, it is not an objection of who you are or a discounting of your life’s work and experience. No matter what form it comes in – by phone, email, snail mail, or, even worse, no response – rejection feels very personal. Managing expectations and learning how to handle rejection will help ameliorate the demoralizing feelings that occur and the embarrassment felt when people ask about our job search.
Even if you are told you are a top candidate, there are a myriad of surprises out of your control that can lead to an adverse hiring decision:
Expect the Unexpected
*Change in hiring direction
*Change in budget approvals for the position
*Last minute internal transfer or promotion
*Influential executive or board member referral
*Decision to keep looking for the optimal candidate
*Poor decisions on the part of the employer (they’re only human)
Expect that you will not know the reason why you are rejected. Although being privy to this information can help you cope or improve future performance, employers in general do not disclose reasons for their decisions.
When we are rejected for a job, we feel betrayed by the recruiter or hiring manager that we developed such a wonderful rapport with throughout the process. Don’t take it personally. For employers, hiring decisions are just business and are a regular course of their day. Here are five ways to handle rejection:
1. We can’t help but feel depressed upon being rejected. Be aware of your feelings, acknowledging that this is part of the process and you will most certainly bounce back.
2. Reach out with purpose to a trusted colleague, friend, or family member for support.
3. Talk to your professional coach or mentor about your experience. Honest reflection may reveal new constructive opportunities to improve performance during a job interviews, implement new strategies, or improve your resume.
4. I am sure all of my clients can hear my voice saying, “Move forward!” Keep your momentum going forward every day. Take all the elements that you can control and manage them in progression – networking, job search, company research, job interview skills, additional training, and education.
5. Acknowledge and celebrate success. Success is not only getting a job offer – it’s making a new connection, being selected for an interview, named as a top candidate, or being complimented by anyone along the way.
Continue Being You!
On July 16, 2014, Michael Sam, a St. Louis Rams draftee, delivered a moving speech upon receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYS. He said, “Great things can happen when you have the courage to be yourself.” Don’t lose sight of who you are. Remember your strengths and remain confident in you. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.
Move Forward Every Day. Picture Success.