How to turn rejection into an opportunity to grow

3 minute read

We’ve all been there. Waiting to hear a response from an organization only to be told that, this time, they haven’t picked you. It’s also difficult when the outcome doesn’t reflect how you personally felt about the process. You may have been well prepared and,  even felt that there was a good connection between yourself and the people – which can be frustrating.

But, rejection is a part of the job seeking process. So you have to remember that being turned down for a role isn’t the real issue… it’s how you react to it. How you choose to handle rejection is just as important as any skill on your CV. Allowing it to knock your confidence, doubt your ability or make a job search come to a startling halt, will not allow you to take the necessary steps to bounce back and secure your dream job.

If you’re feeling the ping of anxiety and discouragement from a recent rejection, here are some ways to turn the situation on its head, regain your focus and become more optimistic than you have ever been.

Be directed by your values and passion

With over 47% of people feeling dissatisfied at work, it is becoming more important to be directed by factors that create long-term job satisfaction. Think back to why you applied for the role in the first place. Was it the job title, location or the salary?

Use this as an opportunity to redirect your job search in a direction that can bring you the most fulfillment. This is especially important in the charity and not for profit sector as recruiters will select candidates that are genuinely devoted to their mission statement and cause.

Ask for feedback and learn from it

It’s very easy to jump to conclusions after rejection. You don’t need to start doubting yourself or immediately adopt a different personality. Rejection is rarely a decision made solely on performance, so make sure that you ask for feedback (if it hasn’t already been given to you). That way you can have clarity and understand exactly what drove the final decision.

With feedback, you have an opportunity to reflect and grow. So, use this to your advantage and work to strengthen your skill set before your next set of interviews.

When one door closes…

Yes, another one will open.

Rejection isn’t the beginning of the end – it allows you to understand which organisations are right (and wrong) for you.  You have to look beyond finding the perfect job title and look for an organization that nurtures your passions, interests, and personality. That place is still out there, you just have to keep looking.

Know what you have to offer

More often than not, rejection causes people to sink into a state of self- doubt. Am I good enough? Is it my experience? Weren’t my grades high enough?

Not retrieving an offer does not reduce your worth or define how capable you are. This isn’t the time to start second guessing what you have done in the past. Be confident in yourself and understand that hearing ‘no’ is simply part of the process.

Focus on how far you’ve come

Our brains are more wired to pay attention to loss and negativity than gain. This means that a ‘no’ can be blow out of proportion (especially if we spend a great deal of time focusing on it).

The best way to counteract this feeling is to remember just how far you have come and what you have achieved. Are you getting more calls back than your previous job hunt? Have you found recruiters complimenting your mannerisms? Even though you’re looking for a job, are you gradually becoming more connected with your purpose?

Take a moment to appreciate what you have achieved and accept that this will help you to find the job that is right for you.

Above all else, remember that it is perfectly normal to feel disappointed and hurt. Just try not to stay in that place for a long time. Shake it off and keep going!

If you’re still looking for an opportunity that’s right for you, take a look at all of the roles that CharityJob has to offer!

Jade Phillips

Marketing Manager at CharityJob. A true bookworm and social media geek, you'll find me living in pockets of online communities. Unattended snacks might go missing if left around me...

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