Putting yourself out there to find your dream job is one of the most scary and vulnerable things you will do in your lifetime.
I know this because I’ve put myself out there for more jobs than I can count and I’ve been knocked back more than I want to remember.
A job knock back is a defining moment that could make or break your job hunting journey. And it all comes down to how you choose to interpret that rejection and what you are going to make that mean for you moving forward. Did I get rejected because they don’t like me? Because I didn’t interview well? Or because I don’t have the right skills? In this moment it’s going to be a lot easier to believe all the negative stuff about yourself. Why you’re crap and why you’ll never find a job you love, or any job ever if we want to get really dark.
Our Thoughts Create Our Reality
Receiving a job rejection is a watershed moment because it's when we get to choose what we make that event mean to use moving forward. And that belief will become a self fulfilling prophecy. If we walk away from that interview feeling worse about ourselves, we will carry that (either consciously or unconsciously) into our next job interview.
Have you ever wondered why some people go for long periods of unemployment while others with the same qualifications and experience don’t? One candidate just happened to get their first or second job preference while the other didn’t. For the latter, those first two or three job rejections led them on a path of thinking which created a negative mindset about job interviews and the job hunting process. This of course has an impact upon future job applications and interviews.
In order to avoid the negative spiral it’s essential you catch your negative thought process straight away. It’s easy to want to throw yourself a pity party and entertain thoughts like, ‘I stuffed it and I’m never going to find a job as perfect as that one’. This negative thinking does nothing to serve you in the moment or in the long run. The longer you entertain this negative thinking, the harder it is to break free from it.
Here are two beliefs you can adopt after a job knock back to keep you going strong in your career hunting.
There’s a better job out there for me and I will find it soon
There is a higher purpose for why I didn’t get that job that I can’t see right now
Remember, whether you believe these statements is completely up to you. To believe them is simply a choice. Ask yourself, what serves you better? To believe that your didn't get hired because you're not good enough or because the it wasn't the right fit and there is something out there better for you?
Head Into Your Next Interview With a Positive Mindset
Too often we carry the emotional baggage of a 'bad interview' with us into the next one. It's critical not to carry your interview rejection hangover into the next one because interviewers can smell self-doubt a mile off. So remember, the interview panel has no idea how badly you bombed at your last interview, each interview is a clean slate. So treat it that way.
Therefore it is absolutely crucial to work on your mindset straight after receiving any type of rejection to avoid forming negative thought patterns in your brain. This process takes work and can’t be switched on 5 mins before your next interview. If you want to show up to your next interview with confidence and reassurance start working on your thinking NOW.
How To Rewire Your Thinking Brain
When looking for jobs your thinking and mindset are more important than any skill or experience on your resume. Therefore, it’s important to be investing time and energy into rewiring your brain to think more powerfully and resourcefully. A way to do this is with positive affirmations.
I like to start my day with positive affirmations and I believe they are crucial when looking for a job. Here are some suggested affirmations below
I am amazing at (insert profession)
I have the necessary skill and experience to be an asset at (insert organisation)
My next employer is lucky to have me because… (insert strengths)
Saying these to yourself, preferably in front of a mirror (eek, yes a mirror!) will help boost your confidence for your next interview. The secret is that the affirmation has to be believable, but also stretch your thinking.
Positive affirmations raise your energy levels and increase your self belief. This creates more positive energy which shines through in interviews but also in your cover letter, resume, phone calls and email correspondence you have with potential employers.
When writing your cover letter, if you believe that you’re not good enough, that you don’t have enough experience and that you don’t have the skills for the job, this self doubt will be picked up on by the reader.
A magic bullet belief to hold in your mind at all times is ‘I am the perfect person for this job’. After all how can you expect someone else to believe something about yourself that you don’t. It’s your job to believe this and show your potential employer why it’s true.
A Final Thought
I’ve run the full spectrum of job interview experiences from huge successes to massive blunders. What I’ve learned from the many interviews I’ve sat is that the best advice is to be yourself, relax and enjoy the process. The more you enjoy it the more real and authentic you will be, and that’s all people are really looking for. People want to work with people they trust and lie. If the interviewer doesn’t like what they see then it’s not the place you want to work anyway. Move onto another company where you have permission to be your true genuine self and be rewarded for it.
Life’s too short to be in a job you hate.
If you are feeling stuck, overwhelmed and confused about your career direction, check out my FREE 4 Step Guide to 'Get Unstuck'. It contains 4 quick and easy exercises to help you get clarity on your career direction.