How to Move Past Rejection

You had your heart set on the job, and you didn’t get it.  What now?  You are finding it difficult to even consider other positions, let alone apply to them.  How do you get past this and move on?  There are no easy answers here.  It is a disappointing, ego-bruising experience, and it hurts.  However, know that you will move past this, and you will be successful.  While you are recovering, here are some points to keep in mind: 

It is a part of the process.  Rejection is always difficult, but it comes with the territory.  All job seekers have to face it sooner or later.  The quicker you learn how to brush it off and move on, the less time you will waste moping, when you could be out finding new opportunities.          

It is not a reflection on you.  Sometimes even when you are perfectly skilled for the position, you don’t get an offer.  It could be because you aren’t the right fit for the organizational culture, or they may have decided to hire somebody that they already know.  Just because one employer didn’t hire you, it doesn’t mean that the next one won’t.         
There is probably a reason that it wasn’t a great fit.   The only thing worse than not getting the job is getting the job and hating it, or even worse than that, getting the job and being let go.  The hiring manager knows the organization well, and she probably has a good idea of who will be successful there.  For example, if you are a mother of two young children and have stated that work life balance is important to you, an employer may be reluctant to hire you for a position where you will be expected to work 60 hours a week, including nights and weekends.  While it does sting that you didn’t get this job, for your long term happiness, it is important that you find a position that fits you and your lifestyle. 

You have learned something from this experience. There is a lesson in every experience, and painful experiences often contain more than one.  Make the effort to learn what you can from the situation.  Analyze the whole process and try to determine why you didn’t get the job, and what you can do differently the next time.  Use the information from this missed opportunity to make sure that your next interview is a success.

There is always another job opportunity around the corner.  When you have your heart set on a particular position, there can be a tendency to treat it like the only available job in the world, and to feel like there will never be a better opportunity for you.  The truth is that it is only one job, and before long, you will find another perfect opportunity.  There are lots of great jobs available; you just need to find them.  The trick is to keep your eyes open, and resist the temptation to become too attached to one particular position.

Job searching is not for the faint of heart.  It can be a roller coaster ride, from the excitement of getting an interview, to the disappointment of hearing that you didn’t get the job.  Hang in there!  If you stay motivated, and keep up your efforts, it is just a matter of time until you’ll hear those magical words, “You’re hired!”.

(Written by Karen Bivand)


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