Friday, July 8, 2011

Overcoming Rejection (and other obstacles along the path to career happiness)

It was the call I had been waiting on for months!  “Hello?” I answered in my most upbeat, positive voice.  “Hi Jason, it’s Tim.  I wanted to give you a call regarding the position you interviewed for.”  He went on to inform me that the position ended up being changed due to a restructuring of the organization and I didn’t get the job.  After several months of interviews, it came as quite a blow.  My first thoughts were disbelief and then frustration settled in.  Then I remembered the tools I had at my fingertips….gratitude being the most important.  I quickly remembered how blessed I was in my current job and how much I had going for me in my professional life and in my personal life.
I can only imagine those of you who are out of work and how you handle those types of calls (or worse, an automated email!) that let you know “We appreciate your candidacy for ___ position.  However, at this time we have decided to pursue another candidate…”  How do you stay positive through the job search and rejections?  How do you keep your head held high and move on to the next one until you’ve found your career “home”?
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re struggling with a professional (or personal) setback or rejection:
1.       Get some Gratitude!  Even if you have to fake it, be grateful for the good things in your life.  An attitude of gratitude does wonders for your mood.
2.       DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY.  Remember, there are a million reasons why someone else could’ve gotten the job.  Unless they specifically told you why you didn’t get it, don’t assume the worst. 
3.       Don’t be too hard on yourself!  Keep in mind you’re not the only one who has been rejected.  It happens to everyone at some point in their career.  So, keep your chin up and remind yourself of all your good qualities!  Self love is a good thing.  Love yourself instead of beating yourself up.
4.       Stay optimistic!  There are other jobs out there that are a perfect fit for you.  All you have to do is make an effort to stay in a positive space and keep on trying.  I know that’s tough, believe me!  But optimism comes across in the tone of your voice and optimistic people have more success…period.
5.       STEP BACK to overcome a SETBACK!  Take a step back and review the interview to see if there were any glaring areas where you know it went wrong.  Review your answers, your attitude, your aura in the interview.  Were you on your “A” game?  If so, great!  If not, put a little more effort into your preparation and practice.  Figure out what would have been better answers to their questions and write them down so you can quickly recall them the next time you get asked something similar.
6.       Phone-A-Friend.  Use your “Life Line” to get critical feedback from a friend.  Let them review your resume (I know we discussed this already in a previous blog!), do a mock interview with them in order to calm your nerves and increase your confidence.  We’re all in this together, and a good friend would be more than happy to help you out.
7.       Lastly, get physical!  Releasing endorphins is a great way to get yourself back to a happy space.  Take a long walk or go for a run.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Get your body moving and your mind has no option but to catch up! 
Whether you’ve been rejected once or a thousand times, it’s never easy.  I get that!  But even the best salesman gets a “no” once in a while.  If you got a rejection at ABC Company, the best news is that’s one more rejection out of the way on your path to your dream job.  Send them a nice “thank you for the opportunity to meet with you” note and move on to the next one.  It’s your career…make it happen!!

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