Skip to content

Handling Rejection

  • by

If there’s one thing more terrible than dragging yourself to an interview, it’s dragging yourself to an interview only to be rejected. Handling rejection, specifically rejection that feels personal and aimed at your own weaknesses, is really disheartening and difficult to deal with. It is hard to be rejected by a job in the field that you consider yourself well-versed in and not turn it into a personal failure on your part. Realistically speaking, nine times out of ten, your rejection has nothing to do with you. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt. How do you train your brain to handle rejection in a healthy way that does not harm your self-confidence? Letting it hurt your self image is not the answer, but neither is ignoring it. The key is synthesizing and compartmentalizing rejection in a way that helps you grow without hurting your sense of self.

  • Think about your rejection realistically.

When someone says no to your face, it can be difficult not to think of it as an insult to your skill set and experiences. However, statistically speaking, your rejection likely has less to do with you not impressing the interviewers and more to do with the sheer quantity of applicants. Living in the digital world makes job applications more accessible than ever. While this has many benefits, it also makes competition for jobs much steeper. For any given role that is available nationwide will likely have between 50 and 500 applicants. That is a large statistic and one that comes with a lot of ramifications. Things like age, location, timing of your application, contracts, and, unfortunately, demographics and identities factor into the decision to hire you or not. When you take all of these things into account, it becomes pretty clear that your rejection likely has little to do with you at all and more to do with the nature of competition in this day and age. Try to meditate on these possibilities to avoid taking your rejection personally.

  • Don’t analyze.

After receiving a rejection from a job following the job interview, sometimes the first instinct is to pick apart the job interview in search of what went wrong. Not only is this not healthy, it is generally not useful. This is because, simply put, humans are too unpredictable to be analyzed for the decisions that they make. The unfortunate nature of job interviews, and any competition for that matter, is that the majority of the results have less to do with you and more to do with those judging or interviewing you. Out of the many factors that go into the hiring process, very few of them have to do with your performance in the job interview. So, don’t stress it. Instead of going back and analyzing each and every second of your interview, try to give yourself positive distractions that prevent you from dwelling on what might have gone wrong during the interview.

  • Look forward instead of backward.

It’s difficult to not think about what could have been. When you become interested in a job, you begin to envision what your life would look like going forward once you have that job. And when you are rejected from that job, it feels as though you’ve lost a part of your future plans. But, the reality is that getting the job is just one of the endless possibilities for your future. Of course, there is the factor of uncertainty. You’re now unable to see a clear image of your life moving forward, and that is a scary thing. However, it can also be an incredibly exciting thing if you give yourself the time and space to accept and come to terms with that uncertainty. Instead of looking back on what might have been if you had bagged the job, look to the future full of possibilities that have now been opened up to you. Give yourself some things to look forward to. Make a list if you need to. Reevaluate the things that you want to prioritize in your future and make a plan for how you plan to prioritize them. Turn your light away from the past in order to shine it onto the future.

We get it. These things are easier said than done. Rejection is hard, and will always be so. It’s okay to give yourself time to grieve. Grief is a human emotion and is very necessary to our mental health. But, once you’ve given yourself that time, try using these tips as a means of moving forward. After all, you are bound for bigger and better things.