Job Rejection

Handling Job Rejection Productively

Losing out on a job opportunity can be difficult. Nobody likes to feel rejected, but it’s an inevitable part of the process that everyone will experience at least once in their career. Being weighed down by rejection and handling it productively can be the difference between success and failure in your next role. Read on to learn how to turn a rejection into an opportunity for personal growth.

1. Don’t take it personally.

Have you ever heard the phrase it’s nothing personal, just business? While getting rejected might sting in the moment, it’s important to remember that it really is nothing personal. There could be a whole list of reasons why you may not have been selected for a role, but it’s never a reflection of who you are as a person. Don’t feel that you need to change yourself for a job – while there may be things that you can improve or work on, the right job will make you feel secure, not like you need to change who you are to fit in.

2. Learn from the experience.

Every negative situation can be turned into a learning experience if you frame it properly. Perhaps you dropped the ball during an interview and said something you shouldn’t have, or maybe you made a mistake during a skills assessment. Maybe you just weren’t as qualified for the job as you thought you were. In any case, be honest with yourself when considering what you could have improved upon, rather than placing the blame on someone or something else. Even in cases where everything went well and the circumstances for rejection were beyond your control, it can still be helpful to analyze the situation and ask yourself how it could have gone better. If nothing else, take it as a lesson that not every job will be the right fit for you!

3. Ask questions.

While it may not be at the top of your list of things to do after you’ve been rejected, reaching out to the interviewer, hiring manager, or recruiter that you were working with to ask what you could have done differently can be an invaluable tool for future success. It’s good professional form to reach out after an interview anyway, and could put you in a positive position for future opportunities and referrals as well.

4. Stay focused on future successes.

It can be tempting to wallow a little after one or two (or more!) rejections. But don’t spend too much time obsessing over the negative. Staying on track and not letting yourself get discouraged will allow you to keep your momentum up and continue your job search.


Have you ever experienced job rejection? How did you handle it? Let us know! Keep the conversation going on our Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

Posted by Emily Couves in Best Practices