Job hunting is fast becoming a survival battle of the fittest-both physically and mentally. With the job market now akin to a battlefield, job seekers are a suffering lot, with some having their pride and dignity wounded and some limping with pain and anguish in their minds.
We should all face up to the facts of the market. Like a marathon race, job hunting not only consumes time but energy as well. And only those who have the most determination and endurance will cross that ultimate finishing line.
Not many candidates have the stamina to finish the race, with some dropping out along the way. However, those who have fallen out cannot afford to stay wrapped up in a safety blanket at home to escape the harsh reality of the job market. You may only be hurting yourself deeper when the interviewer questions the gap or the long holiday you took while you were nursing your wounds.
So, how can you toughen yourself to rise out of the rejection blues and get back into the race? Here are some valuable points to keep in your mental first aid kit:
Rejection is perfectly normal
Rejection is a part of daily life and everyone gets their fair share of rejection in every aspect of their lives every day. Therefore, job seekers need to understand that facing rejection while job hunting is normal. Rarely does a job seeker get hired through their first application. Think of job hunting as a learning process that aids you in your personal growth, because the more rejections you face, the more experience you gain, and the better you get at job hunting.
Being turned down for a job does not mean that you are a loser or that you are incompetent
While you may have gotten rejected at the end of the day, it does not mean that your qualifications are lacking because you weren't offered employment with the hiring company. Even highly experienced senior executives have been rejected for jobs. Often, hiring managers look at many other factors that may be out of your control while deciding on the right candidate.
Everyone goes through the same process as you did--even rejection
Understand that you are not that only one getting rejections for job applications. While you are out there flipping through the newspapers looking for a job, there are also others who may be doing the very same things at the same moment; the same people eyeing the job vacancy that you're interested in; the same people who get called up for the interview; but only one will eventually sign the letter of employment. And even the one who does may have gotten the job after ten rejections from other companies. Think about it.
Never give up
You may be just an application away from landing that job you wanted. So don't quit after just a few attempts, or even after a string of applications and interviews. Nothing good comes easy in life; you have to fight for what you really want.
Once you are standing up again after the rejection, analyze why you were rejected
For everything that happens, there must be a reason to it. Once you have gotten over the shock of rejection, sit down and start putting the entire jigsaw together. Did you not perform well enough during the interview? What could you have done to make it better? Or was it just the management's problem for not offering you the job? You may be qualified enough, but there may have been finer details of requirements that you did not know of. Try accepting the negative criticisms flung at you during interviews as constructive feedback.
Do not cut off all ties
Even if the hiring company did not pick you for the job, it doesn't mean that you should sever all connections to the company, or its personnel in charge of human resources. Instead, maintain a good relationship with them because it is not uncommon to be called up for another round of interview even if you were been rejected in the first round. You could even send them a thank-you note for taking the time to interview you. By doing that, you are selling a good impression of yourself; and perhaps the company may just contact you again should there be any job vacancy in the future.
When you've been called up for an interview, you've already been selected from a whole lot of others. So, learn to handle rejection and you will soon reach the finishing line of the race.