In these unprecedented times, searching for a job might feel daunting. Applicant ratios for each job opening are increasing significantly and also the number of rejections. Even if you are an exceptionally qualified candidate, you will be rejected more times than not. Sometimes it is hard to cope with rejection, especially when it happens over and over again and for an extended period. Understanding how to deal with job rejection will help you to stay at the top of your game.
I want to share four steps that can help you overcome self-limiting beliefs associated with job loss and rejection. They come directly from the teachings of bestselling author Don Miguel Ruiz.
The “Four Agreements” are a practical guide to personal freedom that I practice in my personal life. In the context of a job search, these four agreements might provide you with a path to recover from job search setbacks.
- Be Impeccable with Your Word.
“Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.”
Negative self-talk is the byproduct of feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction about your efforts and results. You might feel a need to vent out your thoughts. If you decide to share your feelings with a friend or family member, resist any urge to talk badly about that employer. You can be impeccable by expressing how you feel in constructive ways. You will be better off by feeling grateful for the experience you gained interviewing and the time the Company took in considering you as an applicant. Send a thank-you note and let them know that you will like to be considered for other opportunities in the future.
- Don’t Take Anything Personal.
“Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in.
It’s so tempting to feel that a job rejection is personal when it’s not. There are so many reasons why you were not selected. Maybe you were overqualified, or your salary expectations were too high. There could have been another candidate that had a better skill set than you do. Do not use the job interview as a measure of your professional worth. Know there is another job opportunity out there that is perfect for you for which you will be selected. Stay on the game, move on.
- Don’t Make Assumptions.
“We ASSUME our reality is the same as someone else’s reality, so we fit whatever they do or say into how we view the world. We cannot dive into another person’s head and know what they’re thinking… but we sure think we can”.
Ruminating about the reasons you received rejection after a job interview can be emotionally draining. What could I have said differently? Should I have responded in a more directly? What was wrong with my follow up email?
The most effective way of not making assumptions is to ask the hiring manager how can you improve. Be aware that some employers refrain from sharing specific feedback but it does not hurt to ask. If you get constructive feedback, you will know how to better interview, instead of making assumptions.
- Always Do Your Best.
“If you just do your best, there is no way you can judge yourself. And if you don’t judge yourself there is no way you are going to suffer from guilt, blame, and self-punishment”.
According to Don Miguel Ruiz, our best is going to change from day to day, from moment to moment. What is important is to strive to do YOUR best, knowing that it might change. A job campaign has many ups and downs. Take the time to consider when you are the most productive and plan your schedule accordingly. If you are dealing with a major setback, know that you did your best at the moment. Give yourself some credit, calm down some of your inner-critic, and have some self-compassion. Maybe is a good idea to take a break for half a day or so to regain focus and recharge your emotional batteries. Being your best does not mean being perfect.
Probably at this point in the process, you had realized that a job search is a journey charged with emotions and with many instances of rejection. While there are so many moving parts that are NOT under your control, you can choose to implement these FOUR AGREEMENTS to realign your mindset to a more positive perspective next time you are declined as a candidate.
Starting today, you can commit to these Four Agreements. If you practice them consistently, they could set you free from negativity and pessimism!