Top 10 Ways to Deal with Job Rejection


1. Don't take it personally. Don't use the job interview as a measure of your professional worth. The decision to not hire you was based on the company's specific criteria and needs which may or may not have anything to do with how you showed up at the interview. That you weren't the perfect match doesn't mean that you're not an outstanding professional with excellent attributes and talents.

2. Don't get your needs met through the interview. If you're using the interview to satisfy your need for professional validation, the results will be disastrous. Get your needs met elsewhere and you'll be authentically confident and polished.

3. Don't bring up the past. It's funny how failures have a way of drudging up all our past failures, as well as all the negative feelings associated with the failures. It's as if our minds go into over-drive ­ then our collective unconscious kicks in and we're on autopilot into the failures of our past. Stay present; don't let the past take over.

4. Focus on your strengths. It's easy to blame yourself and focus on your imperfections when faced with a job rejection. Focus on what you're really good at, and what you're passionate about. Don't beat yourself up for not being perfect.

5. Ask yourself questions. Ask yourself questions so you learn from the experience. What would you have done differently? What did you learn from the interviewing process? How would you have handled yourself differently? By asking questions, we focus on learning and growth and consequently move forward.

6. Accept reality. Accept that rejections are a part of the job search. Buttress yourself emotionally to handle the sadness that comes with rejection. Know that rejection is going to happen repeatedly throughout our lifetime; accept rejection as a part of life.

7. Keep it in perspective. Being rejected doesn't mean that your professional qualifications and personal attributes are anything less than spectacular. Employers weigh many considerations when recruiting staff - many of these factors are beyond your control. Keep it in perspective; their decision doesn't necessarily reflect on you.

8. Accept responsibility; don't blame others. Without blaming yourself or beating yourself up, accept responsibility for your part in the rejection. Take ownership for your contribution.

9 You're not alone. Know that every day, countless others are sharing your experience. Seek out others -- the mutual support and shared knowledge will be enormously helpful. Contacts and job leads, as well as friendships and offers to share technical expertise with each other, result when connecting with others who are on a similar job search journey.

10. Stretch Yourself! Go to the gym and stretch beyond what you think your limits are. Find a place in your life that you can "go to the edge" and be extreme. Don't take life so seriously. Do an activity you've never done before and you'll rejuvenate yourself. This is where inspiration emerges from ­ the creative places we go to when we get outside of ourselves and outside of our ruts.

Jan Gordon, LCSW is an Executive, Career and Personal Coach who has been coaching individuals and teams since 1989. She provides telephone-based coaching to executives, entrepreneurs and professionals who are dedicated to enhancing their performance, profitability and sense of fulfillment. Her coaching embraces the concept that challenge provides opportunity. Sign up for her free newsletter *Wisdom in Action.* Contact Jan today for a free consultation to see how coaching services can help you and your organization be the best it can be!


Jan Gordon, LCSW is an Executive and Personal Coach who finds great joy in helping her clients achieve outstanding results! Ms. Gordon provides coaching to individuals and teams who are dedicated to enhancing their personal power and sense of fulfilment. Her coaching embraces the concept that challenge provides opportunity. Visit her website at: Jan can reached at

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