How to remain positive during a job search
By Joanna Samuels, MEd
Q) I am so frustrated. I am eager to find a job in a safe workplace and have applied to countless office clerk positions during the pandemic. Yet I have received very few invites to job interviews. And when I finally have a job interview, I get rejected! How much more can I take of this? Any suggestions on how to move on?
A) “To succeed in your long-term goal of finding that dream opportunity and getting hired, you need to learn to cope with being turned down. Otherwise, it’s easy to let a momentary setback turn into a major career roadblock,” says Doyle on thebalancecareers.com. It’s also important to recognize that the job market is competitive right now. And sometimes, if you aren’t offered the position because the hiring manager doesn’t think you are a good fit, you are better off. Here are some of my suggestions for approaching these re-occurring situations.
• Talk to a friend, family member or mentor and share your feelings in a confidential setting. The best person to share this with is someone whom you trust—not your future boss or coworker. Venting can help sometimes to get over the anger and frustration but shortly thereafter, it’s important to move on. Consider mindfulness workshops and other stress-relieving activities to help you cope.
• Don’t burn your bridges. Don’t share anything negative or react emotionally at the job interview or after rejection. You never know whether you might want to apply to the organization again in the future. More often than not, you will never know the truth why you were turned down. And I’ve known cases when the same manager came back to the candidate at a later date with a job offer!!!
• Follow up the rejection with an email. This is a proactive way that might open the doors with the hiring manager to consider you for other positions with the organization.
• Improve your job search skills. These turn downs happen to everyone at all levels. It’s what you do next that counts. Use this opportunity to continue to learn and get feedback on your techniques. This could include practicing your interviewing skills, revising your resume or cover letter, increasing your social media presence and professional networking as well as keeping busy with your hobbies and acquiring new skills.
• Stay involved. Consider participating in employment centres that are operating virtual employment support services for persons with disabilities during and after COVID-19.
• Ask for “constructive criticism” on your application. Although this rarely happens, sometimes an employer will offer valuable feedback on your candidacy including your resume and cover letter as well as how you did during the job interview. It doesn’t hurt to ask—but remember, this is their choice.
• Don’t give up. Keep the momentum of your job search up even if you are waiting to hear back about jobs you’ve applied for! Never stop. Continue looking until you have a serious job offer in writing that you have accepted!
Joanna Samuels, MEd, is an adult educator with an expertise in career/job coaching and community/business partnership building.