Big Issues

5 Ways To Stay Positive After Multiple Job Rejections

Small but effective ways to keep trying and applying.

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Job-hunting is never fun, especially after slaving away at uni for an average of three years. Constant rejections can be really tough and after a while, the knock back email feels like a slap in the face.

I’ve been experiencing a lot of this (read: too much) lately. Not to worry, though. I’ve devised small but effective ways to stay positive and keep trying.

Ask For Feedback

Asking an employer for feedback as to why they didn’t give you a job can be excruciating. To sit there and hear reasons as to why you were rejected is not exactly a confidence booster, but it is one of the most useful tools to improving your next interview or application.

Most employers give constructive criticism, so although it might not make you feel fantastic about yourself, you’ll generally leave the conversation with useful knowledge that you didn’t have before.

Keep Your Vision 20/20

The need to constantly send out resumes can be overwhelming, but if all you’re doing is applying for jobs, you’ll turn into a zombie.

Focus on things outside your career. I know this can be hard – in the back of my mind is the disappointment that I’m yet to find a job that I enjoy. But it’s really important to remember: dream job or not, everyone needs a life outside work.

I’m still working my casual job, so I have flexibility that a full-time role can’t provide me. I can spend time with my friends more freely, I can sleep in during the middle of the week and I can actually sit and read a book for longer than a 20-minute commute. These things are small, but I know that I’ll miss them when they’re replaced by the nine to five grind.

Make Sure You Have An Outlet For Stress

I exercise to clear my head, and I sing really loudly in the car for stress relief. Do whatever is relaxing for you; something that can put your mind at ease while also being something that is good for you. It’ll do wonders for your mental health.

Whether it’s painting lessons or taking an improv class, these things will be a much-needed break for your brain, and you could also discover a talent or passion you never knew you had.

There Are Always Positives

With each interview I attend, I really am getting better and better at it. In the wake of an “unfortunately, you haven’t been successful” message, I remind myself that it all comes down to practice. I let myself mope for a bit, ask why they decided not to choose me, and change my game plan for next time.

Each time I get an interview, anguish washes over me at the prospect of another rejection. I’ve discovered that getting excited about my interview outfit is a good way to keep negative thoughts at bay while piecing together a new ensemble. The glass is half full already.

Accept That It Won’t Last Forever

It feels like a pointless exercise, but I know it will end. I still allow myself to feel sad or angry, but I never let that get in the way of what is true.

It’s hard to stay positive, and I can’t be upbeat about it all the time. But I believe that the roles I’ve been rejected from are keeping me open for when the perfect one comes my way. Maybe I have to believe this, but either way, it’s what gets me through.

Do whatever will keep you sane, healthy and happy.

Lara is a recent communications graduate who is passionate about social issues and seasons 1-9 of The Simpsons.

(Lead image: Parks and Recreation/NBC)