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  • Stacey Baker

Handling Rejection


You have to be one of the luckiest people in the world to say that you have never been rejected from anything work related. This can be handled in a multitude of different ways, mainly down to the type of person you are. It’s never fun, and can upset most of us, but you have to take it on board as it is part of the growing process and remember constructive criticism is good and enables you to move forwards positively.

Here are a few tips in ways you can handle any form of rejection and ways in which you can use it to your advantage.

Look for the good points

In this case, you must read between the lines. Take a few minutes to compose yourself, and read back through the email, or think back to the conversation. What did the person actually say when they were giving you the ‘no’? Did they mention anything that you could take as good feedback? Did they say anything positive at all? This may not be as important as the overall topic of conversation, but it is something that you can take away and reflect on.

Ask for feedback

If you didn’t get anything aside from the rejection, ask why. Sometimes you may not be able to, you might feel uncomfortable doing it, or you actually don’t get anything back, but most of the time the interviewer/employer will be more than happy to give you some form of feedback about your interview. Take this on board and use it as a tool to improve your interview technique, manage your nerves or perhaps enhance your skill set, in time for your next interview.

Take a bit of time out

When you first receive any form of rejection, it is always key to take a bit of time away, even if it is just a few minutes to collect your thoughts and get your head together. The worst thing you could do would be to reply to anything immediately as this could end up with you saying something that you may regret, or diving into something else without a second thought. In this scenario (as applying for new roles), each step needs to be given thought, and you do not want to make any mistakes that may affect you in the long run.

Reply/Thank you

You don’t get the news you want to hear. You’re not in the best frame of mind, so you take the afternoon to process the news, away from your search. The following day, you get back on your computer and you start again, but make sure to reply to the email, or send one if you received a call, to say thank you for their time. Companies/Recruiters have so many applications to get through, that they do not get the time to reply/call every single one, so if you have received that, just appreciate their doing so. You can also let them know that you are still looking for something if anything that they consider more appropriate for you does come up. You never know, this may not have been the job for you, but they know who you are, and may have something in the future that they think is a much better fit.

Feel free to share with your family, but that’s as far as it should go

Whatever you do, no matter how angry you are, do not portray the company in any type of negative way amongst your friendship group, on social media, or through any other form of communication. Every company/ workforce has a community of its own, and people do talk to other people. An individual is ten times more likely to share a negative story than a positive one, so if you give a bad impression of a company that has rejected you, this could spread. People move roles and companies and you never know who you may encounter again in the future in your career. Something said negatively out of hand might always remain associated with you.

Rejection is never nice, but it is something that can be used positively. Take what you can and use it to improve, and always look for a silver lining. Something better is waiting for you!

At Irwin & Dow we are very much strong believers in ‘what is meant to be will be’ and ‘what is right for you, will not pass you by’.

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