By Perminus Wainaina
Interviewing for a job or seeking advancement at work without any success is stressful and nerve-racking. The pressure is even more intensified by the economic effects of the ongoing pandemic.
Nancy started her career in her early 20s. After working at an advertising agency for a few years, she started looking for career advancement opportunities.
Many of her job applications went unanswered. She however got invited for a few interviews that did not yield any fruits.
“Every time I applied I thought I was qualified because having started working at a small company, I had learned a lot and so I felt like I would be an asset to my next employer. But nobody seemed to want me.”
This went on for close to a year and by the time Nancy shared her experience with me, she had reached a point of self-doubt and depression.
It is hard to handle rejection when you’re worried about your financial situation, how you’ll pay the bills or rent. After submitting numerous CVs and completing lengthy applications every day without hearing back, it’s nearly impossible to stay positive. When you think you did exceptionally well in an interview and haven’t heard back after several weeks, it’s devastating.
However, with the right mindset, you can turn your experience into a career development opportunity. Here’s how…
1. Consider your approach
If your applications are going unanswered, it may be time to do some self-analysis. Are you applying for jobs outside of your core competencies? What does your social media footprint say about you? How is your tone in the interview or at the office?
When you’ve been beaten down, it’s easy to start feeling bitter, resentful, and angry. These unattractive traits could come out and alienate people. If a potential employer senses that you’re unhappy and blame others for everything that’s happened in the past, they won’t be interested in extending an offer or giving you more responsibilities. In this job market, they’ll believe that there are many other smart, capable, and level-headed people with positive attitudes available.
2. Identify learning opportunities
Think about feedback from past rejections. Are there any recurring themes? What should your development priorities be?
Make a note of any weaknesses or issues that you can do something about, and use them as a focus for the way you approach your preparation next time.
What can you do to fix the gaps in your performance? Depending on the issue, you may want to take up training or coaching to help you turn your weaknesses into strengths.
3. Make adjustments
Share your presentation style with your friends and mentors. Ask them for their honest evaluation, constructive criticism, and feedback. Listen to what they have to say and enact the necessary alterations to your approach.
You should also take a step back and assess other elements too. Review your CV, networking strategy, and social media postings. People look at these things and make judgments. Ensure that you are presenting yourself in the best light.
Practice your elevator pitch until you feel it’s perfected. Think of all the questions that could be asked of you and rehearse your answers.
4. Refine your search
Sometimes the interview process can make you realize that, although it’s disappointing to be rejected, the role didn’t, on reflection, feel like quite the right fit for you either.
Look back over the job specification and ask yourself if you could truly see yourself in that role on a day-to-day basis. If there were aspects of the role that didn’t excite you, the interviewer may have been able to see this too.
Use your experience to help you refine future job searches. Are you perhaps looking at keywords that don’t quite match your ambitions and aspirations? Did the role that went with the job title not quite match your expectations? Did the interview make you realize that this is not quite the right sort of job for you?
5. Build resilience
In today’s rapidly changing workplace, as technologies accelerate and companies transform themselves with great agility, developing a mindset of grit and resilience is essential for long-term success.
See each setback as a challenge to grow both your self-understanding and your ability to bounce back and deal with disappointment. Overcoming obstacles on your career path will increase your chances of landing the right role. Therefore, make a point of staying constructive, and do all you can to learn from the experience to help you get ready for the next opportunity.
It’s never a good idea to stop applying for jobs until you have been offered and accepted a job offer. So, keep applying, networking, and working on your long-term career plan.
Perminus Wainaina is the C.E.O and Managing Partner at Corporate Staffing Services, a leading HR consultancy firm based in Westlands. Through career mentorship programs, he assists mid-level and senior professionals get solutions to complex and challenging career issues that they are facing.N.B: DONT Miss Out On Your Next JOB. Register Your CV With US. Click Here To Upload Your CV.. It's FREE.