5 Tips for Dealing with Job Search Rejection

Getting turned down for a job opportunity is never an easy thing to cope with, especially if it’s a job that you really need or one you’ve been dreaming about for years.

If you think about it, searching for a new job is a lot like dating. You have to be selective, check for compatibility and ensure that both parties will mutually benefit from the partnership.

People often assume that a college degree from a good university is all it takes to secure a good job, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Employers want more than a good candidate on paper.

Among many things, employers want someone whose values resonate with those of the company, someone they can relate to, someone who has a great attitude and someone who can get the job done.

So how do you deal with rejection when potential employers turn you down, or worse when you’re automatically dismissed without the chance to interview?

Well, if there’s one thing I’ve learned is that it’s important not to get discouraged. Of course, this is much easier said than done, so here are five additional tips to keep you motivated.

 

1. Solicit Feedback

Assuming you’ve had at least one interview, it’s important to ask why you aren’t moving forward to the next round and what you can do to be a stronger candidate in the future.

Requesting feedback can be tough, but it can also be critical in the preparation of future interviews. So let go of your pride and ask what you could have done better.

Here’s an example of what you could say:

Recruiter Name,

 

While I am disappointed with the decision to move forward with another applicant, I wanted you to know how much I enjoyed the conversations and the opportunity to interview.

 

I am also writing to solicit feedback for the future. Is there anything you could share about how I could have been a stronger candidate for this role?

 

Thank you,
Your Name

2. Take the Feedback

It’s important to note that not everyone you request feedback from, will take the time to respond. So if they do, make sure that you don’t take this information for granted.

Analyse the feedback that was given to you and use this to become a stronger candidate. I suggest writing all of the advice that was given to you, then brainstorming ways to address each point.

This is also an excellent time to use your resources!

Do some research on your problem areas, then find ways to overcome these barriers. If you have a mentor reach out for advice, and if you’re in school go to career services to get some constructive criticism.

3. Boost your Ego

Getting rejected from a job doesn’t mean you have nothing to offer. But of course, that’s often exactly what it feels like.

My advice is to do something that will boost your self-esteem. For example, you could read through your letters of recommendations, reflect on previous achievements, or even volunteer a few hours of your time to remind yourself of your qualifications.

Regardless of what you choose to do, reminding yourself of how capable you are is a sure way to get you ready for your next interview.

4. Revisit your resume

If you’ve been applying for jobs for months, and haven’t gotten any callbacks, it could very well be your resume.

Resumes are extremely important in a job search. Think about, its the first thing a prospective employer sees, and as such, it ought to be good, REALLY-GOOD!

I am not going to tell you what should or shouldn’t be on a resume because this can vary significantly across all industries. What I will suggest is that you look out for things like grammar, inconsistencies, and unexplained gaps.

Remember that each resume you send out should be tailored to the job in question. (Note, there’s a big difference between tailoring a resume and lying.)

5. Workout

I know, I know… working out is probably the last thing on your mind after a rejection. But trust me it helps!

Working out releases endorphins which helps combat stress, and restore normality. So instead of moping around feeling sorry for yourself, put your gym clothes on, and go for a run, or head to the gym.

This is one of my favorite ways to blow off some steam and while I usually hate the first 10 minutes of my workout, I feel so much better after.

Overall, the key is to stay positive.

You are not the first person to get rejected from a job, and I can guarantee you won’t be the last.

While it can be hard to maintain a positive outlook after a rejection, remember that rejections don’t define us.

More importantly, remember that winners are just people who keep on trying! So don’t take it personally, let it go, and keep moving forward towards the job of your dreams.

 

 

Top 3 Reasons NOT to be the First-Mover

“If you’re not first you’re last,” or so we thought according to Will Ferrell’s memorable performance as Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights.

As it turns out, this isn’t always true as it relates to marketing and the so-called “First-mover advantage.”

But wait, how is it that being first to market, doesn’t put you ahead of the curb?

Well for starters, let’s acknowledge that some of today’s most successful companies, were in fact — not the first to market.

I’m talking Facebook, Google, Starbucks, and Spotify.

Facebook

When we think about social media, most of us immediately think ‘Facebook.’ However, before Facebook entered the market in 2004, there were other networks such as Friendster and Myspace.

These sites were a hit for a while, but they ultimately failed, giving Facebook the opportunity to dominate the market.

Google

Shockingly enough Google was not the first search engine created. While it may, in fact, be the most widely adopted, before them, there were other search engines such as Open Text, Magallen, and Infoseek. 

Spotify

Music is something most people can relate to, however in spite this commonality, most first entrants such as Napster, and Pandora weren’t profitable. Spotify saw this as an opportunity, and they currently control over 80% of the streaming market.

Starbucks

Starbucks wasn’t the world’s first coffee shop, what set them apart, however, was their strategy. Everything from their value proposition, to the atmosphere in their stores, has played a crucial role in their success.

Perhaps the most significant similarity between these companies is that they learned from the mistakes of their less fortunate counterparts.

Of course, that’s not the only reason you shouldn’t rush to market. So, before you run off to work on your next venture, consider these factors:

1. It’s expensive

Launching a new product or service requires a ton of research. Companies resort to research to understand customers buying behaviors, their pain points, and how their product fits in.

