Look out world, you’re graduated and in the job market. After rifling through dozens of job postings online, you find the one. You apply and submit yourself through a tedious interview process. It goes surprisingly well. In fact, you think you just might be able to edge out the competition. But as you start to envision your future and how that fancy title will sound, the phone rings. You didn’t get it. Being turned down for your dream job can tank your confidence but believe it or not, there are better opportunities yet to come.
Why it’s okay.
Nearly everyone gets rejected for a job at some point in their career. Many people actually view “failure” as something that can benefit young professionals because it makes them more aware of how to leverage their strengths in the future. Another candidate may have simply been a stronger match for the job, but that doesn’t mean you weren’t a great applicant. Also, many people change professions over their career and their aspirations shift as well. Your dream job today might not be your dream job in ten years. If you majored in Political Science but didn’t become a politician like you’d hoped, you might find that a career in sales is an even better fit. When you do land your dream job, you’ll appreciate it that much more because it didn’t come easy.
Many successful people experienced failure when they were young.
There are countless examples of famous people who failed early in their career. The “Saturday Night Live” show alone turned down several later-successes including Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Louis C.K., Kevin Hart and Kathy Griffin. Still not convinced? Here are a few iconic examples:
- Walt Disney. The animation empire mogul experienced his fair share of setbacks. Early in his career, he was fired from a Missouri newspaper for not being creative enough and an interviewer once told him his artwork was lousy and to pursue a career in something else. His first animation company actually went bankrupt. But with each failure, he continued dreaming up the characters that proved him so successful later on. Of his failures he said, “You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
- Steve Jobs. As the co-founder and CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs was very publicly fired from his own company in his early 30’s. At this point in his career, he co-founded another computer company known as NeXT which was acquired by Apple. When he returned to Apple years later, he helped to innovate the iPod, iPad and iPhone.
- Oprah Winfrey. At 23 years old, she was fired from her job as a tv news reporter for being dull, stiff and regularly mispronouncing words. She began working at failing talk show where she was able to express her personality and blossom into the tv personality we know today. Had she not experienced failure, she wouldn’t be the household name “Oprah.”
- Steven Spielberg. He was rejected not once but twice from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. He has now grossed more than $9 billion and received 3 Academy Awards and the college has built a building in his honor.
- Henry Ford. His investors lost faith in him perfecting the mechanics of his automotive design. After filing for bankruptcy, he founded the Ford Motor Company and finally created the Model T.
- Michael Jordan. After being cut from his high school basketball team, he experienced failure before even reaching adulthood. Since then, he’s bounced back to win 6 Championships and 5 MVP titles.
- Jerry Seinfeld. After a poor performance, he was fired from a small acting role. However, no one told him he’d been cut. In fact, he didn’t find out until he showed up for a read-through and realized his part was missing from the script. Nearly a decade later, he co-created the sitcom “Seinfeld” which became the most popular sitcom on American television.
Keep moving forward.
The common trend is that successful people experience failure like anyone else but they keep trying. Try to view each setback as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and your strengths and weaknesses. Moving on and staying motivated with eventually pay off. Consider employing these strategies to amp up your game for your next big opportunity:
- Ask for feedback. This is as simple as emailing the interviewer something like, “Hi! I’d like to thank you for interviewing me. I would be very interested in a position in the future and feel that I would make a great addition to your team. Could you give me some feedback on how I could improve my skills for the future? “
- Update your resume. Employers only spend a few moments glancing through your resume so it needs to make an impression. Learn how to showcase your experiences and write the perfect resume.
- Revamp your cover letter. A great cover letter highlights the strengths from your resume and demonstrates how they will translate to the position. Show that you’ve done your research on the company by adjusting your cover letter to fit each new position you apply for.
- Practice your interview skills. If employers are giving you an interview but things fall flat from there, you may need to work on your interview skills. Here are our tips to help you nail the job interview.
- Make new connections. Many positions are filled before they are even advertised due to back door hiring which is why networking is important both professionally and personally. Keep an open mind to positions in related fields because the perfect job for you might not be what you went to school for.
No matter what stage you’re at in your career, you’ve probably experienced rejection at some point. The key to moving forward is to see that rejection as an opportunity for growth. Take time to learn more about yourself and gain experience needed for bigger successes in the future.