I recently applied and interviewed for a job that I didn't get. To be honest, I was pretty surprised. I was qualified, I had good experience and I represented myself well in the interview.

Sometimes, we don't ever know why we didn't get the job or promotion. I've been on and observed the hiring side and a very qualified person is not always the ultimate candidate. There may be someone with more experience, someone else has a "connection", or maybe something you said in the interview hit an interviewer the wrong way on a personal note.

Whatever the reason, you have to get over it and use the momentum to better yourself for the next opportunity.

The funny thing was that as I was walking to the parking garage, I was thinking about how I wasn't sure this was the fit for me and what was I going to say if they offered me the job? Clearly, my ego was hit big time, though. We always want what we can't have, right?

"Failure is success turned inside out...
The silver lining on the cloud of doubt." Don't use this setback as an excise to quit or give up on your dreams. Often a big failure is what propels a person to success. If your project or proposal got rejected, keep working on it and make it better. Volunteer, read, network - learn as much about the field that you can. I've heard many times about famous authors being rejected time and time again. The writer kept editing and editing, their book finally got accepted and now they are a bestselling author.

Get better
The rejection motivated me to take a second look at my resume and some of my interviewing skills. I actually read a book about building resumes - something that I haven't looked at in a long time. It's easy to get comfortable and think that we know what we are doing or are already great at something. Use the rejection to sharpen the skills that you have.

It is probably not personal
I don't know what is ingrained in is to make rejection so personal. It's usually not. And the rejection is usually more about the person making the decisions than it is about you. Get over yourself, don't give up on your dream and keep doing what you do.

Ask for feedback
I did ask for feedback (in a non threatening way), but was told that they "liked me, someone else just got the job better". So really, I didn't get a lot of clarity in the feedback department.
If you missed a promotion or your proposal didn't get accepted at work, ask if there was a point that you could have made a little better. Sometimes, rejection stems from not knowing your audience. What people say they want and need is not always what they actually want or need - learn to read between the lines when submitting projects at work. And sometimes, we miss the mark altogether. Either way, you learned - now move forward.

I used this time to reflect a little. What job do I really see myself in in five or ten years? Would this position have gotten me closer to those goals or did I just like the new title?
I actually have since found two positions that I'm very excited about! I wasn't excited about this opportunity. Even if you do get rejected from something that you really wanted, know that there will probably be similar opportunities in the future and maybe some that are even better.


WellnessJoanna Simmon