“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” - Napoleon Hill
It's tough to not get that job you've trained so hard for, but how you handle rejection and grow through the process means everything! This article serves as a guide to persevering through this time and making sure you are prepared for what's to come, because the most challenging times often present the greatest opportunities.
Everyone is Watching, Time to Step Up!
First and foremost, if you don’t get the job, everyone will be looking to see how you respond, especially those in a leadership capacity. Now is the time to double down and really show them what you’ve got. Composure and emotional intelligence is a clear sign of someone who can wear the company name well, so while they are watching, make a strong impression! This is your chance to show people you are a true leader, someone who can have the hard conversations, get back up if knocked down, and grow from every interaction they have.
Proactively Seek Feedback
As you progress through your career one of the hardest things to come by is good and honest feedback. Seeing an interview process through gives you an easy excuse to solicit this feedback and get coaching. This is a huge opportunity because many of us don't recognize where our blind spots are. Good feedback will help you identify where to spend your time as you continue to develop yourself, and this will make you that much more prepared next time you interview. Taking it a step further, use this loss and how you grew from it as an example of lessons learned. Leadership loves when people can recognize their shortcomings and rectify them. Lastly, don't forget to thank those who helped you and supported you in the process. These are great people to get advice from after as well. Don't let your pride or fear of having let someone down get in the way of you getting as much feedback as possible.
Don't Doubt Yourself
Not getting the job doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t a good fit for it, so don’t get down on yourself. Like mentioned in the previous section, the important thing is that you learn from the process and are even better prepared next time. In contrast, sometimes there are things you can't see behind the scenes that will determine the outcome. It doesn’t matter what they are or if they are fair or not, just accept the things you can't control, and focus on the things you can control, like continuing to develop yourself. For all you know, you may not have gotten the job you because they want you for another position. Again, don’t think losing out on this job means opportunities go away, in fact sometimes it is the opposite.
Other organizations or even other divisions within your company are always keeping their eye on the top talent. When they catch wind that you were passed up for a job or a promotion, these folks will come out of the woodwork to snatch you up. Now personally, I'm a big believer that people should always keep their options open, but that doesn't mean you just jump at the first thing to come your way, you have to continue to be selective. Have conviction in your direction and job requirements, and stick to your career plan. Jumping ship solely because you didn't get a job will almost certainly not be the best thing for you in the long term. If you have a job today and you are going for a promotion, you probably have something going for you otherwise you wouldn't have even gotten the interview. So continue to crush it in your current role while you prepare for your next chance or do soul searching on alternative routes.
Zig Ziglar once said, "If you learn from defeat, you haven't really lost." This quote sums up the whole reason I wrote this article. If you can fall down seven times and get up eight, you are on your way to victory. And if you can incorporate lessons learned from failure into your next opportunity, you will be that much closer. Treat everything in life as an opportunity to grow, because every single interaction is there to prepare you to be your best self. The only true way to fail is to give up, so keep pushing and get back at it!
Leverage These Quotes to Get in a Mindset to Move Forward
"Failure is success in progress" - Albert Einstein
"Success is stumbling from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" - Winston Churchill
"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed." - Michael Jordan