Getting Rejection — Do you know how to deal with it?
Imagine a scenario like this:
You are a job seeker, sitting on a chair and planning to keep applying for your dream job. Suddenly you got a mail and it started like this:
Thank you very much for your application as a developer. Unfortunately, we have to inform you that we have to turn you down for this position. Please do not take this as a devaluation of your knowledge and skills.”
And instantly it broke your heart and mental strength. How often do you get the above text as a developer? As a career changer, I got a huge pile of rejections. Either you are not qualified for it or the timing of your application was just not right or maybe you are just not the right cultural/behavioural fit. There could be a ton of reasons why they choose someone above you. As a job seeker, learning how to deal with rejection is kind of the most vital part of any successful job search, no matter how well qualified you might be or how perfectly you match with the requirements.
There’s two types of job seekers: one who keeps complaining about rejections and stops trying and the other one who just takes that failure and learns something from it. You are in-charge of your mind and only you can decide which type you are. As a helping hand, I can only show you some steps which might help you to deal with rejection, successfully.
Let’s have a look together, shall we?
Couple of rejections stopped you from applying? No, don’t let them stop you. It’s just a part of your procedure, it doesn’t matter if you are unquestionably fit for the position, you can’t be 100% sure about that. Not every application will crack the deal and that’s the reality. The truth is that you will find that job eventually.
Whenever you find yourself totally mentally low about this particular knock back, ask yourself the possible reason. If the reason is that you felt the job was perfectly fit for you, kinda your dream job — then continue your job hunt by pursuing jobs exactly like that one.
On the other hand, if the rejection has affected you as a bring down to your pride of acceptance, then the job wasn’t really for you anyway. You can move on from that and count this as the recruiter has done you a favour. Just to turn the job down or worse, after taking, regret it later, better not to move on that just to boost your pride.
The worst thing that you can do after getting rejection is taking it too personally. Especially counting yourself unqualified or unlucky in comparison to those who have gone through the goal when you didn’t. As an applicant, most of the time you don’t know why they passed. However, don’t complain about them being hired or about their lack of skills. They got hired. Someone saw something positive in them. Usually, HR spends more or less 40s over one resume and it might happen that their resume clicked before yours.
The fact that you don’t reflect more on you than on HR. In one word just don’t judge and also try to not be judged.
Look for Feedback
If you are actively applying for a job, you will probably get the auto generated rejection mail a lot as well. When it comes to a flat email, stating nothing more than that you didn’t make the way, try not to focus or spend time reading too much into the message.
Looking for feedback is one of the best ways to ensure you move on from your thoughts. You have nothing to lose by asking why your application/interview was unsuccessful. Just be prepared mentally for the feedback and even if the reply came as harsh, it will either be a very useful lesson or a reason not to feel too down about it.
Here’s some tips on how to seek feedback about it:
Send a polite email, thanking them for letting you know and requesting more detail as to why your application/interview didn’t draw their attention or if you are comfortable with the call, try giving them a quick call. The more time and effort you spend on the application or interview process, the more justified you are in seeking feedback from the company.
Try to accept the feedback when you get it from the company, and never argue about your case, how capable you have been for the position or what they are going to lose — the authority has made up their minds.
The vital issue after being rejected is what you have learnt from them. If you are lucky, you will get a mail/call with the proper reasons why they choose someone over you. This might make you feel bad, but hey! Get over it and work on that.
For example: the employer might give you a reason like you were too confused while working on the task, you didn’t express what you want to do if hired or worst case, you didn’t study the type of algorithms they are expecting and you couldn’t even master the task.
Make a note whatever you observed after your interview or application or even after getting feedback and work on that to improve yourself for the next procedure. Sometimes coding challenges work perfectly for you to do some practice before the actual test. There’s plenty of coding challenge platforms where you can do it. You can even invite your friends to create a mock test platform and do the coding together. There’s a platform named stackstream, where you can invite your friends and create such an environment. Interviewing is a skill. You just have to force yourself to do so and to get better at it.
Don’t give up: At the end of the day, you know what your goal is and stick with it. Turn failure into your pillar and keep practising and learning. If you fail again, practise more and learn better. Do not let one auto generated mail hold you back. Keep working and trying until you achieve your goal and when the magic happens, you know you have defied all odds and proven to you that you are worth it.
I will end with some thoughts of mine when I was struggling in the industry:
“Coding is fun but at the same time not easy to learn. If it’s that easy to adopt, a huge number of people will start working as a developer and make five figures as a starting salary. If you already learned to do programming, congratulations to you. You have overcome the very first obstacle. Just tighten your seatbelt, hop on a jumpy ride for your dream job and don’t stop. Once you overcome the challenges on your ride, you will become a successful developer and land on your dream job”.