During the course of your career, you’re not going to land every job for which you apply. (Unless, of course, you’re one of those “one in a million” type of candidates. If you are, then you just might.)
As a result, disappointment is inevitable during your career. So it’s not a matter of IF you’re going to encounter adversity. It’s a question of WHEN you’re going to encounter it and how many times you’re going to encounter it.
Since this is the case, what’s most important is how you react to adversity. Specifically, it’s important to react well to adversity, and that includes when you don’t receive an offer of employment for a job that you really want.
One of the reasons you want to react well in this kind of situation is that you want to brand yourself in a positive fashion. When you brand yourself poorly, it can come back to “bite you” later in your career.
Below are five steps to take to ensure that you react properly when you don’t get the job:
#1—Stay calm and try not to take it personally.
This might be the most difficult step. That’s because nobody likes rejection, even though this is not actually rejection. It just feels like it. The company or organization is not rejecting you personally. It just selected another candidate that it felt was a better fit for the position. It happens.
#2—Send a thank-you email or note to the hiring manager.
It’s critical to be gracious in the face of disappointment. First, you absolutely don’t want to send a nasty email to the hiring manager, spouting off about how they will “rue the day” they did not hire you. (And yes, people have done this.) Instead, send an email or note expressing your gratitude for the opportunity to interview.
#3—Ask for feedback from the hiring manager.
If you send an email, take the opportunity to ask the hiring manager for feedback. The process is over, right? They should be willing to share some tidbits about how you fared in the interview and during the hiring process overall. Take that feedback and make the necessary adjustments for next time. It could be the key you need to break through during your next job search.
#4—Engage in continuous training and education.
Truthfully, you should have been engaging in this all along. The only way to improve and get better is to work at improving and getting better. However, your resolve should be even greater in the face of disappointment.
#5—Align yourself with a recruiting agency.
An experienced recruiter working in your field can help you uncover opportunities that are not advertised through traditional means. They can also properly prepare you for the interview process, offer advice regarding other matters, and answer any questions you might have. Partnering with a recruiter is a strategic move that can give you a competitive advantage in the employment marketplace.
The Doepker Group has experience placing professionals in the Information Technology and Engineering fields, and we can place you, as well.