How To Handle Job Rejection

By Danielle Wirsansky on June 3, 2018

Early summer season is often a busy time of year for college students, even though summer break has started. What are these college students all doing? Applying for jobs, of course! As soon as Finals Week ends, students can take a few days off to recuperate, and then they have got to get their nose back to the grindstone and start applying for those jobs! Many students cannot juggle work along with their educational obligations during the school year, so the summer is the main time that they can work to set up money for the next year.

College students cannot delay in applying for summer jobs, and to be honest, applying before summer even starts is the best bet. But as previously discussed, Finals Week is kind of a big deal, so it is understandable why some students wait until it is over to start the next big project of applying for jobs. College students should not delay too long though after Finals Week to begin applying for jobs or they will lose one of their best edges in securing a job—the fact that most colleges release students for the summer significantly earlier than high school students. College students will want to apply for jobs before the High Schoolers get out for summer and directly compete with them for jobs.

There is so much competition for summer positions. College students have to compete not only with each other but with high school students as well. Students must be prepared to apply for a LOT of jobs and a LOT of rejection, which can often be one of the more frustrating aspects of the process. So, what are some of the best ways to handle job rejections? Read on to learn how!

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Do Not Take It Personally

The best thing a college student can do when being rejected for job after job after job is not to take the rejection personally. A student cannot blame themselves or think that something is wrong with themselves or that they were not good enough for a particular job. Odds are, they were good enough. But there are always so many other factors at play in these kinds of situations that a student cannot predict or plan ahead for that affect these decisions.

Perhaps you had all the requisite skills needed, but your schedule was not the best match. Maybe one of your references never returned the potential employer’s calls. Maybe after they opened up the position to applications, they discovered they had someone working for them already that was suited for the job. Maybe they decided to hire no one for the position. Maybe someone applied that got vouched for by someone who already worked at the company.

The list could go on and on. There are so many reasons why someone might not get hired that have absolutely nothing to do with their application, their skills, or anything that actually has to do with them and what they have to offer. Nothing they have personally done affected the final outcome, so in turn, college students should not take these rejections personally either. Just keep powering on and applying for those jobs—you will get one of them as long as you keep trying and do not allow yourself to get discouraged!

Photo by Moose Photos from Pexels

Avoid Burning Bridges

Another important aspect of handling job rejections is to avoid burning any bridges through your rejection. How could I be the one to burn a bridge? They are the ones who rejected me. They have burned their bridge with me rather than the other way around! You might be thinking. However, not accepting your rejection with grace could lead to you burning your bridge with this company.

You could burn a bridge with a company by being rude or belligerent when rejected; by refusing to accept the no you received; by insulting the company or calling out employees. There are a lot of ways you could burn the bridge with a company. And you might not intend to (or maybe you do because you are so, so mad). But burning your bridge with a company is not going to help you get a job. It is only going to stop you from ever getting a job with that company ever.

And why shouldn’t you burn your bridges? They rejected you, they did not want you, they did not see worth in you—actually, stop right there. While it is true that they may have rejected you, unless they have told you otherwise, you cannot prove the rest. And as discussed in the previous point, there are many reasons why an applicant may be rejected that have nothing to do with them as a person or applicant.

Why burn your bridge when instead you might like to apply to work for that company again in the future or perhaps another slot will open up and they might invite you to take that position? You never know what the future will hold, so stay positive, strong, and most of all, motivated.

Danielle Wirsansky graduated from FSU with a BA in Theatre and a BA in Creative Writing with a minor in History. She is a second year graduate student in FSU's History department where she serves as the Communications Officer for the History Graduate Student Association and President of White Mouse Theatre Productions. She studied abroad in London, England for the Spring 2015 semester at FSU's study center for the Playwriting Program and interned for the English National Theatre of Israel in Summer of 2015. Her first musical, City of Light, opened as part of FSU's New Horizons Festival in Spring of 2016. She has also won the MRCE and URCAA Research grants from FSU. In the past, she served as the Marketing Director for the FSU Student Theatre Association, the intern for the Holocaust Education Resource Council, and the research assistant of Prof. Nathan Stoltzfus. She has previously written for Context Florida (Contributing Writer), USA Today College (Contributing Writer), Sheroes of History (Contributing Blogger), No(le)Reservations (Contributing Blogger), Female, Reloaded (Arts/Entertainment Editor) , I Want a Buzz Magazine (intern), Mandarin Newsline (youth arts update columnist), Distink Designs (Guest blogger), whatscheaper.com (associate editor), escapewizard.com (associate editor), Spark TLH (Contributor), the Tallahassee Democrat (contributor), Elan Literary Magazine (Head of Marketing), and the Improviser Newspaper (Opinions Editor).

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