Can you relate? A client of mine got a call out of the blue from a friend asking if she’d be interested in a position at her company. She wasn’t looking for a job and couldn’t help but feel flattered.
We researched the company, the people they hired, their objectives and industry trends. My client was sharp and ready for her interview; she knew how to explain what she wanted and how she could make an impact at the new company. I’m talking stellar.
And yet, she didn’t get the job.
She went through every emotion- frustration she’d gotten excited when she wasn’t even looking, wondering if she’d done something wrong; she was angry and annoyed. And worse, now she felt disconnected to her job having imagined leaving it.
Regardless of if she went looking for it or whether the job came looking for her, she couldn’t help but feel defeated.
I can relate.
I interviewed for a paralegal job once. The lawyer’s office looked like an episode of hoarders- boxes, files and papers everywhere stacked higher than his desk. And there was a cat lurking around the piles. It was gross. And I didn’t get the job.
At the time I was desperate and couldn’t believe this creepy slob didn’t want to hire me! I was insulted! Had he done so however, I wouldn’t have gotten the job that changed the course of my career. And besides, I’m allergic to cats…
So how did that happen?
First, I freaked out. I started by brain-freezing myself with a giant peanut butter cup blizzard, spilling it on my one and only suit. Then I called a friend to bitch about it (the job and the spill) while downing several glasses of Franzia (hey, I was jobless!). I was crushed and felt like crap.
Then, I got over it.
Because I didn’t fight my feelings, I woke up a week later feeling better.
I made note of why I wanted that job and what I wouldn’t have liked about it. I knew I’d have been miserable sharing an office with Heathcliff, inhaling dust mites and working with just 2 people. I realized that I wanted to work for a larger company, with opportunity and a pet policy.
While I knew this, I didn’t know much else.
In search mode again, I decided to get social, setting up coffee and drinks with people I knew. I wasn’t asking for a job, I was learning what they did and how their companies worked, and I took it all in.
I needed money in the meantime, so I decided to consider temp jobs so I could test the waters. In the interview with the staffing company, I was offered a job as an in-house recruiter and account manager. Say, what?!
Had I not been open to opportunities and put myself out there, I’d have missed out on a job that ended up giving me the experience and foundation for the business I have now.
One of the reasons many women choose to work with me is because I believe in making the present as enjoyable as possible while figuring out the future.
Here’s what you can do to recover from a rejection so you can get your heart back into your current job, at least for now.
- Chat with someone you trust who isn’t directly affected by the outcome. Get those feelings out- complain, cry, be pissed or jealous. Allow yourself to feel anything that comes up without judgment.
- List out all reasons the new job wouldn’t have worked AND what excited you most about it. Get it all on paper and then set the list aside.
- Step away. When you mentally stay in job search mode, you can’t help but notice what’s missing in your current job. For the next few days, don’t look at other opportunities, engage in conversations about looking or let your mind wander to the “what could be.”
- Most importantly, re-engage with your current job. Find a project you can throw yourself into. Consider when you feel energized and inspired. Is it when you’re helping a coworker solve a problem? When you create a system that makes people’s lives easier? When you connect with a new client? Figure out what that is and make sure you find a way to do it, even if you’re in between jobs.
Here’s the deal: You may not need to do all 4 but try a couple to get you out of the emotional slump. Know that we all go through this. It doesn’t make you less hire-able or less awesome; it’s simply a part of the process. As I had to do with Hoarder, Esq., resist this affecting your confidence for longer than a few days.
Once you’ve recovered, it’s time to get strategic.
Take out the list and use it as a guide. Begin talking to people. Discuss what you love about your work, how you’re hoping to grow and the impact you hope to make. (I refer to this as your Unique Advantage Statement.) Gather intel on what they do. Have conversations like humans, without motive.
According to this Forbes article, 80% of jobs are found through networking.
Challenge: Whether job searching or not, set up 3 meetings with people you know- former co-workers, neighbors, friends, family, alumni, people in your yoga class. Make it casual. My best tip: ask more questions than you answer.
Got any tips you can share? Let us know in the comments below. What helps you get over rejection?
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Here’s to finding the right job!