You polished your resume and sent it to the right person, along with a stellar cover letter. You got a call. You aced the interview. You were brought back in—twice! You sent thank you notes after each interview, to each interviewer. Your follow-up was polite and appropriate. You were told you were a finalist. The HR person thought it was looking good for you…yet, they gave the job to someone else.
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Out of work? Out of luck! That is probably how you feel as you sit poised in front of your computer, hour after hour, day after day, submitting one application after another. Maybe you even look forward to getting job rejection emails (or the occasional mailed ones) because it is SOME response at least. Related: 10 Ways To Deal With Job Rejection Even if you are still working, but engaging in a job search to beat a layoff, you may feel a strong sense of rejection when not selected for an interview or offered a job after an interview - especially if it has been a few months or you have had a few interviews without an offer. It is also likely you feel isolated (even invisible), especially if you aren’t working. At work, even if you weren't buddy-buddy with your co-workers, you were likely acknowledged in the halls or other common areas with a smile, nod, or at least a non-verbal acknowledgement that you exist. At home, alone in front of the computer, it is easy to become demoralized. Work also provides us with a large part of our sense of selves, which is something you may be missing if you are in a job search. How do you think of yourself? When asked to introduce yourself, don’t you most often say, “Hi, my name is _______, I’m a ________.”? Sitting at home alone for a few months may underscore the fact that apparently you aren’t a (fill in the blank). As adults, our work serves to structure the rest of our lives as well – when we sleep, eat, play, anything – revolves around our work schedule. If you aren’t working, you may fall into bad habits that are not helping you feel any less rejected or any better about your situation. If you are working, you may not being doing your best job. If you aren’t, maybe you have started sleeping in, not getting dressed, skipping meals, and/or not going outside. Did you brush your teeth today? How about your hair? If you aren’t working, are underemployed, or struggling in a position you hate, you may not feel as confident as you once did. This lack of self-confidence often only feeds into the sense of rejection and demoralization – sending you into a negative spiral that can be a challenge to climb out of.
Job rejection isn't uncommon. What’s really uncommon is an attitude to face the challenges head-on and use everything that comes your way to your advantage. Related: How To Deal With Rejection It is NOT natural to feel demoralized, upset, and angry upon receiving a gut wrenching “Thanks, but no thanks” notification from an employer you were so eager to work for. It is mental conditioning, and this behavior can be altered.