Once they complete their research, they are usually looking at additional costs associated with educating the market.

As a result, early movers are usually far less profitable than late entrants.

2. Resistance to change

Consumers are creatures of habit. We want better and shinier things, but at the same time, we have a psychological attachment to our current solutions.

As a company, getting people to adopt your new solution is tricky.

3. No experience to fall back on

The obvious advantage of late-movers is that they can learn from the mistakes of early entrants.

What worked, what didn’t, how did customers react, how does our product compare, and more importantly, how can we be better.

To clarify, I’m not suggesting that innovation doesn’t matter. It does.

However, in a world where consumers are surrounded by choice, it pays to get it right.

Jumping to market too soon can pose a threat, but jumping in too late, can also be detrimental.

 

 

5 Life Lessons I Learned in College

Yesterday, marked the end of my undergrad journey.

After years of hard work and more homework than I care to admit, I can finally say I did it!

But, as I sit here and reflect, I realize that some of the most valuable things I learned, weren’t related to the courses I was taking, but to the personal life lessons that were shared by the professors.

So, in honor of that, here are the top five things I learned in college.

  1. Your past does not define your future.

    It doesn’t matter where you are from, or the circumstances you were raised in, if you want a better life, you can have it! All you need is the right mindset, and enough nerve to power through when things get tough.

  2. Always be prepared for an elevator speech.

    Regardless of the career path you chose, it’s important to know how to sell yourself to others. Talking about your accomplishments and goals doesn’t make you a showoff, it makes you confident! So, don’t be afraid to go out there and tell people how hard you’ve worked to get where you are.  Besides, if you’re not confident enough to believe in yourself, who else is going to?

  3. Success doesn’t come easy, and that’s okay.

    Whether your goal is to get an incredible job, earn a six-digit salary, or to fit into an old pair of jeans, achieving it will not be easy. There will be many curve balls thrown your way, but the important thing is to keep at it. If it were easy, everyone would be out there making things happen. But, let’s face it, not everyone does. So instead of moping around wishing things were easy, embrace it! You’ll be that much happier when you reach the finish line!

  4. Travel as often as you can.

    Traveling gives you the opportunity to learn things that can’t be taught in a classroom setting. It opens your mind to different cultures and beliefs. At the end of the day, nothing can substitute real-life experiences. So, travel as often and as far as you can!

  5. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals.

    It’s tough to stay focused on your goals when you’re surrounded by people who lack ambition. So, chose your friends wisely. Don’t be afraid to say you can’t go out for drinks when there’s something else that takes precedence. And always remember that real friends are those that encourage you to be the best possible version of yourself.

 

 

 

Change Can Be Terrifying

We often become so accustomed to our little routines that the moment change begins to poke its head through the window, we immediately close the blinds.

Fear of change is not uncommon, and it’s certainly nothing one should be ashamed of. But it’s important to know that without change there is no growth.

Recently, my husband accepted a new job position that will require quite a bit of change. At first, when the opportunity presented itself, we resisted. We told ourselves that our resistance was justified, that the job he had was fine and that there was no reason to change something that wasn’t exactly broken.

Sound familiar?

We do this all too often.

We don’t apply for the new job with better salary because we’re comfortable right where we are, we don’t engage with different people because we like our group of friends, we don’t seek out new opportunities because we’re afraid of the unknown.

But what can be more frightening than not changing at all?

All change, whether it be good or bad, presents an opportunity.

Is it ok to be afraid? Yes.

Should you embrace it anyway? Definitely!

If all else fails and you don’t like where change has taken you, you can always venture onto something else. But if you keep yourself from trying, who’s to say that what’s out there, isn’t the opportunity you’ve always wanted.

Where Do You See Yourself 5 years From Now?

Where do you see yourself five years from now? A daunting question that no one likes thinking about.

I must have been 17 years old when someone first asked me this. At the time, I answered like any other teenager “having my own car, my own place, my own money.” And while those answers may have been okay back then, as an adult that simply doesn’t cut it.

Luckily, I’m a lot less intimidated by this question than I used to be. And while I don’t exactly have it all figured out, I have a much better understanding about where I want to be 5, 10 or even 15 years from now.

I’ve often had people tell me that they like living in the moment, and in a way I guess it makes sense.

It’s certainly a lot easier and quite frankly more rewarding (at least for the time being), to just focus on the present. So why even bother thinking about the future?

While I’m not opposed to the idea of being spontaneous and taking time off to do the things that make you happy, this shouldn’t be your only focus.

The only thing worst than not having a plan or an idea about where you want to go, or what you want to do, is not thinking about it at all. It’s that “it is what it is” attitude that disconcerts me.

Because let’s face it, in reality it’s not what it is, it’s what you make of it.

You need to have a Plan A, a Plan B and sometimes even a Plan C.

And while it’s true that planning doesn’t guarantee success, it certainly does help keep your priorities in check.

Don’t be afraid to ask yourself where do you want to be x years from now. Don’t be afraid to dream big, and dream often.

Logically, there will be bumps along the road, and if you want to get really metaphorical… there will be rainstorms, road blocks and maybe even a few dead ends.

But that does not mean you give up.

There’s always a back road. As long as you know your destination, you’re never truly lost.