When you get rejected from your dream job

You got the introduction interview. You prepared day and night for the technical interview. All of the past jobs that you took were to better prepare you for this one job. You thought everything went well with every interview. The interviewers even said they were impressed. Then you get the dreaded rejection email:

“We will no longer be moving forward with your application, thank you for applying.”

What now?

For many people, landing a dream job is what will determine whether they are successful or their career or not. Being unable to land that dream job means that they will have to settle for something else that could never possibly make them as happy. It means all that hard work was for nothing and that they are failures.

However, the truth is that this is not the case. Though not landing your dream job can feel like the end of the world, it isn’t. Sometimes it can even be a good thing.

Here are 5 things you can do to deal with a dream job rejection and continue to move forward with your job search.

Don’t Panic

Getting rejected can feel overwhelming. It can feel like the world is ending and that all of the time and effort that you put in has been wasted. Letting these feeling get to you is a recipe for disaster.

Do your best not to let it get to you. It will be hard to push it out of your mind completely, but you have to get over it. What happened is in the past and all that you can do now is move forward.

Take a step back and relax for a little while, you owe it to yourself. You put yourself through a lot of stress, what you need now is to decompress and evaluate the situation.

Don’t get in your own head about it

It’s hard to do this especially when you thought the application process went very well. You have to realize that the recruiters are in a tough spot themselves. More likely than not, they are getting a ton of applications and have to interview many many different people for the position. When it comes time to make the difficult decision to hire or reject someone, sometimes the choice is made based on factors that are completely out of your control. Sometimes it is just blind luck.

It is easy to get in your own head and convince yourself that if you just did this or that a little bit better then you would have the job. Even worse, it is easy to convince yourself that you are a failure and that no one will ever want to hire you again.

If you made if far enough in the application process to have multiple interviews, then you did something right and you showed that in some way you can provide value to that company.

It is unfortunate that someone else came along who might have been a better fit, but you did better than a huge majority of other applicants.

Learn from the application process

When you have decompressed a bit, it’s time to start moving forward and learning from what happened. Go over the application process and figure out where you can improve.

Is your resume not as great as it could be? Did you have trouble answering some interview questions? Were one of your references bad?

By thinking through the process you might be able to come across things that could be improved upon, and if so improve them.

Don’t spend too much time on this though. Like I had mentioned in the previous point, it is easy to start coming up with reasons that won’t actually make you better. Keep this emotions out of this exercise and try to find real ways to improve your application for next time.

Start job searching again

Though you may not be able to see yourself happy at any other company, it is important to now to start searching again for other opportunities. There are so many great companies out there doing great things. You might be surprised by what you can find.

Let being rejected fuel your job search. Instead of sulking, show the world that you are capable of doing the job and find a company that will give you that chance.

If nothing else, more experience in the same position that you applied for will give you a better chance in the future of landing your dream job.

Make a plan to reapply

If you are convinced that this company is the one you want to work for, then don’t give up. Many companies allow you to reapply, and even encourage it. Make a plan for how you will improve yourself and then reapply when the time is right.

It might just be that right now you aren’t at a place where you are able to get the job. That might be due to lack of experience, or lack of maturity, or any number of things. Just realize that it is never over until you decide to give up. If you want it bad enough then you will be able to get it, one way or another. It just might take some time. Use that time to increase your chances as much as possible.

Getting rejected from your dream job can be a very depressing, but try not to get down on yourself. There are so many other great companies out there and so many other ways to make a positive impact on the world. Nothing worth doing in life is easy, and that applies to landing your dream job.

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