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I’ve done a lot of job hunting in my day. I can’t tell you how many jobs I’ve applied for! Or even how many jobs I’ve had. For whatever reason, I’ve ended up doing a lot of contract work. The great upside of this is that I don’t take job hunting personally in any way any more.
How do you cope with rejection? There’s no denying it; job hunting is a stressful time in anyone’s life. Jobs provide us with so much more than money; also confidence, skills, meeting new people, the list goes on.
As thrilling as it is to have seen a job that you love, it can hurt like hell if you don’t get the job (or even an interview for the job). Here’s the thing – there isn’t one perfect job for you. It can look like it, especially in a competitive job market, but that isn’t the case. Try not to build up a job too much. Look at jobs you hadn’t considered before, try something new or different. The wider you cast the net the more opportunity there is. The more opportunities, the less pressure there is to get ‘the’ job.
It’s most important that skills are learned – skills are transferable. Think about all the jobs that exist today that wouldn’t have existed when you were a child. Social media consultant is the first one I always think of. Most people who are social media consultants haven’t trained specifically for that – they have a good skill set earned elsewhere, such as negotiation, calmness under pressure and quick thinking.
You won’t get the job of every interview you ever go to. But you will gain a lot of experience in interviewing. I make it a rule of thumb to ask a new question at every interview. The more you do something, the easier it is. Review with a friend the things you thought went well or that you could improve on. Keep these in mind for the next time you do that.
Even if you’re at a place where you need a job (and I’ve been there myself), there is only so much you can do to look for a job in one day. You have to take care of yourself. Read a book, go for a walk or catch up with friends. A balanced life will make job hunting easier (and wipe any possible desperation off for job interviews).
It may always hurt to get that email saying “unfortunately…”. Allow yourself to think “damn it”. But only for a moment. Let yourself be hurt temporarily, and then turn it around. Reply to the rejection email with a polite thank you, ask for feedback (but remember not everyone will do that) and ask for them to keep you in mind for any similar vacancies that may arise.
How do you cope with rejection while job hunting?