How to Handle a Painful Job Rejection


So you didn’t get the job. That sucks! I know first hand how awful it feels to be rejected, especially when you really wanted, or worse, needed to land that particular position.

Here are some thoughts on how to handle a job rejection and what you can do next time to up your odds of getting the J-O-B that you really want!

Take a moment to whine about it...or “wine” if you prefer!

It’s perfectly normal to feel upset when you don’t get what you want. While I don’t encourage harping on it for months or even weeks, it’s ok to take a day or two and throw yourself a little pity party.

Ignoring how you feel about something is never healthy. Getting out your tears (why me!), your anger (those jerks!) and your disappointment (I didn’t really want to work there anyway!) is a great way to gain some closure over the situation and ultimately will help you move forward more quickly.

Gain some perspective.

Say it with me now...You are not defined by your work!

I know it’s difficult to remember that when our culture associates so much of our worth with the job title we hold or the money we make, but in reality this is not what defines who we are.

Let’s also remember that the people who have turned you down for this job don’t know you. They may have seen your resume or your LinkedIn profile, heck you interviewed a couple times too, but with all that, I know for sure that they don’t really know who you are and what you’re all about.

Try not to take it personal and remember, your worth is not your work!

What can you learn?

All that being said, there are things you can learn from this rejection and it’s worth considering them now.

Why do you think you didn’t get the job? Did you ask the prospective employer for any feedback? Was there something that stands out in your mind as a missed opportunity in the interview process? Did you do enough research about the company? Were you going after a job you weren’t qualified for? Did you miss the mark on salary expectations and negotiate yourself out of the running without even realizing it?

Perhaps you can find a trusted friend or mentor that can look over your resume and talk through the experience with you in order to provide real feedback. (And hey, if this is a pattern or you're ready to get serious about launching the career of your dreams - perhaps it's time you invested in a career coach!)

How ever you decide to proceed, remember that there are things you can learn from this rejection which will help you become better prepared for the next opportunity!

Create a plan for next time.

There is no point in reflecting on this missed opportunity if you’re not going to do something different next time. Remember, if you take the same actions as before, you are likely to get the same job offer!

Create a plan for next time and know what you'll do differently.

This could be revising your resume, working with a career coach to create a plan to reach your goals or self reflecting on whether or not you are going after the right jobs in the first place.

Whatever it is you decide to do differently when pursuing your next opportunity go at it with full force, because the world needs what you have to offer and prospective employers need to understand why you're the candidate they must having working for them!


As always I wish you the best of luck in your search for your dream career. Don’t quit looking for work that is aligned to your passions and purpose.

When people do work that they love they change themselves, their families and the world. And that is something we all can shout a huge, “hell yeah!” about!


Thanks for reading.