When you’ve thoroughly done your due job-hunting diligence but still come up empty-handed, a little (okay, a huuuge) part of you can feel deflated and start to believe that you’ll never work again. If you’re employed-but-looking, you’ll might think that getting rejected from a new job means your career will remain perpetually stagnant.
Obviously, rejection is such a disappointing end to a job search. You did everything right, polished your resumé with precision and absolutely killed both rounds of interviews. But even knowing that you’re a more-than-qualified applicant doesn’t take the sting out of being told no. In many cases, not getting a job offer can be embarrassing and cause job-seekers to lose confidence in their abilities.
Since bills need to be paid and professional advancements won’t happen on their own, you have to change the way you view this situation. As gloomy as it can seem in the moment, it’s still possible to extract positivity from rejection and make in work in your favor.
Before you allow yourself to give into abysmal thoughts about never working again, here’s how you can turn getting rejected from a job into a good thing.
1Give yourself permission to be upset about it.
Let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way: Rejection sucks. Glossing over the bad feelings you have after losing out on a professional opportunity isn’t going to do you any favors when it comes to handling future rejections (and they will happen in one form or another).
Taking healthy steps to getting over rejection means allowing yourself time to process emotions, realizing that it’s perfectly normal to suffer from a bruised ego and not allowing it to become a permanent setback on your job hunt.
2Ask for feedback.
It’s totally worth it to ask any prospective employers for feedback about why they didn’t choose you for the gig. In fact, there are benefits to doing so, says Business Insider. For instance, finding out what you could’ve done better during an interview gives you the tools to improve upon the skills you already have in order prepare for your next career opportunity (which is totally on its way!).
3Send a follow-up email.
According to The Balance, sending a follow-up email after a job rejection gives you the chance to express gratitude to the hiring manager and to stay on their radar for other job openings.
Just because you weren’t a good fit for the role or company to which you applied doesn’t mean you can’t tweak your resumé or interview skills to be a more suitable candidate in the future.
4Consider rejection as a form of redirection.
Maybe getting turned down from that job you applied for was a sign that you need to go back to the drawing board and review your career goals. Take this opportunity to make sure you’re really going after companies you’re interested in working for and also to give more thought to whether the jobs you’re seeking truly align with your values and goals.
5Give yourself credit for applying in the first place.
This may not sound like a big deal to you (how else are you gonna get a new job?) but we’ve all come across an application for an amazing job that would be absolutely perfect for us..if we weren’t too afraid/lazy to apply. While you’re nursing your rejection wounds, you’re actually a step ahead of others who are still struggling to move past their fear of looking for a job.
Job-hunting can be downright intimidating: It requires you to go after something you really want and need with gusto, with absolutely no promise that you’ll receive a return on your efforts. It also places you in a vulnerable position, where someone else plays a role in determining your career path. But despite all these frightful incentives to resign yourself to a life of being a beach bum, you persisted, which is means you actually won, even though being passed up for a job feels like you lost.