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5 Ways to Practice Self-Care When You Don’t Get the Job

We’ve all had that feeling: disappointment. 

We feel it when we read a declination email in our inbox after we’ve applied to a number of seemingly perfect jobs. We feel it when we think we completely nail an interview, only to discover the hiring managers are going in a different direction. We feel it when we see a letter in the mailbox from a potential employer, beginning with a line about their regret. We feel it when we get passed over for a promotion that so rightfully belongs to us.

In short, we all experience disappointment at some point in our careers.

It’s inevitable to nail every interview, every time. It’s silly to think we can actually receive endless job offers, no matter how many jobs we apply to or how many interviews we go on. C’mon, no one is that lucky!

So, how do we accept disappointment and move on?

Here are five ways to practice self-care when you don’t get the job:

1. Let yourself feel the disappointment.

You got your hopes up, right? The job description seemed to be a perfect match for your skills and interests. It felt like the hiring manager and the rest of the team were destined to be your work buddies. You were probably already mentally planning your start date.

We get it. It’s difficult to avoid disappointment after you were so ready to accept an offer. Let yourself grieve for a few hours or days.

Take some time to reflect on the interview and try to be unbiased. Did you really answer the questions as well as you could have? Was the job really a perfect fit?

Related: Realigning Your Expectations When It Comes to Dreams vs Reality

Maybe another candidate had more experience, which you couldn’t compete with. Let yourself grieve about this one and then move on. Once the decision has been made, you’ll have to accept it and consider it a learning experience.

2. Give yourself a pick-me-up.

Do you perform better after a little bit of a break? If so, treat yourself to a scoop of your favorite ice cream or stop by a store to pick up your go-to candy bar. Take yourself on a shopping trip. Go take a relaxing bath. Watch your favorite movie.

Give yourself some sort of pick-me-up after you receive the rejection letter. It doesn’t need to be expensive either! You need to take some time for yourself to feel better and get in the right head space to move on.

3. Vent it out.

Few things feel better than a solid vent session with a friend or your significant other. After you’ve received a rejection letter, cope by talking it out with your best friend or s/o.

Tell them about how the interview went. Explain why you had such high hopes for this job. See if they have any insight to offer.

Confiding in others helps bring value to your feelings and it also makes you realize life goes on. Even when it feels terrible to be rejected, you’ll discover it’s part of life and we all go through it.

4. Reassess your professional goals.

If you find yourself being overlooked for a particular profession or promotion repeatedly, consider reassessing your career plan.

Why do hiring managers overlook you? How can you stand out in that particular field? Perhaps that field isn’t the right fit for you at all. It could be time for a complete career change.

Or, maybe you aren’t marketing your skills and objective as well as you could. It could be time to revamp your resume, update your reference contacts, and really streamline your portfolio.

Free webinar: How To Write The Best Job Application of Your Life

Reassessing your professional goals is essential and should be done often to ensure you are optimizing your career performance.

5. Pick yourself up and try again.

Ultimately, the best way to cope when you don’t get the job is to try again. Get back out there and put yourself back in the job market. One rejection (or even several) is not going to be the difference between you and career success.

You will find the right fit. You have to be persistent, motivated, and patient. Ultimately, finding the right career fit has a lot to do with timing. Sometimes a rejection now, ends up becoming an acceptance later.

Don’t miss this: 3 Questions for Reassessing Your Career Goals

Similarly, sometimes the job you think you want is actually not nearly as cool as the job you end up getting. Keep marketing your skills, networking with others, and searching through job boards.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Every ‘no’ is leading you to the perfect ‘yes.'” quote=”Every ‘no’ is leading you to the perfect ‘yes.'”]

While it can be soul-crushing and super disappointing to be rejected for the job you want, sometimes it’s for the best. Be open to new possibilities in unexpected places.

Even when a job sounds perfect, you might be better off waiting for the right job down the road. There are ways to cope with your disappointment when you’re overlooked for a job you so desperately wanted. The right job is coming your way. Stay positive!

About the Author

Rachael Warren (Tulipano)

Rachael is a University of Southern Maine graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a minor in Sociology. She remotely works full-time as a Senior Content Marketing Specialist for Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. In her leisure time, Rachael enjoys traveling with her husband, finding the next Netflix series to binge, and taking too many photos of her dogs Jax and Kai. Rachael is obsessed with chapstick, favors the Oxford comma, and is a proud Mainer. You'll likely find her exploring New England + beyond.