How to Deal With Job Rejection & Plan Your Next Steps

Anyone who has put in the time and effort to land an interview for a job they really want is going to be disappointed when they get the news that their application has been unsuccessful.

However, if you approach the experience with the right attitude, you can turn it into an opportunity for professional growth.

Request for A Detailed Response

After a rejection, the most important thing to do is reflect on what happened and what you can take away from it.

In the aftermath of job rejection, the most important thing you can do is ask for and accept constructive criticism. Self-reflection alone isn’t enough to explain why you weren’t a good fit for the position.

So, first and foremost, gather as much information as possible from the recruiter and the employer. Don’t be afraid to push for a more in-depth assessment if the feedback you’ve received so far seems too general. If you’re going to invest time and effort into the process, you should be rewarded with some useful information at the end.

You may be tempted to put the experience behind you once you’ve had time to process the employer’s decision. However, to do so would be to miss out on a valuable educational experience.

Go over everything that happened in the interview and any follow-ups in light of what you’ve learned about your strengths and weaknesses.

If the process was broken down into stages, evaluate your performance at each stage and see where you can make improvements. Take a moment to reflect on what went well. What could you have done better?

Is there a better way to prepare for a presentation? Was there anything you could have done differently to better connect with your interviewer(s)? You may have put too much emphasis on demonstrating your technical abilities at the expense of highlighting your interpersonal skills. What do you think you could have done better in terms of answering the questions?

Make the most of any setbacks by shining a light on the areas where you can improve.

Create a personal development plan based on what you’ve learned so far.

Consider the feedback you’ve received from previous rejections, evaluations, and the like. Is there a pattern emerging? What are the most important things you need to work on to improve yourself?

Identify any weaknesses or issues you can address and use them as a guide for your preparation the next time around.

Make a plan based on these requirements. Do you have any ideas on how to close the gaps in your skillset? You may be able to benefit from formal or informal coaching or training, depending on the situation. Or perhaps you just need to put in more effort and find a study partner to help you perfect your responses.

Consider the Implications of Your Actions

Even though rejection can be painful, it’s important to remember that it’s not always in your best interest to apply. The interviewer wants someone with extensive experience managing clients (which you lack) or who speaks the local language (which you either do not or cannot), so it pays to be philosophical in your approach. Focus on the things you can control, as with any strategy.

Any successful working relationship relies heavily on chemistry. Even if your interview went flawlessly, that doesn’t mean the position at that particular company was a good fit for you.

Make Your Search More Precise

People sometimes find out that even though they were rejected from the job, they didn’t feel like it was the right fit for them after they went through the interview and feedback process.

Take a look at the job description and consider whether or not you could see yourself performing the duties of the position on a daily basis. Interviewers may have picked up on this if you weren’t excited about certain aspects of the job.

Take what you’ve learned and apply it to future job searches. Maybe the keywords you’re searching for aren’t quite in line with your goals and dreams. Were you disappointed that the job’s responsibilities didn’t live up to your expectations? Have you come to the conclusion after the interview that this isn’t the job for you? Then what is the alternative?

Strengthen Your Ability to Bounce Back

People in today’s rapidly changing workplace must have a mindset of grit and resiliency in order to keep up with the rapid pace of technological progress and their own rapid internal changes.

Consider each setback as an opportunity to improve your self-awareness and resilience in the face of disappointment. In order to succeed in your career, you must overcome obstacles that stand in your way. Staying positive and learning from the experience will help you prepare for the next opportunity, so make it a point to stay positive.

Since getting rejected from a job is something that happens to everyone, the most important thing is what you learn as a result of the process.

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