We’ve all experienced it: after weeks of interviews and putting your best foot forward, after getting your hopes up and even fantasizing about what life in this new job will look like…nothing.
Or worse, a curt piece of Corporate B.S. in your inbox: Thank you for your interest. We regret to inform you…you know the rest!
How can your self-confidence NOT take a hit in the wake of that kind of rejection?
It’s an issue that’s way more important than you realize. In fact, a recent study from Ohio State University found that an individual’s career path is HEAVILY influenced by their levels of self-confidence (or lack thereof). This isn’t about “feeling good.” This is about safeguarding one the most powerful assets you have for getting ahead.
So how can we bounce back from a “No?” How can we rebuild our self-confidence and use it as fuel to achieve an amazing outcome? Read on…
Here are 4 Ways to Rebuild Self-Confidence After Job Rejection
1) Separate the Strategy from the Situation.
If a business closed up shop every time a customer refused to buy their product, there’d be no businesses left! Consider the fact that the GREATEST high performers and innovators out there are precisely those who have the courage to keep testing the waters, and aren’t afraid of being repeatedly rejected. Don’t sweat over hearing the word “No.” In fact, if you REALLY want to take your career to the next level, set yourself a goal for hearing it MORE! Once rejection loses its power to stop you, nothing else can.
2) Practice “Zeroing Out” Opportunities.
This is a trick I picked up during my days as a working actor in my twenties, when it was customary to be rejected for 95% of the roles I auditioned for. Prepare. Get into a positive mindset. Engage honestly. But IMMEDIATELY after the interview, remind yourself, “This will most probably come to nothing.” Adopting this mindset offers two benefits. The first is ensuring that you keep hustling hard all the way through the process (no matter what optimistic things are said by a hiring manager or recruiter). The second benefit comes from realizing that if a “No” is inevitable, then you’re going to have to find some value in the engagement beyond the offer. What can you learn here? How authentically can you present yourself? Thinking in this way will enable you to get progressively stronger every time.
3) Give Yourself a Set Period of “Wallowing Time.”
Endlessly ruminating on why you didn’t get the role is a waste of time. Look- clearly you did something right in order to get this close to an offer. So…set a timer for however long you’d like and use that time to INDULGE in the unhappiness. Just make sure that when the timer runs out, you’re ready to stop giving this random employer any more of your energy and move on.
4) Help Someone Else.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Take the time to introduce two people in your network to each other. Send a thank you note to someone who recently helped you. Volunteer or surprise the kids by carving out a full day doing nothing but making them feel special and loved.
When we get rejected, it’s tempting to make it all about ourselves. I didn’t get the role. I don’t feel successful. But at the end of the day, it’s NOT just about you. Your life, and your power, extends far beyond the narrow domain of any employer. They are interchangeable. You are not. Helping someone else will remind you of just how big of a role you play in other people’s lives. And that’ll have a deeply positive impact on your self-confidence.