Walt Disney was declared bankrupt at 23. Madonna’s first effort was rejected by a major label. JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was rejected 12 times before being taken on by Bloomsbury.
If you’ve applied for a job with confidence, only to have your dreams crushed a week later by an email that goes along the lines of ‘we regret to inform you…’ you’re in good company. The most successful businessmen, artists, authors and scientists have seen disappointment long before they have experienced success.
This isn’t failure!
Failure is determined by how you react to the disappointment. Before working out how to combat it, it’s key to remember the numbers. I’ll repeat from above: JK Rowling was rejected 12 times. Not once or twice. 12 times. Thomas Edison said, ‘I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.’ Most people can cope with one unsuccessful job application and put it down to luck. The key to your growth is reacting to disappointment not once, but over and over again. What can you learn from this? What can you improve on? What’s your problem and what can you cross off as an issue with the company (it’s not me, it’s you…)?
Here’s a few practical tips on how to manage the situation when it’s not a Yes…
Get feedback- While in some cases employers can’t give full responses as to why it was them and not you, it’s crucial that you ask for feedback from the contact from the company. Not only for the sake of improving for next time, but also to point out your enthusiasm for the role and the company and keep you in line for future vacancies. Always bear in mind the number 1 top choice may fall through or not work out, and you could be the next call they want to make.
Say thanks- A simple response of gratitude for the opportunity to interview and be considered can go a long way. It’s professional, it’s gracious and it may help you be remembered.
Stay positive- you’ll waste your time being frustrated about a job you didn’t get. This is time you could be spending focusing on the next opportunity.
Practice makes perfect- write down what you felt went well with your application and interview and consider the feedback you’ve been given. How do they differ? How are they the same? There is always room for improvement!
Keep all doors open- Leaving a bad taste in their mouth will always make matters worse. You never know what’s round the corner, whether their first option doesn’t work out or a contact in their network happens to need someone similar. Make sure you are memorable for all the right reasons, and don’t be afraid to connect with them on Linkedin!