Job search is stressful at the best of times but when you get a series of rejections without reason or a response, it needs special strength to keep going. So here’s a theory: the single-most important factor that can take you through to a new job is to keep at it even when you feel like giving up.
It’s emotional resilience – your ability to bounce back in the face of rejection – that makes the difference.
The Wikipedia defines emotional resilience as, “an individual’s tendency to cope with stress and adversity. This coping may result in the individual ‘bouncing back’ to a previous state of normal functioning or simply not showing negative effects.” When you face one rejection letter after the other (and they are bound to happen – how many people do you know of who sent in one application and got the job they wanted?), the key is not to get demoralized and slow your efforts down but to refuse to stay down.
We got inspired by celebrities who faced rejection and learnt to thrive on it, following through on their aspirations and making it to the top. When you face a dead-end in your job search, these ideas tell you to get up and fight back!
“I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat.” – Sylvester Stallone
Steve Jobs was fired from Apple; Walt Disney was sacked as his employers thought he lacked imagination; J. K. Rowling took her manuscript to 12 different publishers before Harry Potter became a phenomenon; closer home Amitabh Bachchan was rejected by All India Radio because of his voice!
Rejection is the bugle call that tells you to try harder. If you did not hear back after sending out the 3rd application, check your resume and then send out the 4th application. Then the next one. When there is a slowdown in your industry, scour the list of industries to target another one. If you are not able to find the ideal job, take what you can and prove yourself. Fight another day.
“You get used to the rejection and you don’t take it personally.” – Daniel Craig
Just because an actor is not picked up for a role does not mean that he is not a good actor. Just because you are not shortlisted for a role does not mean you are not good enough.
While it could feel like a personal failure, there are many factors that go into the call to hire one candidate over another – the promotion of an internal member of the existing team, organisational structure, re-location costs, compensation policies… Don’t personalize failure – there are many reasons for not hearing back that have little to do with you.
“Actors search for rejection. If they don’t get it they reject themselves.” – Charlie Chaplin
Many actors prefer giving a retake or reshooting scenes even when the director has okayed a take. A letter of rejection is just another reason to push your boundaries as they do.
Challenge yourself to become the go-to person in your area of specialisation. Take your expertise on to a social platform and emerge as a thought leader. While familiarity and routine can be comfortable, move into uncharted territory to prove you are exceptional. Look for bigger challenges; as you transform yourself, watch those No’s transform into yeas!
Remind yourself that the phase is a temporary one and that with each step, each rejection, you are inching closer to the job offer you have been waiting for. It’s over to you – bounce back and keep going!