Let’s face it, rejection sucks.
Be it personal or professional, it hurts; you’re left feeling inadequate, and you question yourself and credentials.
In a professional setting, one of the ultimate senses of rejection comes when you’re told that you’re too inexperienced for a position you really wanted – especially if/when your resume matches the job description. Realistically, you cannot age yourself overnight or have worked numerous positions, but, keeping the bigger picture in focus, you can take the rejection head on and learn how to better position yourself in the workforce.
First things first…
Accept It and Move On
Take the appropriate amount of time to grieve the loss of the dream job, and then move on. I usually allow for 3 – 5 days of being upset and shutting down, and after that, you have to get back in the saddle so to speak. Life has to go on, you have to keep your head up, and either decide to make the best of your current situation, or you go find the better job that is out there waiting for you.
Remember That You’re Not Alone
I know it hurts, and I know you feel as though you’re the only one it’s happening to – you’re not. You’re also not the only one it’s happening to right now. Now that you know you’re not alone, we can focus on landing you a new job; self-pity is a major deterrent.
Now you’ll want to…
Build Your Job Esteem
Recognize your strengths – you’re no longer going to downplay your accomplishments. When an interviewer asks you what you do well, you’ll have your playlist of greatest hits ready to go. Create a list of your biggest and best accomplishments and contributions – recognize your strengths so you can share them in the future when you head into the next big interview.
Hone Your Skillset
Have you been thinking about taking a training or a class? Now is the time to take it. Staying professionally active will keep your resume relevant and will keep the conversation going during an interview. You’ll have additional skills to humblebrag about during the interview.
Demonstrate Your Maturity
When headed into an interview, via phone or in person, always lead with your professionalism, maturity, courtesy, and confidence. It is also recommended to utilize this mindset in digital correspondence – proofread your emails and think of the messages you’re sending during the interview process. Your goal is to learn and earn the respect of others, and showing your potential supervisor these tactics right off the bat will help pave the way right out of the gate.
Practice Your Body Language
Pay careful attention to how you’re presenting yourself — make sure your posture is straight, you’re actively listening to, and making eye contact with your interviewers. Being genuine in your interaction is one of the most important ways to connect with your interviewer. This includes yours smile and gaze as well. Mirroring, or keeping your body and movements in harmony with that of your interviewer, is an important tip to helping keep the process smooth.
Grow Your Extracurriculars
Much like adding that extra training or class to your resume, now is the time to consider adding clubs, professional organizations, and resource groups to your resume (not necessarily all of the above, find what will work best for you). Keep in mind, you will need to be active in these organizations, so do not plan to join them just to add them to your resume, plan to be an active participant and gain something long-term to grow your professional career.
Last but not least…
Find Your Center/Unit
Surround yourself with the people who matter most to pick yourself back up and recharge your batteries. Your friends and family are the ones that believe in and are the ones that will always be there for you. Talk to them about how you’re feeling and allow them to help you through the process – present and future. Show them your resume, ask for interview advice, and run questions by them – sometimes the best suggestions come from someone else’s experience.
At the end of the day, you must remember, you are better than a piece of paper and what a company thinks of you. While in the moment it seems tough, you will get past it, and others do and will continue to recognize your value. Keep your head high, and continue to be the Boss Babe you are.