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7 Tips for Managing Job Search Rejection

Rejection is inevitable if you are looking for a new job in the digital age. Learning to effectively cope with rejection can help you protect your mental health and stay on track with your job search. How do you effectively manage job search rejection?

Below are seven ways to cope with rejection in the job search.

1. Breathe. 

Begin by taking a few minutes to breathe deeply. You may find it helpful to use the four-seven-eight breathing technique — breathe in for four seconds, hold for a count of seven seconds, and breathe out for eight seconds. Some of my career coaching clients benefit from firmly placing both feet on the ground to center themselves during this high-impact breathing exercise. Other coaching clients find it helpful to go for a brisk walk or jog to clear their minds during or after the breathing exercise.

2. Release the negative energy from job rejections.

The job search can be incredibly taxing on your mental health and well-being. Be sure to take time to release all of the negative energy associated with receiving a rejection from a job you really wanted. This may include screaming, yelling, or crying. Find what works for you to release that pent-up negative rejection energy.

3. Practice Ho’oponopono.

Try Ho’oponopono if you are feeling anger, resentment, or frustration toward the applicant tracking system (ATS), recruiter, or hiring manager who rejected your candidacy. Repeat this powerful Hawaiian ritual to yourself until you feel fully at peace with the person: “I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.”

4. Ask for feedback.

After you successfully release all of the negative energy associated with the job search rejection, consider requesting feedback on your application. This can be as simple as a two to three sentence email to the recruiter or hiring email asking if there is any feedback they can provide on your job application or interview.

5. Take action on your job search.

You can quickly rebound from the rejection by moving forward with your job search effort. Take immediate action by updating your resume or optimizing your LinkedIn profile, submitting a few online applications, or networking with people in your target role. Try to carve out at least 20 minutes per day on your job search.

6. Ask for help with the job search.

Know that you do not have to navigate the job search alone. Consider asking a friend, trusted mentor, or career coach to help you stay motivated during the job hunt, especially if you find yourself frustrated by rejections. I am a proponent of leveraging a job search accountability buddy or two to keep you feeling energized throughout the job search. This is especially important for those of us living with mental health conditions.

7. Celebrate the “small” wins.

While it may seem counterproductive to celebrate a job search rejection, I advise my career coaching clients to celebrate the “small” wins throughout the job hunt. Decide how you want to celebrate every step of the job search — identifying your target companies and positions, submitting your application, interviewing, the list goes on. Even when you get rejected from a dream job, there are a lot of other important job search steps for you to celebrate!

Finally, remember that finding a new job takes substantial time, energy, and effort. This is particularly true with the current job market. Be patient with yourself. Your mental health will thank you. You’ve got this!

Getty image by filadendron