Job hunting is a lot like dating. After several rounds of dates (and answering lots of inquiring questions about you as a person), you either land it or learn not every job is a match (even though you and the job seemed to mesh perfectly together when written out on paper!) The reality is, job hunting is going to include heartbreak and rejection walking hand in hand together. The key thing to remember is to pick yourself back up and move forward.
I’ve been there. Getting a phone call a day or two from the company’s hiring personnel a mere two days after submitting your application is incredibly exciting, especially when there’s a request to meet for an interview at the end of the conversation. There was one job in particular that was just perfect for me: in a regional theater and I’d be handling marketing. Absolute perfection for my theater and journalism background.
I went through three interviews, and the last one meant being a one-on-one with the Artistic Director of the entire theater. It all went swimmingly, and they all shook my hand enthusiastically when I left. I felt pretty dang good about my chances.
I got a call a few days later. The position was going to someone else. Heartbreak and rejection all in one single, 5-minute phone call.
I wanted to give up in the next following few days. I wanted to throw my hands up and say, “Fine. I’ll work a dead end job until I’m 85.” Honestly, it was the heartbreak talking.
It’s really easy to give in to laziness the days following a rejection, but sooner or later, you have to realize being lazy isn’t going to get you paid or insurance benefits any time soon. It might take a little forcing, but you need to start perusing the job boards again. You don’t necessarily have to apply, but you need to see what other opportunities await you in the real world once again.
It’s like jumping back into the dating pool. You’re going to compare all the new openings to the seemingly “perfect” one that passed you by. The best advice I’ve ever received? “Fake it until you make it.” This can easily be applied to your job search! Just start applying. Not only to jobs fitting your “dream job” requirements, but to those that also sort of fit into what you’re looking for. After a giant rejection (or at least something that feels like a giant rejection), you need to get back into the habit of applying to jobs again.
Most of all, you need to get your self-esteem back up. With great confidence comes great opportunities. So you filled out all these applications, and you get a phone call to set up an interview for a job. Great! Problem is, you already know you could do the job in your sleep. What do you do? Set up the interview. If anything, you can practice your interviewing skills. There’s no guarantee you’ll get the job to begin with. It’s just an interview. If you happen to be the cream of the crop after all, then deal with the decision whether to actually take the job offer to pass it along until something more suited to your needs comes along.
Even more importantly, don’t let job hunting and job hunting rejection take over your life. There are going to be many rejections, and many more heartbreaks. You are more than your job. Dabble back into your hobbies, volunteer at a place across town, take up a new exercise routine…and in between, apply to those jobs. Distract yourself, and you’ll move on from job rejection before you know it.
Need motivation to keep up with your job search? Check out our Words of Inspiration Pinterest board.