Job search tips: How to deal with rejection

Rejection hurts. There's no way around it. But it's also a natural part of life that everyone experiences. Whether it's rejection from a job you wanted, a college course you were excited about, or even just not being invited to a social event that all your friends are at. Rejection can leave us all feeling unwanted and not good enough.

Rejection often leads to false beliefs about ourselves and damaged self-esteem. You might feel that you are not smart or capable enough if you have been rejected from your dream job. It can also lead to us putting up emotional walls as a tool to avoid being rejected again - meaning that you stop working towards your goals because of the fear of being told no.

Did you know that Steven Spielberg got rejected from film school 3 times? But now, he’s won 3 Oscars, 7 Golden Globes, and 11 Emmys. Michael Jordan was also famously cut from his high school basketball team.

Being rejected doesn't mean that we aren't good enough, and you shouldn’t let a few setbacks stop you from going after your dreams. So, how do you get over rejection? It feels easier said than done. However, we’re here to provide you with four simple things to help you bounce back when faced with rejection.


· Acknowledge Your Feelings

Being rejected does not feel good. It doesn't matter if it’s the first time or one of many. It can leave you feeling sad, embarrassed, or not good enough – but it's fine to feel this way! Take some time to acknowledge your feelings and work through them. This might take an hour, a day, or longer. Practice self-care - this can be anything from cooking yourself a nice meal, going for a run, or binge-watching your favourite TV show.


· Don't Blame Yourself

It's easy to assume that rejection is all your fault. Maybe you feel like you messed up an interview or just didn't do enough. But it's not always that simple. Rejection can happen for a range of reasons, even when you tried your best. Maybe the other job candidate had more experience than you, maybe they were taking the role in a different direction. It's not always about you!


· Learn From Your Rejections

Adriena Freidman once said, "The best thing we can do with rejection is to make it a learning experience - rejection is a great teacher."

Ask for feedback on why your CV was turned down or why you didn't get the job after an interview. Ask yourself "What can I do differently next time?". This not only reframes rejection as a positive experience but also helps you improve - personally and professionally. Learning from your rejections is key to moving forward.


· Keep Putting Yourself Out There

Don't stop trying. Use rejection as a chance to regroup and refocus your efforts. t's important to take some time, look after yourself, and learn from your experience - then get yourself right back out there and try again!

"As long as you keep going, you'll keep getting better. And as you get better, you gain more confidence. That alone is a success."

Tamara Taylor


Street League is here to help young people aged 16-30 to achieve their goals through the power of sport. We provide young people with an opportunity to get fit, gain qualifications and move into work, education, or further training. If you are ready to put yourself out there and start working to reach your goals, apply to join a free programme in your local area:

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