Breaking into the job market has become a very hard and demotivating project. Here are five ways to bounce back and keep going
Last year, a friend of mine had been hard at work…looking for a job. There wasn’t a day where she didn’t visit job sites to submit her CV. Half the battle seemed to be won when she got an interview, all four of them. However, no matter how much she believed she did well in her interviews, she was ghosted by job recruiters. I think that is harder than receiving a formal rejection because one has to conclude for themselves that they were rejected. She’s been so despondent that she stopped job-hunting for a while. I know my friend is not the only one going through this. Many people, especially the youth, find it difficult to find jobs; in fact, according to Stats SA, 59.5% account for the total number of unemployed people in South Africa. While these numbers are a sobering reality that has resulted in challenging socio-economic factors, and especially Covid-19, you can get that job, only if you persist. While it’s tempting to give up, don’t. Here are five ways I am encouraging my friend, and you, to bounce back from job rejections and keep looking:
- Allow yourself to grieve: any rejection can take an emotional toll on a person. This is why it’s important to allow yourself to be human and process your emotions. A job rejection can result in many things beyond your control and not necessarily that you are not qualified or good at your chosen field. If you are lucky enough to hear back from recruiters that you didn’t qualify for the position you were interviewed for, thank them for their time and kindly ask them for feedback. Sometimes, you might not receive it but if you do, use some of it and identify areas you need to improve on and take it from there.
- Be kind to yourself: remember that you are not the only one who was considered for this position, and you definitely are not the only one who has been rejected for this job. It might be hard to, but try to not take a job rejection personally and move on to other job opportunities that are currently available.
- Do some self-introspection: think about what you could have done differently in the interview, whether you downplayed your skills or didn’t prepare as much as you should have. If you thought you nailed the interview, it’s also fine. What’s important is to always go back to the drawing board and reflect on what needs to be improved.
- Reach out: if you know a person who works in HR or have a friend or acquaintance who is part of a hiring team, ask them if they can help you improve on your interview etiquette. Ask them what recruiters look out during and after interviews and use that information to your advantage. If you don’t know anyone personally, Uncle Google has great sources to help you.
- Keep going: many successful people have experienced some form of failure or rejection at some point in their lives. It’s part of the journey. And it stings. However, if others can make it, so can you. And as the late Aaliyah once sang, ‘Dust yourself off and try again’ because you never know when your next break will be. Hang in there and best of luck for 2023.