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Dealing with Rejection

Guest Blogger Katie Farrell provides us her thoughts on the job search process. Check out her previous posts regarding staying sane while searching for jobs and navigating the job interview process, and turning down a job offer .

If you’re looking for a job, chances are you’ve dealt with rejection. Whether you scored an interview and thought you nailed it or received a generic rejection letter with no interview, rejection can be difficult to deal with especially if it keeps happening over several months. Since December, I’ve dealt with my share of rejection and although it hurts every time, there are things that make it more bearable. Here are some tips when it comes to dealing with rejection and moving on.

1.) Give yourself fifteen minutes: When you first hear the news, it’s okay to freak out. Cry, scream, throw things (but don’t break anything valuable), or do whatever you need to do to get out those emotions. But only do it for fifteen minutes. Rejection is hard and it’s not good to keep all of your angst bottled up inside. If you give yourself fifteen minutes to just feel really upset about things, chances are, you’ll feel a lot better when that time is up.

2.) Talk to someone: Talk about how you feel with someone you trust and know won’t judge you. Sometimes you just need someone to listen to you when you’re upset. Pick someone who will make you feel better about yourself and remind you of your good qualities. Just make sure you talk to these people after your fifteen minutes of freaking out are over.

3.) Treat yourself: Whether it’s buying a delicious cupcake or watching your favorite movie, treat yourself to something small that will make you feel better. Applying for jobs is hard work and although you didn’t get the job, you still need to reward yourself for the effort.

4.) Exercise: Now that you’ve indulged yourself, it’s time to get moving! For me, a good run is a great way to burn off some steam and clear my head. Studies have shown that exercise helps decrease stress and rejection is pretty stressful. Do whatever kind of exercise you like. If exercising is too intimidating, go out for a walk and clear your head. Trust me, you’ll feel much better when you do.

5.) You’re not alone: This may sound terrible but I feel a little better knowing that I’m not the only one struggling to find a job. It reminds me that it’s not because I’m an unattractive job candidate, it’s just that there are so many applicants for every open position. Knowing this helps me put things in perspective and reminds me that there are a lot of smart and talented people that deserve jobs out there; there just aren’t enough jobs.

6.) Move on: It’s especially hard to move on if you were convinced you would be offered the job and then were told that they had chosen someone else. It may feel like you hit a plateau and have no more energy to keep applying. If this is the case, give yourself a day to reflect and come to terms with the rejection but after that, you have to keep going! Rework your cover letter, look over your resume again, and start searching for more jobs. It’s okay to feel upset when you’re rejected, just don’t let it consume you.

Rejection is the hardest part of the job search but it happens to everyone. Just remember that you’re not alone. Keep applying and good luck!