5 Steps to Dealing With Job Search Rejection

It’s been a while since I posted because I spent most of the month of January prepping for a single job posting. That’s right. Just one!

January proved to be a drought month in regards to leads for jobs in my field. On January 3, I discovered a single  posting for a job where I felt I was a perfect fit. The posting called for a teacher, preferably with a Masters degree, to teach social studies at the high school level to an urban population of students and experience with closing the achievement gap. Considering I had all these qualifications neatly bulleted in my résumé and could give personal examples until I was blue in the face, I thought I had it in the bag.

After two informational sessions to gain background information on the job, one full application, three formal interviews, one essay test,  a demonstration lesson, and an informal interview with students, I completed the interview process to receive my rejection email on January 28th.

Here are the five steps I took to get over the rejection.

  1. Prepare for rejection: The job was very competitive, so I knew there was a definite chance of rejection, but the interviews went so well I was still surprised when it happened. I used my optimism to my advantage and made a positive  things I learned and suggestions that were made at each step of the interview process. I had my collection of movies that make me laugh on stand-by and some activities planned for the week I would get the acceptance/rejection letter.
  2. Prepare a “Thank You” letter ahead of time: After the last interview session as I was waiting for the acceptance/rejection I went straight home and wrote “thank you” letter drafts to all the individuals who needed one. It is much easier to write a genuine thank you went you aren’t licking your wounds after the job rejection and feeling sad or upset.
  3. Take time to relax: I did a massive amount of research and work to pull together the materials for each stage of m interview process. Notebooks and reference guides for teaching were strewn haphazardly around the office. After the rejection, I took the time to go treat myself a little. For me this meant, cleaning the office, taking some time to catch up on my favorite TV shows I had missed during the month of January, and getting some support from friends.
  4. Plan for next time: After an evening of watching missed TV show episodes, I took the time to go over my notes again and see what my strengths and weaknesses were during the entire interview process.  I will be that much more prepared the next time I interview.
  5. Don’t allow rejection to stifle the job search process: Despite the fact that I hadn’t received a rejection letter at the time, I was looking for new job leads that were starting to pop up for the month of February the day after my last interview. I’d rather have an application that is ready to go in case I receive a rejection. In this way I was able to keep working without allowing rejection to take me down. In doing this I was able to set up two informal interviews for the month of February.

In the end, dealing with job rejection is a matter of preparation and approach. Keeping confident in your own abilities and skills, remembering that job searching is a process, and being prepared will help keep you going in spite of any rejection letters.

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