I believe there are two camps when it comes to rejection; those who say everything happens for a reason and it just wasn’t meant to be, versus those who simply state it is what it is. What is done is done.
Now, if you’re a strong believer of the first mindset, that’s great. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s wonderful to keep positive and believe that you are going to end up where you’re meant to.
If you’re in the latter camp, like myself, then perhaps you’re a little more cynical, realistic and practical. By saying it it what it is, you’re accepting that you didn’t have the skills, qualities or ‘edge’ (the unexplainable, unattainable ‘edge’) that the potential employer was looking for. What I have found myself doing after many an interview and subsequent rejection, is making mental pro and con lists.
By listing what was good about the missed opportunity, you narrow down what you’re really looking for in a job; the ideal location, the perfect work colleagues, the best salary. Sure, that job that got away probably had a couple of aspects that could have been great — but surely there are reasons why you can do better. This also gives you the opportunity to better yourself. Notice a couple of things that went wrong? Perhaps you didn’t fully research their client list, didn’t brush up on relevant current affairs, or simply were too nervous to utter a clear sentence. Take note of that and endeavor to be more thorough the next time around. The good thing is the more interviews you have, the more relaxed you’ll be for them!
In reality, it’s all a matter of state of mind. Both attitudes can be regarded as positive ones, yet one of the sayings insinuates that it’s up to fate. (Flashback to learning all about determinism in 10th grade philosophy class). Keep in mind that 9 times out of 10, you weren’t rejected because a coin-flip didn’t go in your favour – you have to work for what you achieve.
Graduates on the job-hunt are faced with a lot of rejection. A lot. It’s easy to become discouraged and lacking in self-confidence. Everyone will tell you that the first job is the hardest to come by, and they’re not wrong! Keep this in mind when you’re getting down on yourself. In retrospect, I’m sure it’ll make the first job out of university that much more gratifying!