The call you’ve been waiting for finally came; the news you received however is not what you were hoping for. Another rejection to add to your growing list of rejections. This is one you’d really wanted too, which is why it hits a little harder and hurts a little more than some of the others.
It’s tough on your self-esteem though I admit. When you saw the number on your phone you lit up, answered with great optimism and had a smile on your face. As you heard the decision hadn’t gone your way, you moved from giddy anticipation to surprised disappointment. Like all setbacks, it’s not the setback itself but rather how you react to it that is going to define what you do now and whether you move further from or closer to your goal of finding employment.
First of all, I want to point out and commend you for one very important thing. The job you were competing for was a good one to go after; the hurt you’re feeling is indicative of the passion you felt for the possibility of working in the role. Had you felt nothing whatsoever in being rejected, I’d question how much you really wanted it in the first place. So the level of sting you’re feeling now is one good indicator of whether this job, or one similar to it is right for you.
Okay so now what to do. First of all, let me suggest you dash off a quick letter to the organization you just heard the bad news from. In this brief letter, share your disappointment at having heard the news and state your ongoing determination to compete once again when this or a position of a similar nature becomes available. Although you may not get a response, it’s professional and says a lot about your determination to move ahead beyond this setback if you also ask for suggestions on how to improve your chances in a future competition.
Why bother with such a letter when the job is lost? Simple really. Most if not all of your competitors will move on without any further contact. It would seem like a waste of time and energy, not to mention the cost of a stamp and stationery. This is precisely why you should pen one. With only 1% of people writing a letter of rejection, you stand out. So if another position opens up or the hired candidate doesn’t last long, they might just get back to you in a month or two and offer you the job if you still want it. Your character you see, came out in that letter.
With that letter sent, by all means it’s time now to turn to other opportunities. If you feel bitter and extreme frustration though, take the rest of the day you get the news off entirely. Scrap the job search for this single day and do other things you’d rather like read, go for a walk, soak in the tub, visit your son or daughter, work on a hobby or go window-shopping. You might even want to share the news with someone who will listen. Whatever you do to gain some broader perspective is good. The darkness of this evening will be replaced by the light of tomorrow’s dawn, the world will go on and you’ll go along with it.
This is a test of your ability to create a positive attitude which is needed to experience success. Your attitude is your responsibility alone. I know, I know, you didn’t want to hear that. You’d rather have had a sympathetic ear so you could commiserate with me and have me say things like, “oh you poor thing”, or “wow, you’ve got every right to just chuck the whole get-a-job thing.” Sorry to disappoint. Empathy I’ve got in abundance for you of course, but now it’s time to refocus.
You owe it to yourself you see. Those other jobs you applied to may just call with requests for interviews or the good news of a job offer. You don’t want your voice to showcase resigned apathy or profound ambivalence. You’ve got to respect yourself because the momentum you’ve built towards your goal needs constant attention. You’ve moved forward and come further than you were when you first made the decision to look for work. Don’t hurt your future chances by stopping now.
At any one time in your job search, you should have some organizations you’re waiting to hear from, some applications in the process of being readied to submit and an eye on new jobs and positions that you don’t want to miss. Interspersed among these should be some regular expressions of thanks to those helping you along, such as your references or supporters and networking both online and in-person. This balanced approach to your job search keeps you fresh and energized; active and engaged. Just sitting in front of a computer monitor day in and day out is a rough and isolating way to spend the hours you need to be successful.
I speak from experience my reader. Like you, I’ve had times in my life when I’ve been hunting down a job and it’s taxing times; filled with highs and lows. I do appreciate the disappointments are hard to take and keep coming back strong with a determined attitude. Ultimately though, no other approach has ever worked.