5 Tips for Overcoming Job Search Rejection

There is not much that is better than the feeling of success when searching for a new job. Let face it, it makes us feel good about ourselves on many levels. It validates us as a person and allows us to move forward in life, giving us the opportunity to contribute to a profession and to achieve our own individual goals. We all want it and strive for it.

Nevertheless, for most job seekers, success is infrequent. Each moment of success is sandwiched between mountains of indifference, rejection and apparent failure. If you’ve been hunting for a job very long, like many others, you know what I’m talking about. The entire job search process is one big exercise in rejection until you win that job you’ve been striving for.

So, what can you do to ease the sting of rejection?

Here are five survival tips for dealing with the weight of rejection and failure that dampen the success that we all seek:

Remind yourself that you will find another job
Look at the situation from a big picture perspective; yes, you may feel pressure and anxiety as the process draws out and you may feel isolated and begin to question yourself. Remember that this search process will eventually come to an end. You will find employment that’s right for you.

Accept that you are in a process, and allow yourself to feel some uncertainty. One day the answers will reveal themselves to you, and you will find the right job.

Go into sales mode
Successful sales professionals will tell you that success is a numbers game. Salespeople know that every rejection is just one step closer to success. With this attitude, you know that rejection leads to success, and you can put rejection into perspective. Just keep going. Count those rejections, and know that you’re one step closer to success — and a good job offer.

Be careful what you wish for
Often times, when you lose out on a job opportunity, it is because it truly wasn’t the right job for you. You do not want to win a job that is wrong for you and then have to repeat the process of finding another job. Personally, I can think of at least four jobs that I was rejected from in my own past – I remember feeling dejected and depressed at the time because I felt each one was the “perfect opportunity” for me. As I look back on them now, I am thankful things worked they way they did.

Stay active and positive
Do something every day to further your search and your professional skill set. Positive action diminishes anxiety and other negative feelings. To prevail in today’s competitive job search process, you must have a cast iron will and determination that you will win out. Remind yourself daily that you are one day closer to succeeding at this challenge.

Keep in mind that is also important to keep yourself fresh in the search process by not letting it consume you mentally or physically. Stay balanced by getting regular exercise or doing volunteer work as I mentioned in a recent blog.
Avoid desperation
Good recruiters, HR professionals and hiring authorities can sense this miles away. Lose the emotions, tone and body language of “desperation” and “defeat” in your interviews. Sure, you may come across a particular opportunity that sounds great going in, but remind yourself this: Your world won’t come to an end if you don’t get this job.

I encourage candidates to think of the interview as two professionals having a conversation about a problem. Think of the interview as a problem-solving opportunity with this hiring manager. It allows you to focus on what the employer needs, not your needs. Now you’re able to sell yourself demonstrating the many specific ways you can help solve their problem. That’s what it really comes down to.

Once you’ve determined if you are the candidate best suited to solve the employer’s issue, you will be better prepared to gain their attention, respect and desire to know more about you. You can’t get there by walking in defeated and lacking in confidence, showing your anxiety and desperation.

If you recently found a new job after a lengthy process, please let me know what you did to combat any rejection you encountered. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks for your time and happy hunting!
David Lammert

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