Ten Things to Do When Your Job Search Makes You Feel Like a Total Reject
Sometimes it feels like life doesn’t want you to get ahead.
Rejection sucks. We try to put a positive spin on it to make it not feel so bad. We tell ourselves everything happens for a reason. This door shut means a better door opens. There are better opportunities coming. Use this setback to motivate you more. This makes you stronger at a person. This is a learning opportunity.
Those platitudes can make you feel worse. There is no solution offered and doesn’t put anything that is tangible on the horizon. What if there’s no good reason you didn’t get that job? That shut door may have been the better opportunity than the one you take.
Job searching is one of the worst first world problems for men. Despite what society tries to say, most of the time it’s up to the man to provide. He’s responsible to lead the home.
How can a man be a leader if all his family sees are rejection and failure trying to better their future? Rejection makes him feel inadequate, weak and unable to fulfill his role.
It can cause you to question how good you are at your profession. Your self-image and self-worth can start going down the toilet. You may have years of experience in your field, but you keep ending up second place. Are you as good as your resume says? As the great philosopher Ricky Bobby said in Talladega Nights, “If you ain’t first, your last.” This truth is job rejection reality. There is nothing for second place except going back to the job board with the rest of the crowd doing the same thing you are.
Rejection makes him feel inadequate, weak and unable to fulfill his role.
It feels like you are doing something wrong and it’s impossible to figure out what it is. You work hard on updating and formatting your resume to stand out. You do the uncomfortable task of talking about yourself in a cover letter. The interview ends, and you walk out with head held high and shoulders back feeling like you crushed it.
You send a thoughtful thank you note to your interviewer. They tell you news will be coming in a few days. You check your email waiting for any sign of good news. Those few days pass. They leave you wondering about it all weekend. They break their word on when they will say if you get the job. They are under no obligation to make sure don’t get anxious, but keeping your word is the decent human action.
You get impatient and send a check-in email to your recruiter. The apology comes saying they sorry are so busy (who isn’t?) followed with the rejection such as this: “We have decided to move forward with our top two candidates for final interviews. While the team feels that you bring some excellent experience, they felt the final candidates set themselves apart from everyone else. I have to say, it wasn’t an easy decision, as they interviewed some great candidates, yourself included! The team and I would like to thank you for your time and consideration. Should you have any questions whatsoever, or would like additional feedback, please do not hesitate to reach back out. Wishing you all the best!” Great. Such a warm and fuzzy way to twist the knife and crush your hope.
That was your last promising opportunity you had. The cycle keeps going with dozens of applications. You won’t hear from most of them. Then if you are lucky, another month-long interview process with multiple employers. Meanwhile, you are out of a job or in a job you hate making peanuts with a thriving economy. This is serious FOMO.
A long experience like this can put you in some dark places. If you suffer from anxiety or depression it amplifies it. The negative voices in your head are all you hear. It’s easy to believe them. They have plenty of material to work with.
Wishing you all the best!
My life has been the above story for months. I’m aware that most people in the world have it worse. I have bad feelings about my guilt because of that. I’m fortunate to still have a job while looking for a new one. This has become one of the biggest challenges in my life and affects my physical health. It’s been hard at not falling back into bad habits. It is imperative that you don’t let yourself spiral into a bad place and give up hope.
Ways to Fight Back the Rejection
- Acknowledge how you feel by writing or talking about it. The feelings will stay with you if you don’t.
- Allow yourself a certain period of time for the negative feelings and after that move on. A pity party won’t fix your interview or resume faults.
- Make sure you maintain a good diet. A solid kick in the gut can take away your appetite.
- Keep up or start physical fitness. This will help your mental and physical stress.
- Try to get feedback from your interview on why they selected another person. You may need to make minor changes to your interviewing skills. You may not know your faults, but they could be impossible for your interviewer to ignore. Recruiters can’t always provide feedback, but you should give it a shot.
- Utilize a professional to help with your resume and cover letter. Recruiters get inundated by applications. Most of them don’t get looked at. You need to stand out from the masses.
- Keep up your normal social life routines. The last thing you should do is isolate yourself.
- Remember that your job isn’t your identity. You are so much more in life outside of work. You aren’t defined by helping someone else reach their dreams.
- Don’t let the rejection of your search affect other areas of your life. Negativity can work its way into parts of your life where it has no business going.
- Begin upgrading your networking skills. We all have heard that it’s who you know.
The job search process is tough for everyone at some point in life. It may feel like no one cares about you or what you have to offer. As a recruiter, I know all of the behind the scenes things that happen. Most of the time, it isn’t your fault you didn’t get the job. The rejection may lead you to pursue your dreams if you get fed up with the job world. That’s one reason I started writing on Medium. This gives me the feeling I am working towards something important for myself that I hope will help others. If you get rejected, it’s their loss.