Being Positive in the Face of Job Rejections

In a world full of greater competition, highly qualified candidates and fewer opportunities, job rejections are inevitable. With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the global economy, many people are finding it harder than ever to look for jobs. However, job rejection is not always the biggest ordeal; it is the aftermath of job rejections, which begins with doubting yourself and your abilities, suffering from imposter syndrome, and feeling demotivated in pursuing a career in your chosen field. Candidates often find job rejections extremely disheartening, and it takes a toll on their mental health and their perspectives. Being rejected, whether after submitting an application or after many rounds of interviews, is part of the job search process; it is therefore important to keep in mind that you have to keep on trying. It is essential to stay calm and remain positive even in the face of adversity and rejections. It is all part of the process, and you can choose to grow from it.

Next steps

If you feel lost after a job rejection and do not know where to begin again, this article might assist you.

Create a contingency plan

While it is important to have dreams such as wanting to work at a particular firm in a specific role, it is equally important to set realistic goals. Have a backup plan; you could add other firms to your list of applications or choose another related role in your career plans. Pursue more than one opportunity. Be flexible in your job search approach. There are different paths that may lead to the same outcome.

Seek guidance and feedback

It is difficult to accept rejection, but we must learn to grow from it. Most top-notch firms are not likely to provide individual feedback on applications due to the high number of applicants, but when possible, you should try to find out what went wrong. Ask for feedback; it will help you get some closure and understand what you lacked, so you can improve upon your mistakes and not commit them again. It is also important to pinpoint your weaknesses, because often you are not your own best analyst.

Practice self-awareness

Spend time after every rejection reflecting upon what you did. Reconstruct your CV, rewrite those cover letters and find patterns in your applications that might be causing the rejections and stop recycling the old ones. Ask yourself whether it is time to move on. Reflect and reset your work life.

Aim for personal growth

Make a list of possible mistakes or missteps in your applications or interviews. Target each problem and find ways to resolve them. If you see any recurring themes such as interviewers asking the same questions about a certain aspect of your resume or difficulty in responding to the same questions at an interview, it is ideal to re-evaluate and reflect on how to best respond or avoid these pitfalls. Make sure you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses. You can also use online tools that analyse your soft skills or review your CV for a better understanding of your position.

Dealing with rejections

It may not always be easy to move on from rejections, but try to remember it is just a job rejection and not your defeat. You do not lose until you give up, so keep fighting hard.

Let bygones be bygones

Instead of playing on a loop that failed application or awful interview, try to remember your success stories. Think about when you did not believe you could do something, yet you managed to pull it off very well. Boost your morale by thinking about your achievements and what you’ve accomplished to get where you are today.

It is not personal

Getting rejected does not necessarily mean you were not good; there could have been better-suited candidates for that particular role with more experience or who had specific skills that were needed for the position. Do not take your rejections personally; consider them objectively and don’t take it all to heart.

You are not alone

Remember that you are not the only one questioning themselves and rethinking every decision they have taken in life to reach this point. Others are sailing in the same boat, and you could maybe try to reach out to others, share your story and motivate each other.

Be positive

Keep a positive attitude and take care of your mental health. Try to detach yourself from the professional circle once in a while and reflect on your goals and aspirations. Think about your personal relationships and things that make you happy. It can be beneficial to unplug yourself from the job search cycle and take a break for a mental detox.

Moving on

After a successful interview, it may appear enticing to sit back and wait for the result. However, it is often best to continue searching for jobs and submitting applications. Do not let a great opportunity pass by because you were too busy waiting for something that may not happen. Remember to also send a thank-you email to your interviewer so that you leave a good impression and stand out from the crowd.

Building resilience

Resilience has come across as one of the most considerable soft skills for employment. What better way to build resilience than growing through job rejections? Learn to bounce back from each setback. Take all the feedback and rejections constructively to improve, rather than dwelling in negativity over your failures. Remember that the path to success is not always straight – sometimes you have to manoeuvre the many roadblocks to get there.


Job rejection is capable of putting you in a vulnerable spot; however, see each rejection as a step towards your dream job. Consider rejection as a way of learning patience and overcoming your weaknesses. It would not be the end of the world if you did not get a job offer from that dream firm – look at the bigger picture, and see how you can grow holistically and live your dream life. You do not have to beat yourself up after every rejection. Think of every “no” as a path being opened for better things to enter, for a more desirable “yes” is coming in the future. Keep hustling; you will get there.

Article contributed by The Legists.