It’s so easy to get caught up in other people’s career victories and successes from what they post on social media. However, I am a huge advocate for normalizing realistic conversations about when you don’t get the job, or you didn’t do as well as you thought during the interview. By sharing these real and transparent experiences, I am able to relate to other people who may have experienced the same situation or a similar situation and inspire them to keep going. Often times, when you only hear about someone’s career wins, it can make you feel discouraged and, perhaps, like you are doing something wrong in your process. But like Pops said on Friday, the truth is, you win some and you lose some, but you fight to see another day.
Here’s my story. I am in the process of exploring new career opportunities. Throughout my process thus far, I have landed a few interviews, but I have not secured a new position yet. My most recent experience, I participated in two initial interviews for an exciting role with a major company and was able to advance to the final round, only for the recruiter to tell me on the day of the interview, that the interview was, in fact, cancelled, and the company was no longer hiring for the role. I was so frustrated, disappointed and discouraged, but even through the discouragement, it’s in these times and experiences where I learn some of my best life lessons and I want to share them with you. Here are 5 things I’ve learned from job rejection.
1. God has something better for me. I know, this is so cliché and we hear this often times from others when we feel like we’ve failed or missed out on an exciting career opportunity, but it’s so true! God has proven to me time and time again that he will never take something away from me, without giving me something better. When I don’t get an opportunity that I really want and I feel discouraged, I remind myself that I didn’t get it because God has something better for me and it’s always worth the wait.
2. Be patient. If you’ve been through the job search process, then you understand how stressful and discouraging it can be. It’s a stressful process job searching, applying, landing interviews, and/or receiving rejections over and over again. It really makes you want to give up. Through this process though, I’ve learned to be patient and wait on the opportunity that is right for me. Those interviews along the way are merely practice for the real opportunity. When I finally make it to the opportunity that is right for me, I will be over prepared from interviewing over and over throughout the process. No matter how many no’s I get, I know that it only takes one yes, but I also know that I have to patiently wait for that yes.
3. Trust the process. I know all of these things are easier said than done but learning a lesson from rejection isn’t always the easiest thing to go through. One thing that keeps me grounded even after I feel rejected from a job opportunity I really want, is understanding and reminding myself that I have to trust the process. Trusting the process means believing and having faith that whatever opportunity God has for me will not pass me. It also means that even when I continue to be rejected and feel discouraged, I have to trust that my opportunity will come. To add, trusting the process also means understanding and being okay with the fact that every rejection is simply a part of the process as a steppingstone to the opportunity that is right for me, and that what keeps me going.
4. It’s okay to feel discouraged. When I interview for a job that I really want, I find myself fantasizing about how my life will be once I get the job. I also have strong faith and I manifest everything that I want, so when I am rejected from a job, it hits me hard sometimes. I feel all sorts of emotions, disappointment, frustration, discouragement, and, sometimes even uncertainty about why things happened the way they did and about what to do next. If no one has said this before, I will be the first; It is okay to feel let down, discouraged, disappointed, frustrated, or even uncertain. These feelings are normal, completely valid, and reasonable when going through job rejection. However, what’s not okay is giving up. I try to give myself a day to deal with my emotions and regain peace and then I am back to being active in my job search because I refuse to allow my discouragement to keep me from the opportunity that is right for me.
5. Identify the lessons learned. When I don’t get a job opportunity after interviewing with a company, I try to identify what I can improve on and how I can leverage that in my next interview opportunity. Typically, I will reach out to the interviewers and ask for feedback. If necessary, I refresh my resume and ask industry experts for feedback and suggestions. Often times, I revaluate my own areas of improvement and take note for the next opportunity. Reevaluating, seeking feedback, and leveraging that in your next opportunity, can only guarantee that you will do better and feel more confident than you did before.