How to Get Over Job Rejection

Nov 12, 2019

Some things are easier said than done: hitting the gym every morning, ending a toxic relationship, or getting over a hopeful job that rejected you. When we feel lost or hopeless, we know the next step is to “get over it.” But the question we’re all asking is, “how?”

In October 2018, I was at the lowest low. The endless applications, follow-up interviews, and networking emails were overwhelming on top of a full workload. And to make matters worse, I felt they weren’t getting me anywhere. Half of the people I reached out to never responded and employers were constantly telling me they needed to fill the position before my graduation date. Then, there was the most gut-wrenching response: “We’ve decided to no longer pursue your candidacy.” Oh yeah, and without any explanation. 

At this point, I had completely distanced myself from friends, stopped going to social outings, and visibly looked upset everywhere I went. And any time someone would ask how the job search is going, I’d just say, “fine.” I mean, I’m not going to announce a rejection. 

Now, the point of me writing all of this is to remind you that we’ll always have low moments where we question our abilities and start doubting our talent. We’ll compare ourselves to people who are in the position we want to be in and ask ourselves, “why not me?” 

It’s easy to pick yourself apart when you feel insecure. Trust me, I was there. But there are other ways to pull yourself together. So, if you’re interested in hearing how I found the motivation to fill out more job applications after getting a few rejections, keep reading. 

Step 1: Cry. 

That’s right, let it all out. I love a good cry, especially when I feel I’ve reached my breaking point. Make sure you’re completely alone and have time to fully let go without rushing to get to class or meeting your friend for lunch. Give yourself time to regroup, depuff, and fix your makeup. And if you’re not going anywhere, even better. You can move on to Step 2. 

Step 2: Sleep.

Whether this is minutes after you’ve gotten that rejection letter or an entire day later, make sure you have time to rest. We’re sometimes extremely emotional because we don’t have the brain power to process our feelings. This causes us to speak and sometimes act out of character. Allowing yourself to get a full night of sleep or even a nice nap will help you refresh. You’ll then have the patience to get through the next few steps.

Step 3: Take a break from applications. 

When I got rejected from the job I really wanted, I stopped applying to other openings for an entire week. Some people might not find this productive and that’s understandable. But you have to know yourself and how well you work under stress. If you’re too caught up in a fresh rejection, will you have the confidence to ace the next interview? Are you fully focused on writing a new cover letter? Probably not. Give yourself a break. You deserve it. 

Step 4: Talk about it with someone.

This “someone” was my mom. For you, it could be a friend, professor, therapist. Just find someone who’s willing to listen to you vent and remind you that there are people around you who have your back. When you feel low, it’s always important to know your feelings are 100% valid. 

Step 5: Stay busy.

The worst thing you can do is go over everything you said during your interview, or try to force yourself into believing you didn’t actually want that job. Stay busy doing something you actually love doing and you’ll realize that it’s possible to be happy. That rejection letter definitely wasn’t the end of the world. 

Step 6: Remind yourself that job wasn’t for you.

I’m leaving off on another point that isn’t always easy to understand: everything happens for a reason. This cliche saying is the number one thing that’s gotten me through any rejection in life. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s also a constant reminder that something better is waiting for you. You won’t know what it is or when it’s coming, but that’s where faith comes into play. 

Pretty soon, you’ll realize that rejection was more of a protection. You’ll eventually gain the motivation to keep working and improving those skills that may have been shortcomings. It gets easier to want to better yourself. 

Trust me, this is coming from a girl who was crying in bed a year ago and is now working a pretty dope job that I love.

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