Dealing with Rejection – 3 Easy Steps

You will be rejected. The worst thing you can do is just accept the fact and shrug it off. You need to confront the rejection and own it. Once you recognise your weaknesses and shortcomings you will then be able to positively address any gaps or weak points in your knowledge, experience, skills and technique.

Phase 1 – Ego Recovery

Although it is far easier said than done, you need to deal with rejection and move on as quickly as possible. Half a day to a full day seems to work for me during which time I do something to take me away from the whole affair – a few rounds of modern warfare on the PS3/ gym time/ food all seem to do the trick. Once you’ve calmed down and rediscovered your self-worth, it’s then time to analyze and improve – attack refreshed.

Phase 2 – Gather Feedback

Always take the opportunity to gather feedback even if you were successful. What did you do particularly well and were there any areas that you could improve upon. If you contact someone from HR over the phone, be sure to probe them on their feedback. If they say you lacked problem solving experience, ask for specifics: was it a poor example, what were they looking for etc. Ask them how you can improve.

Phase 3 – Keep Notes

Finally, you must meticulously record your experience and the feedback that accompanies your performance. After 3 months of intense job-hunting I had compiled a small pukka pad of notes around competency questions, company info, case studies, team exercises and tips for improving my performance. It may be tougher to confront your rejection rather than brashly shrug it off and forget about it, but when you’re preparing for your 5th interview you will sorely regret not having made those notes.

Just remember, failure is a necessary stop on the path to success:

“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
– Michael Jordan

Source: Famous Failures

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3 responses to “Dealing with Rejection – 3 Easy Steps

  1. This is a wonderful tip – gathering feedback even when we were successful sounds like a great idea. What’s sad about rejection is, when you get rejected twice — rejection for the job position, and rejection from getting a feedback.
    However, failure is inevitable on the road to success.

  2. This is a really good post. I especially like that you highlight the importance of giving yourself time to come to terms with the rejection. (Though I’m not sure I’d go with food as a coping mechanism!) A lot of people tend not to do that and then just try to move on quickly. But sooner or later that accumulated stress and that rejection catches up with them and is much harder to deal with. Not just with interview rejections, but for any kind of rejection at all this post would be very useful.

  3. Oh, and I absolutely love the picture!

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