Rejection - How to become resilient in your career

Rejection happens to all the best people!

Okay, we’re not going to give you (much) folksy wisdom about how to deal with rejection. This post is about getting perspective, planning for the future and hardening yourself for the inevitable low points. They will come and they will hurt. You can become upset, angry, insecure and lose hope or you can take stock, learn and develop.

All the best people experience rejection

We could provide a million inspirational quotes from Einstein, Steve Jobs, Marie Curie or whomever you want. They all suffered huge setbacks. Their struggles must have seemed insurmountable at some point and they probably all sat down and wondered “Why the hell am I even bothering?”. In STEM many of the greatest minds were dismissed by their peers, ground-breaking research was rubbished and breakthroughs ignored.

Rejection is inevitable on the journey to success.  Don’t be arrogant and assume that others are merely incapable of understanding your genius but if you can genuinely say that you’d be the best for the job then put it down to their loss!

You don’t know the full story (and neither do we)

As recruiters, we get given a job description and person specification and we go on the hunt for someone who (on paper) fits. The problem is that whilst 90% of the time that works and the best person gets the job, sometimes it’s not that simple. Candidates who have previously worked for the company are sometimes given preference, or they have worked with a key member of the team before.

Unfortunately, sometimes there is also a bit of nepotism or the plan is to hire internally but to fulfil policy requirements they also need to field other candidates. We hate this as much as you do because we waste our time and yours and we don’t get paid! It’s very much in the recruiter’s interest to get a feel for the hiring environment before contacting candidates but it still happens.

There really are other opportunities

So your dream job was advertised. You spent days preparing the perfect CV, sent it off with sheer excitement anticipating the awe with which they’d read about your achievements and….. you didn’t even get a reply. Yup, it happens all the time. We always try to get feedback for our candidates but sometimes you’ll never find out why that work of genius that was your CV ended up on the rejection pile. At this point, you need to go straight back into job hunting.

Search the job boards, make a list of all the companies that you would like to work for and then expand that list wider than before. Give us a call too to make sure we know you’re still very much actively job hunting and help out if we can. There is no perfect job – for all you know you may have walked in on day one and realised your new line manager was the boss from hell and you’d entered some laboratory of the underworld. Great careers are complex things and an ‘ideal’ job description is no guarantee of happiness!