in article about job rejection, illustration of a woman facing towards two doors, one open with possibility and the other closed and locked away

Job Rejection Is Not the End of the World

With the right mindset, you can turn disappointment into something amazing.
November 4, 2022
7 mins read

At some point in our lives, we have all been rejected. Whether the rejection comes from a school crush, a job, a university, or even an exclusive bar, the what and why of rejection are rarely relevant. Rejection breeds negativity unless were able to control our reactions accordingly. If we do, we may find that getting turned down for a job builds character: If we have the right mindset, perhaps we can turn rejection into an amazing thing.

Rejection is an unfortunate but necessary part of the human experience. Everyone faces rejection at some point in their life, whether they realize it or not. Many people don’t recognize the potential benefits of the experience. While it may sound self-contradictory, ask anyone who’s ever been turned down for a job how the refusal may have helped them later on, and ask where they are now. Most of the time, they’ll tell you that rejection can actually be a very positive thing – if you look at it the right way.

Feedback can also help you realize that rejection is often out of your control. Some things can’t be changed in the blink of an eye, and sometimes an interviewer wants someone with experience that you just don’t have. It can be helpful to put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes: Would you want someone more experienced to complete a task for you? Or would you prefer to take a chance on someone who may not have the necessary skills? There is nothing wrong with a hiring manager who prefers a different candidate. Listen for feedback from the interviewer, but don’t fixate on it. It’s important to concentrate on the areas you can improve while acknowledging that change won’t happen overnight.

Picture this: You receive an email or phone call informing you that you are no longer being considered for a position. Regardless of where you are in the hiring process or whether the position piqued your interest, it may feel like you’re losing air, like it’s one more failure to add to the pile, like there’s no hope.

It’s incredibly easy for your mind to drift off to a self-critical place when you’re rejected. However, you may benefit from concentrating on your strengths during this time. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Your strengths could be the reason you land a job in the future, so don’t lose focus or tear yourself down for the wrong things. Most importantly, don’t completely write off a company that rejects you. Don’t burn any bridges, because you might wish to apply for a job with that company again in the future. Ending things positively with an employer can only benefit you. Remember that rejection isn’t personal, and you may have been the runner-up candidate. If they are looking for someone to fill a position in the future, you could be the one they call – if you leave on a good note.

While certain forms of rejection are painful, others can be utterly devastating. However, there is one instance where being rejected can work to your advantage: it teaches you to be persistent and patient. Even though you might not immediately achieve your goals, if you are willing to work hard, you will eventually succeed.

You must impress interviewers and hiring managers by showcasing your best qualities if you want to land your dream job. If you’re always negative, you won’t do yourself any favors when it’s time for interviews. Take the time you need to return to a neutral – if not upbeat – frame of mind so you can move forward.

I’m well-versed in rejection. I understand the irritation, the slow-burning rage and the sense of hopelessness that accompany the experience. But getting turned down can actually be incredibly humbling. Rejection puts you in a mindset of self-improvement – and trust me, there is always room for self-improvement. What’s more, when one door closes, another door opens. Getting turned down may lead you to where you are ultimately supposed to be. Maybe you would have really hated that job; maybe being told “no” by the wrong person allows you to say “yes” to the right person. When it comes to rejection, it’s better to look at the glass as half-full rather than half-empty.

For college seniors close to graduation, rejection can create a lot of stress. There is a great deal of pressure to find a job or secure a position in a company immediately after college. Society has exceptionally high standards for what we need to do and when we need to do it. The amount of time you take after college to start your career does not define your success as a person or how much you are worth. It truly doesn’t. In the grand scheme of things, it’s really a matter of trusting the process. If you’ve extensively practiced for an interview and dedicated time to researching a company, you’re already ahead of most candidates. Understand that you’re on the right track, and some of the best things in life come when we least expect them.

Valentina Palomino, SUNY Old Westbury

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Valentina Palomino

SUNY Old Westbury

Hello, my name is Valentina Palomino. I am a student at SUNY Old Westbury. Some of my greatest passions include writing alongside with reading. Nothing better than snuggling up next to a good book!

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