Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Job Rejection: Turning a Negative Into a Positive

We've all been through this situation before: You open up your inbox one day and you see an e-mail from a nonprofit to which you had recently applied for a job.  The subject line is vague enough that you can't figure out what the content is, so you open it up with some hesitation.  Unfortunately, it turns out to be what you had dreaded: A job rejection e-mail.  Clearly you are going to be frustrated, but there are ways to turn this negative situation into a positive for your job search.

First off, you should send a thank you letter to the organization.  That probably sounds like a somewhat strange thing to do.  After all, why should you be thanking them after they turned you down?  Besides the fact that it is the polite thing to do, you never know when another job opening might open up at that organization.  Showing that you were able to handle a difficult situation with class will make you stick out in their minds when they next decide to hire.  It also gives you a chance to express your continued interest in working for their organization should anything change.  Leaving an employer with a positive impression of you will make it more likely they will consider you if a new position opens up, or if the candidate they hired instead of you doesn't work out.

Next, you should use this frustration to motivate yourself.  Nothing makes a better motivation than adversity, so you should work extra hard to avoid having to go through the situation again.  You can even change up your job search routine.  It can help make the process a little bit fresher and it might lead to better results. 

I can tell you from my own experience that being rejected from a job is extremely difficult on the ego.  After all the work you put into applying for a job, it almost doesn't seem fair to be rejected.  But remember: It doesn't do you any good to dwell on it.  You can't control the decision an organization will make, but you can control how you choose to react to that decision. 

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