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Chronicle

Another Job Rejection? Don’t Get Angry, Get Motivated

Posted: 07 November 2018

There’s no denying it – being rejected sucks. Whether it’s always being picked last for the school football team; being told by your girlfriend ‘it’s not you, it’s me’; or hearing, yet again, that you didn’t get the job, rejection hurts. At this point, you have two choices: let that rejection crush you, whilst you cry into another tub of Ben & Jerry’s for one, wondering where you’re going wrong; or you turn that rejection into your greatest teacher, using all that anger and frustration to drive yourself to do better and be better next time around. Spend your time and energy working on you, until they’re only left with one choice – to say YES! Here’s some key bits of advice to overcome job rejection and stay motivated.

1. Get feedback wherever possible

Unless you know where your weak spots are, you’ll never grow and be able to improve, so always ask the recruiter for feedback. Find out what their reasons were for rejecting you and get them to give specific details – if they say another candidate was better qualified or more experienced, find out exactly what those qualifications and experience were. That way, you’ll pick up on any ways you could boost your chance of success when interviewing for a similar role.

2. Don’t take things too personally

Being rejected can feel like a personal attack, making you question your self-worth. It’s OK to feel down initially – give your bruised ego a bit of a rub, acknowledge things didn’t work out for you this time around, then let it go. 

Any time spent dwelling on negativity and feeling rubbish about yourself, lamenting your loss or seething with anger because you feel you deserved that job (and clearly the only reason you didn’t get it was because the interviewer had it in for you from the start), is time wasted: use your energy to focus on ways you can improve and move on to other opportunities.

3. Take action

Start a new course to develop your skills and boost your CV – there’s a whole host of free online courses available, a couple of great sites are: FutureLearn, OpenLearn, and Alison

If you need practical experience, look into voluntary work in the industry you’re interested in, or find a mentor who can share their first-hand experience and knowledge with you.

4. List out all your strengths and weaknesses

Your pride may be damaged by being rejected, so it’s important to give yourself a confidence boost and remind yourself of all the positives and benefits you have. This can be your skills and past achievements, but also aspects of your personality that make you a great person – your sense of humour, enthusiasm, kindness – whatever it is that makes you you

Once you’ve given yourself a swift reminder that you’re pretty awesome, pick a few key areas that you’d like to work on or where you feel least confident – perhaps being more confident and assertive is a good place to start!

5. Stay open to opportunities

If you keep pushing for a certain role or industry and, time and time again, it doesn’t work out, maybe that’s a sign to try something different. Branch out in a new direction and always be open to opportunities wherever, whenever and however they present themselves to you – sometimes the best experiences are the ones you never see coming!


Failure isn’t in being rejected: it is letting that rejection defeat you and never trying again. The next time you’re turned down for a job, use this advice to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and come back stronger. There’s no shame in being rejected – as long as you know that you’re doing the best you can, you can hold your head high and feel proud of your determination and courage to keep on keeping on.

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