Handling rejection in your career

Handling rejection is hard. Whether you’ve been looking for a new role and didn’t get the job that you hoped for, or you were unsuccessful in gaining a promotion – rejection in your career can feel like a setback. So, what’s the best way to move forward and handle rejection in your career?

handling rejection in your career

Feel your feelings!

Being rejected comes with a lot of feelings – frustration, sadness, stagnation – and it is absolutely fine to feel all of those things! Take the time to process this a little. It is much better to acknowledge these feelings than suppress them. Just don’t dwell on it for too long, and know that this is a small set back in your career journey!

Get some feedback

Getting feedback will help to give you a different perspective. There are a few ways to get feedback and they all serve different purposes.

  • If you can, get direct feedback from hiring managers or interviewers. This will help you to understand where you may be slipping up and give you a better idea of the decision making process. You may keep the relationship open for further opportunities down the line, too!
  • Reach out to your recruiter (if you used one!). Recruiters will be able to offer you actionable advice and insights.
  • Speak to trusted friends or colleagues. Getting feedback from people you trust can help you to see where you can improve. You might find that they have experienced similar situations and be able to offer you advice. More than anything – friends and colleagues will offer you support and boost your confidence!

Gather your thoughts

Once your feelings have settled and you’ve sought out feedback – it’s time to gather your thoughts.

  • Reflect on your applications and interviews. Consider what went well and what didn’t, think about where and how you can improve. This is much easier to do once the initial sting of rejection has faded!
  • Consider your options – do you still want to continue down this path? Are there other routes that you haven’t yet considered and might be interesting to you? Check out our blog on alternate career paths for solicitors – you may decide to seek out other options!

Take a break

Job and promotion applications can take up so much of our time and brain power. Taking a break to look after yourself is so important – and can help you to come back refreshed! Get out in nature, do some exercise, read a book – anything that gives you joy! You’ll feel ready to take on the world again in no time.

Keep developing

In the meantime, you can continue to develop your skills while you seek out new opportunities. Whether you want to improve your digital, technical, people or networking skills, there are many ways to do this – workshops, online courses, lunch and learn sessions. Check out our blog on up-skilling for guidance!

Move forward

It is important not to give up! Move forward with positive intention – believe in yourself and your abilities and know that you will get where you want to be if you keep trying. Seek out new opportunities, utilise your contacts and be optimistic! You’ll bounce back quicker every time.

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