Picking yourself back up when you didn’t get the job

“I didn’t get the job offer” said Maddie as she broke down at the other end of the line. I could feel her pain. I knew how hard she had worked to make the final round of interviews at a venerable Forbes 500 company. It had been months of agony and preparation. She had interviewed with 20 or so individuals at the company and was almost certain the job would be offered to her.

But today was not her day.

How do you move on when you feel so dejected? How do you not take it personal when you, your experience and everything you are on paper just got rejected? How do you muster the confidence to keep applying to jobs, when you’ve essentially just been told “You are not good enough?”
Have a glass of wine. Maybe then have another one.

If vino is not your thing, then go for a run or a hike- find some solitude or maybe a good shoulder to cry on. Then do just that- Let the tears roll and have a meltdown- cry it all out. Curse the entire interviewing crew if you need to- they obviously weren’t that competent anyway.

But the next day, when you wake up- hit autopilot. Do the graceful thing- send a thank you note, be polite and ask them to keep you in mind if anything changes.

You might feel like you still need to cry… but don’t waste your time with that- get over it. I understand how crummy you feel about the whole situation- but right now don’t think about it- we just need to buy time. We need for you to put space between your upset self today, and the new you in a week or two. The one that will have moved on to another potential opportunity, the one who is now realizing that everything happens for a reason.

We need to buy time between you now, and the you two years down the road who will have the complete perspective on why things worked out the way they did.

So for right now, hit autopilot. Everything will eventually reveal itself and you will understand why things worked out the way they have. And maybe, just like Maddie did, you will find yourself in your cushy office at a Forbes 100 company a year later, smiling and silently thanking that interviewing team for not hiring you.

Kathleen Barretto