"Sorry,"... the most dreaded words that you could possibly hear from the company that has your dream job. They're informing you that they've decided to pass on your application. Or maybe, you haven't heard back from them for a few weeks, and they're no longer responding to your messages. It's a situation no one feels good about, but don't worry, there is light at the end of the tunnel! Here are 5 ways to deal with being rejected from your dream job.
1. Stay Positive
Follow up by thanking the people you met during the interview process, via email or Linkedin. If you are still interested in working for the company, be sure to include your interest in other opportunities in the email. Try not to overanalyze the interview or take their decision personally. Your resume and interview may have been superb; just remember there are other factors in their selection process.
Don't get knocked down –use this opportunity to build resilience. Pursue group activities to keep your spirits up, such as a sporting or civic group. Spend time with optimistic friends and family members who have a positive vibe. Continue your job search with confidence. Your dream job is still out there somewhere.
2. Reflect on ways to improve for the next job opportunity
Ask for feedback from your interviewers and from trusted friends or advisors. Find a friend or colleague who will take you through a couple mock interviews to sharpen your skills, or think of other strengths you have that might have been left unmentioned. Tailor your resume for each job application, highlighting your qualifications and references that are specific to each potential employer.
If you have been at the job hunt for some time and are having difficulty moving forward, consider starting a job search journal to keep track of your efforts and emotions throughout the process. Writing provides a safe place to pull your thoughts together without scrutiny from others.
3. Use this time for personal development
What are your personal, intrinsic goals? What defines success in your life? Goals should be stepping stones toward your life’s vision - not just in your career, but also in development as a mature individual. For holistic health, personal development skills are a must.
This might be a good time to learn skills related to the field of interest. A plethora of online resources such as Udemy, Udacity , Coursera, Edx, and YouTube are available. Classes range from short free tutorials to longer programs charging a fee. Volunteering is also a fun way to enhance and learn new skills. If your creativity skills are high or you are ready to tackle a new project to augment your resume, build a personal website to use in your coming job applications.
4. Keep your options open
Is your search job incredibly narrow and in need of a broader approach, open to companies or positions you have previously overlooked? Canadian David Zweifler studied psychology in 1993, but his career began as a newspaper writer. Afterward, he went into investment banking and then became a public relations specialist, now the head of public relations at Sisense, a top-notch business intelligence company in New York City. Because of his willingness to explore other fields, his career has been multi-faced and fulfilling.
Think outside the box and look at jobs where you can gain new skills and knowledge, meet the right people, and fit into a comfortable work culture. Don’t limit yourself to big-name companies, or job postings not meeting all of your criteria. Perhaps you need just one more stepping stone to accumulate more experience before landing your dream job.
5. Look for a career advisor or professional mentor
Talk with someone you trust who has more experience in the career world. Even if that person's career is in a different area of expertise, they may be able to offer fresh advice for your approach to finding a job. This contact can be helpful later as well, when it comes to negotiating salary, what to wear on your first day, etc.
The National Career Development Association has a database of credentialed career counselors and an exhaustive list of online resources for career planning. If you are already employed or a university student, seek out a professional mentorship program to maximize your potential in your current skill set. If your company doesn’t have one, ask them to look into programs offered by companies like Everwise or classes such as Ascent by Sequoia.
Right now you have a choice to make. You can drown in all the negative feelings this recent disappointment has brought on, or you can acknowledge them – and then put one foot in front of the other with a healthy perspective toward life and your abilities. Don’t let your talents go to waste! Keep pressing on: the right job will come at the right time.