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Bouncing back after job rejection

Whether it is in our personal or professional life, rejection is never easy. Although sometimes it can feel like the end of the world (a little dramatic, I know, but we have all been there), the way we accept, acknowledge, and move forward is what defines our path ahead. In this blog, we will break down the stages of the job rejection process and give you our tips on handling rejection and actually using it to your advantage.

Ask for feedback

This part can be daunting, whether it be you’re too nervous to reach out or scared of what you might get back, however asking for feedback can be cathartic and informative. Self-reflection alone won't cut it – you need to see how you are being perceived. And remember, although they will inevitably touch on areas of improvement, an effective recruiter will also tell you what you did well. Being aware of your strengths is just as important as knowing your downfalls.

Assess the situation

When you're feeling up to it, think back and reassess your interview. It is tempting to shut it up in a box and move it to the archives file in the brain but facing it head-on will do wonders for understanding the situation. The key things to think about are:

- What questions were asked, and how you answered these questions? What did you do well, and where could you have been more detailed and why?

- Assess your technical skills against the PD – were you underqualified, or perhaps overqualified?

- What was the vibe? Did you feel you connected with the interviewer? Was there a good level of professional and personal chat? Did it flow?

Recognise your learnings

With the feedback and your own assessment of the situation combined, you now have a little playbook of learning. Compare these findings to previous rejections or performance reviews, or anything else of the nature. Pull out the recurring themes, namely focusing on your areas of weakness. Extract these and make a list; next to each point, brainstorm how to improve on these skills moving forward. Sometimes the learning can be small. For example, you may need to brush up on your skill of explaining your achievements in your previous roles. Other times it may face you with some fundamental truths like you need to up-skill your technical skills if you're looking to scale up in your role.

Begin the search

It's time to get back on the horse. This is your time to take your learnings and apply them. Perhaps you've realised you're not going for quite the correct role, or you're picking companies who aren't looking to grow their staff or visa-versa want a fresh person in the industry in whom they can train. Whatever it is, be sure to apply your findings to ensure the road ahead is a more successful one. We aren't saying you're guaranteed to land the next role, but you'll be much more prepared to handle the rejection should it come your way again.

Build resilience

Resilience is vital in this climate, and it can be your best friend when it comes to the working world. With the rapid speed of technological, political, and environmental changes building your resilience is a must. Don't let job rejection get the better of you; take your learnings and apply them to be even better equipped. Once you land your next role, and yes, it will happen, you'll be more prepared to face the ebbs and flows of the professional world.

And if all of this fails and you need a short, sharp coaching session to get some clarity, our Kick Starter program is best suited for you.

Good luck!


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