Dealing with rejection – #SU Edition

Intro

You have probably received an email starting with the sentence: “Thank you for your interest in this role… on this occasion, you have not been unsuccessful”. Although it can be disheartening, a rejection email is more than just being turned down.  It is an indication that there is work to do. It will motivate you to improve yourself. If you have been in these situations and want to learn how to move forward continue to read this blog.

“That’s all I needed. That’s all I needed for him to do that and it became personal with me”

Michael Jordan

Don’t take things personally

It is hard not to take certain things personally. A rejection email could convince you that the employer personally does not like you. You may think that you did something to put them off. As a person who has been turned down from nearly 30 job roles, I know how much it hurts finding out the news & at times I have taken this news personally. What’s important is being resilient. Being rejected does not mean game over, a rejection should motivate you to get back on your feet. The resilience is vital & if you want to be successful you got to keep going. Don’t let anything stop you. If you give up you are going nowhere. If you are resilient you are going to go somewhere, your luck will change. You could even open doors to new job opportunities. If you are turned down from a role, respect the employer’s decision.

Being apart of the SkillStruct University Network one thing I have learnt is to always ask for feedback. Unfortunately, large companies do not generally give personal feedback. However, smaller companies will.  They will give you the reason why you were not considered as well as what you can improve on. Do not write a passive-aggressive letter as it could make you look bad in front of the employer. You might feel a sense of injustice receiving a rejection letter but it could be for the greater good. Your opinions might have been different from the interviewer.

Look at the rejection email as a lesson

Don’t assume that you’re not going to be good enough for a job. You received the rejection email because the employer felt that you will not be comfortable in the position. Therefore, they will find someone who will be comfortable in their organisation as well as the role. The reason why you should take rejection emails as a lesson is because is an opportunity for you to do any self-evaluations. See what you can learn from the interview, what you can do better next time & how are you going to make those improvements.

Actions

The follow actions are thing I follow when receiving feedback.

Send a thank-you email/ ask for feedback

Rejection is never a bad thing.  There is always a light at the end of a tunnel. There are two reasons for this:

  1. You got the opportunity that many people won’t have.
  2. Out of all the hundreds or thousands of applications, the employer was specifically interested in your application.

You are making the right moves, but there is still time to improve & get better. By doing this you are respecting the employer for giving up their time to interview you & learn more about you. It also shows that you respect the employer’s decision.  It could help seek some closure between you & the company (you can decide whether to reapply on a later date or to avoid the company in the future).

Find someone to talk to about your situation

This could be anyone. Parents, siblings, friends, or your mentor. After an interview, I would speak to my family or my SkillStruct mentor telling them how I felt during an interview, what questions were asked during the interview & what will happen next. They are also the first to know whether I have been successful or not & when I get rejected from a role, they provide words of wisdom which gives me a sense of optimism. It is good to talk to someone because they could relate to your current situation. Talking to someone about the interview could help you relax during & after the interview stage.

Take a break from applying for jobs

I was told that I was not ready to start working. The reason was that I was struggling to provide evidence for the skills that I have attained & I was struggling to answer basic interview questions and upon reflection, I agreed I was not ready. If this is you maybe it is worth considering that you take a temporary break from job applying. This will take you out of the cycle of applying & getting turned down. It will help relax your mind, you can focus on doing other things you want to do in your life. If you take a break you will able to evaluate what needs to be done & what actions you need to take. You will be avoiding the heartbreak of being constantly rejected. When you are ready, continue applying but do not rush.

After receiving your rejection email there is plenty of work to do. A rejection letter does not indicate that you are not good enough, but it means that you must improve to go past the interview stage.

Food for thought

Look at courses which could help your job chances

You are developing a technique or skill.  You will be able to expand your career options. I was told that I was not ready to go into work. It sounded gut-wrenching but it was for the greater good. I’ve got to do more to make myself ready for employment. Look at courses that could rehash your skills & give you the experience you need to get into job roles. You will be able to use the knowledge you attained from your course to successfully answer interview questions such as overcoming problems. Look at courses means taking a break from applying to jobs. Finally, you could learn all the aspects needed to work. If you want your luck to change this could be the best option.   

Go to employability centres

After graduating from university, I would go back to the campus every now & then to use the employability centre. This involves taking a train down to the campus. The campus was located just outside of London but that did not stop me. At the end of the day, I will think to myself the money & time was well spent because I would always find the employability centre useful. Because every time, I go away with the information I need to improve my employability skills. If your university is less than an hour by train or car from you, I strongly recommend that you go there & use the employability centre.  If you are unable to access your campus, find an employability centre close to your area or look at resources on websites such as The Bright Network or The Prince’s Trust. You can go for CV checks, mock interviews & mock assessments centres. You may not know it but there might be certain aspects of your employability skills that need to be improved.

Learn a new hobby

It is never too late to learn something new. This is to either further your chances of a job or doing it for self-development. One example of a hobby could be to learn a new instrument. This could be a piano or guitar. These instruments could help you with your memory as well as your hand & eye movement. Learning an instrument is the best alternative to procrastinating. Another hobby you could do is boxing. Boxing not only helps improve your fitness, but it will help you improve your work ethic and discipline, boxing gives you the confidence & the belief in achieving something. This could be something that you can put into your CV. It is the perfect opportunity for you to stand out when it comes to interviews. It will make yourself become a better person & you could find a new passion for something. Learning a new hobby can also help you gain structure in your day-to-day life.

If you want something go get it period

Will Smith as Chris Gardener in “The Pursuit of Happiness”

Conclusion

Rejection happens to everyone.  But it does not indicate failure it indicates improvement, determination resilience & hard work.  You must build that mentality of being better. By doing this you will become more confident in seeking to the employer. When you get rejected from an employer. Do not take it personally, show them how great you can be.
Finally, I want to thank SkillStruct for helping me write this blog, I did not think I was capable of blog writing but skills gained from The SkillStruct University Network has given me the confidence needed to create this blog. I am glad a SkillStruct Champion (SSC) and if anyone is interested in writing a blog to help one another feel free to reach out.

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SkillStructor DF.

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