Taking Care Of Yourself After Job Rejections

 Taking care of yourself after Job Rejection

"Thank you for expressing your interest in our role as a _____. We regret to inform you that on this occasion your application has been unsuccessful."

Is what they all say or at least that's how it feels. Job rejection sucks! I mean literally, it sucks the hopes and dreams out of you all at once just to make you feel like you are back to square one all over again!

Overcoming these feelings of doubt, low self-esteem and shame can be quite difficult. This is why having a plan of action in place is critical. In this blog post, I will be outlining what I mean by a plan of action, how to overcome these feelings of doubt and exhaustion, and share my take on job rejections as someone who constantly receives them. 

woman at desk behind a laptop looking fustrated as she bites down on a pencil she is holding up with her two hands

Plan of action

What is a plan of action? A plan of action is a detailed plan outlining the set of actions needed to reach to achieve a goal. 

How is this applicable to job rejection? Well, to begin with, a plan of action allows you to plan for the unpredictable and less desired outcome. It allows you to take control of the situation and feel more secure when a plan does not follow through. 

However, it also allows you to take steps towards having a more successful outcome. Having a plan of action lets you map a strategy making you better equipped and holding you accountable for your actions. 

An example of a plan of action would be as follows: 

1)Update Current Resume: Use tools such as Canva, Adobe and other online resources. Include keywords that fit the role you are applying for. Refer back to the job description. 

2) Re-upload resume to job-seeking sites.

3) Create a cover letter then edit it to fit a particular role of interest. Make sure to personalise your cover letter for every role you apply to. 

4) Reach out to the recruiter of the role using LinkedIn or emailing them. 

5) Be flexible to interview dates/times: Prioritise! You want the role so find the time. 

6) After the interview send over questions you may have forgotten to ask. Makes you stand out as a potential candidate and makes you more easily memorable. 

7) If unsuccessful send a thank you letter to the recruiter and ask for feedback. Feedback is critical as you can reflect on where you went wrong and find a solution. 

8) Work on optimising your LinkedIn profile and growing your network. 

9) Process your emotions and reflect on the appropriate action to take. If you are feeling particularly exhausted then take a break!

Your plan of action can vary and it will be personalised to you. This is just an example of an action plan I would take.....well, that  I do take lol. 

Having this plan of action prepares you and sets you up for success. It enables you to strategise the best approach and adjust it accordingly. 

From this plan of action, I want to highlight step 9 specifically which is: Processing your emotions.

Processing your emotions is crucial when it comes to job rejections

Coming from someone who has had her fair share of job rejections and continuing, I am here to tell you more about why it is crucial for you to process your emotions in this tough, overwhelming time. 

Job rejections HURT. Picture this: You have just applied to the role of your dreams, updated your CV for it, written a top-notch cover letter and even reached out to the recruiter in the meantime to express your interest in this role and how you would make a perfect fit for this role. 

Come a month later you receive an email that shatters your dreams there and then. "You have been unsuccessful on this occassion." You feel heartbroken and a little disappointed in yourself. You question where you went wrong and what you will do now? 

You initially feel sadness and distraught. This quickly turns into anger and outrange resulting in low self-esteem and the risk of miscommunicating. 

These feelings are NORMAL! I felt it, you've felt it and so has Steve, the guy you sit next to on the train. It is a normal reaction towards feelings of letdown and disappointment. 

However, the not so good common issue with these feelings is that they do not get processed properly. You normally find that someone will feel how they feel in the moment to then quickly 'move on' from those emotions. This leads to open wounds quickly becoming infected all over again.

What I am trying to say is that not processing your emotions correctly when it comes to reading that rejection email or receiving that mundane call where they express you not making the 'cut' will quickly turn into a lack of acknowledgement of your feelings and the feeling of constant defeat. 

You will be in a constant runt. 

Here are some ways to help you process your emotions properly:

Address your basic needs: 

Are you sleeping properly? Have you drank enough water? Have you exercised your body?  Did you shower or brush your teeth? Addressing your basic needs will help connect you with yourself. It helps pick you up and make you feel more confident in yourself. 


Brainstorming or mind-mapping out some of the emotions you feel can help you process them better. Putting pen to paper or using online tools, such as Miro, to produce a visual 'board' of how you are feeling can allow you to understand your feelings as it acts as a visual representation of how you feel. 

Practice Gratitude:

As cliche as it is you should practice being thankful. I say this because it allows you to find the good within the bad. You can make the most out of a bad situation. So, although you never received the role you wanted you learned a thing or two. You learned how to improve your CV, you learned how to write out an even better cover letter. You learned that you should reach out to the recruiter and you learned that life goes on. 


Venting to someone or something will help you process your feelings a lot better. It helps to 'get it off your chest.' It allows you to express how you truly feel without a filter. It kind of acts like a way of asking someone for help without actually popping the question and saying "Can you help me?" because ultimately you receive advice from the venting session from that someone. 

Venting to a journal is another option if you can't find someone to confine in. It still allows you to put pen to paper and express any suppressed emotions within.

Whatever approach you decide to take when it comes to dealing with job rejections please make sure it is a safe approach that does not damage your mental, physical or emotional well-being. 

Remember that - Rejection is Redirection!

Lulu's Colectiva

I am 21 years old and I love anything to do with self development. I post blog posts for fun and to provide insights and may be teach you a thing or two. I love cats and I am trying to become a social media manager.

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