Rejection is hard in whatever form in comes in.
Whether it’s a relationship or friendship but a job rejection is so hard because working under-pins so much of who we are and what we do in our lives.
When it’s your ‘dream job/company’, it’s even harder to take. Before you’ve even applied, you’re daydreaming about working in your favourite company or the job you’ve always wanted and we allow our minds to get carried out with the vision of our future.
We tell ourselves that we’ll be so happy living the job we feel we were ‘meant to have’ or work for the company we’ve been wanting to since before University. We imagine what our social lives will be in our new place. The new opportunities we will have. How more money will mean so much more freedom. We get caught up in the moment; the optimism of it all.
And when we apply there is a mix of nervous anticipation. We start thinking of what interiew questions they are likely to ask us and how we are going to answer them. We take time to research the role and the company in the hopes it will give us that extra ‘edge’ when we face the interview panel.
It gets closer to the closing date on the application and the butterflies begin. We’ll hear back soon! Oh god, I hope I don’t sound stupid on the phone when they ask me for an interview! I’m going to wear that blue suit; I always feel confident in that.
The closing date comes and goes. You should be hearing back soon. You check your phone every five minutes making sure your phone is working and that you haven’t missed their phone call. You check your email in case the notification didn’t come through. You check their social media incase they’ve said anything relevant on there.
And then there’s nothing. You’ve been rejected. Not by a phone call or letter in the post but by silence. They never even informed you that you wouldn’t be getting an interview.
You feel upset, angry, frustrated with a knot in your stomach from all the emotions combined. You feel something but you have no idea what. You’re stuck. You want to ask for feedback but you feel so disappointed and vulnerable you don’t know if you can hear why you ‘failed’.
It hurts and that’s ok.
I’m not going to say ‘it will all work out’ or ‘everything happens for a reason’ because I hate those sentiments and right now, you’re upset and you’re probably feeling like a failure when there is no need to be. You know why? Because you took a risk and went after something you wanted and whilst you may have been rejected, you found a lot of courage to go for it in the first place and the silence can’t take that away from you.
But I do recommend trying a few things…
Try not to take it personally
It’s incredibly hard when you don’t get called for an interview not to tell yourself that you’re a failure and aren’t good enough for the job but it really isn’t personal. How can I say that? Because they don’t know you as a person. They know you by a few words and some figures on a piece of paper. Sometimes it’s just a case of who lives closer to the office!
When I was trying to get a job at home for a few months, I couldn’t even get a call-back as a supermarket checkout girl. There could have been several reasons for it such as, perhaps, they thought I was overqualified for the position but I felt as though I wasn’t good enough when nothing could have been further from the truth. For all I knew they were trying to hire younger people to get away with paying a cheaper wage.
Review your CV
Imagine you were able to speak your CV instead of writing it on a piece of paper, what would you actually say? Would you talk about the extra-curricular activities you used to do in secondary school or would you highlight how your travels have helped you open conversations? If it’s the latter then delete it from your CV.
Your CV needs to look and sound professional and whilst mentioning your hobbies may be a good indication of the type of person you are, at the end of the day the company wants cold, hard facts so keep the ‘chit chat’ to a minimum. If you’re unsure what to write in your personal statement or how to word your skills, turn to your good friend Google.
If you haven’t heard back for an interview or got through the interview process and didn’t get the job, ask for feedback if you haven’t been offered it already. Often, as is so very much the case these days, it’s simply a case of too many applicants to let everyone know that you didn’t get an interview which means that you may not get feedback either but it’s worth a shot.
Whilst you may have missed out on this job, you may continue to miss out on the jobs you want simply because you don’t know what’s missing from your CV. I tried to change departments when I used to work at the hospital and they said they ‘wanted me but…’. After discovering the ‘missing links’ in my skills and experience, I managed to fill them after speaking to my manager and got the next (similar) job that went in the same department.
Accept your emotions
We all react differently to rejection. Some use it as a driving force to get ‘bigger and better’ blah blah blah but that initial rejection still stings. You’re pissed off, upset, disappointed, self-doubting; you’re a smorgasbord or emotion and that’s ok. You need to feel whatever it is you need to feel, ‘grieve’ for the situation and move on when you’re ready.
If you think it’s unfair, get angry and punch a pillow or go for a night out with the lads to forget about it for a few hours. Then when you’ve calmed a little emotionally, try and look it objectively and if you can’t do that just say ‘fuck it’ and walk away.