Job Search: Coping with Fear of Rejection

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Job hunting is tough – often harder than a job itself. One of the worst parts about searching for a job is rejection. If you’re looking in a tight job market or don’t have a lot of experience, you may face even more rejection than usual. Sometimes job seekers have or develop a fear of rejection. You may not have been rejected before, or you may have faced too much rejection in your life. Whatever the reason for your fear of job search rejection, it can be overcome. Read on for some ways to overcome your fear and land a job.

Practice Confidence

How can you practice confidence? While self-confidence does come more easily for some people, gaining confidence can be done. Start by going over all of your accomplishments and skills, even if they seem insignificant. Write them down, as if you’re creating a big resume for any job for which you might apply. If it’s a hobby, write it down too. This isn’t a real resume (although it might prove helpful in creating one later), it’s a list just for you. Talk about one of your accomplishments or skills to someone when you get the chance. You don’t have to brag, just bring it up naturally in conversation. It may help to lead off talking about your job search, then talk about your skills and achievements. A lot of people who lack self-esteem never want to talk about themselves or what they have achieved. One conversation is the first step to acquiring confidence. Continue to do this with different people, circling out from your closest friends and family.

Meet New People

Meeting new people offers you the chance to practice talking to someone that doesn’t know your history. It also forces you to feel a little uncomfortable and nervous, which you’ll also feel during the job search process. Join a Meetup group or your local Toastmasters. Learn how to introduce yourself while smiling and looking people in the eye. It may take time to be confident in doing this, but practice will help. You may even make some important connections that will help with your job search.

Apply, Apply, Apply

Applying for jobs can be scary. The end result is often rejection. But you won’t learn to deal with rejection if you don’t keep experiencing it. Once you learn to face rejection head-on, you can bounce back more quickly and increase your chances of job search success. The first few times will be the hardest, and the more you invest in a position (interviews, etc), the more it will hurt. But you’ll learn that getting a job isn’t usually easy and there is nothing wrong with you, it’s just a matter of odds. They can only pick one, even if they have numerous highly qualified candidates. So not applying due to fear of rejection decreases your odds of being picked for a job.

Stay Busy

One way to deal with your fears is to stay busy. If you’re busy, you have less time to think about what might happen. Start a blog, volunteer, or take up a hobby. Don’t wait around to be rejected and don’t let the job search become your life. Find meaning in something outside of your career, and the rejection won’t be as big a blow to your self-worth.

You’ll always hate being rejected, but you can learn to face rejection without so much fear and move on quickly. Once you’ve learned how to cope with rejection, your chances of finding a job will increase.

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