From a professional perspective, one of the toughest events with which we have to cope is job rejection. When (if) this happens to us, we need to get past our feelings of rejection, anger, and inadequacy — and take a proactive approach to “get back in the game.”

Mary Sherwood Sevinsky, a career consultant, writing for Careerealism offers eight tips to follow when dealing with job rejection:

1. Set Realistic Goals

“Long-term goals give you something to look forward to. Short-term goals ensure you are moving in the right direction and moving to your long term goals. Daily goals will get you out of bed in the morning.”

2. Do Your Best

“Take the time to try to match your resume or application details to what the employer is looking for. That way, you will be one of the few selected for an interview (and hired!). The extra effort and time has value, and they can help you will feel like you are really doing something meaningful.”

3. Change the Things You Do Each Day

“Search for jobs one day, follow up another, identify companies to cold call once a week, network one day, visit companies in person periodically. Don’t forget to eat, sleep, get dressed, exercise, and go outside every day. Make your own schedule and stick to it!”

4. Make Sure You Have the Necessary Skills

“Read blogs, articles, and/or books about career planning and job searching. Explore your field or potential occupations to determine if you need more skills to be competitive. Read articles related to your desired job or about job searching and interviewing every day.”

5. Have a Support Group

“You can’t do it alone. Ask for help outside of the family if need be. Reach out friends, ex-coworkers, and church or community members. You need someone to listen to your ideas and give you feedback.”

6. Network

“You probably know how to network, but maybe you are too dispirited or you don’t see the value in it. Nonetheless, it is a necessity and can result in your next job if you make the time and effort to contact and maintain connection with others. Join a civic group or one at your local career placement office, or volunteer. It is most important to start and continue to get out there and meet people – maintain your connections!”

7. Get Creative

“If you feel that you MUST have a specific position or salary before considering a job, you may be missing out on some great prospects! Purchase a real newspaper (or look at every job board posting within a 20 mile area or less) and look at every job. If you do this intermittently, you will have a better indication of what jobs are offered and you may discover a new direction that is perfect for you!”

8. Be Realistic

“You may want to think about moving to where there are jobs. Think about places in that you would like to live or parts of the country where people you know currently live. Search for jobs in those areas periodically to see if it makes sense to start a job search in another area in addition to your current one.”

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5 Replies to “Bouncing Back from Job Rejection”

  1. I enjoyed reading this article as it deals with positive thinking, action and bouncing back from less than optimal situations. Which as we all know applies to all aspects of life and not just being rejected from a job opportunity. I feel as though the best advice that this article offered was the importance of persistence and maintaining whatever networks you create. You never know when a job will open up, you want your name to be remembered as a possible candidate.
    From my observance of friends and family that are in the job market or have been recently hired, I feel as though most of job searching is luck . A big part of being hired is a matter of being in the right place at the right time. However, that doesn’t take away from the importance of being skilled in the field. I have also read articles regarding the importance of having a likeable personality.

    – Matthew LoBiondo

  2. Being a person who is unemployed at this very moment (other than being a student), I find that this article is very helpful and informative. The tips and tricks that are given to recuperate one’s self after losing a job are very important. Many have a lot of trouble finding the right job after losing theirs. My personal opinion of bouncing back from job rejection is that it just gives a person more incentive to pick up and move on. For many it may be very difficult but they are also given a chance to be able to prove everyone wrong and go out and strive in any other job they feel they would excel at.

  3. As a college student, this is probably one of the most relatable things on a blog I could ever read. Rejection, I think, is inevitable and I think it is so important for being to be prepared to be rejected. I don’t think its cynical or negative to be armed with tools to “bounce back” from rejection! Theres a celebrity, Shailene Woodley, said in an interview that she often will ask people things that she knows they will have to say no to because she feels like rejection is important and will keep her grounded as her fame increases. I think it is so important to not let the disappointment that comes with a rejection to define who we are as individuals and as job-seekers. Out of the eight things in your list, I think that being realistic and networking is the best advice that anyone could be given. Now, as my sophomore year of college is ending, I’m feeling the pressure to find the internship of my dreams and to meet all these people and be basically an accounting rock star. But the thing is, you have to do it step by step and I think that this blog post is the best way to remind people in situations like I am that you have to take every day, every interview, and every rejection one day at a time. A famous philosopher, Friedrich Nietzshe, once said “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” I think that is a quote to live by in life in general but I also think it really applies to rejection. This is an extremely relatable and helpful blog post.

    Michaela Cody; MKT 101 Section 1

  4. Bouncing back from job rejection can be difficult, especially as an undergraduate student. Many companies are looking for graduate students so it is hard to get an internship. You can apply to 50 places and only get one interview and even mess that up. I feel that it is important to network and become creative in your job search process through possibly social networks like Linked in. In sum, I believe that if you set realistic goals and do your best, the reward will come in time.

  5. The article is very realistic.
    It is part of the job to be rejected in interviews.
    You have to keep yourself motivated and do not give up, you also need to know that you are also selecting the company you want to settle and stay for a while.

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