You've polished your resume, perfected your cover letter, and scoured the job boards for the perfect fit. You've submitted your application to several openings, had a few interviews, and now you wait. Then, there it is, the rejection call.
"You're just not the right fit."
"We've decided to go with another candidate."
"We've filled the position and wish you the best of luck on your job search."
It's easy to hear these words and feel completely let down by your job search. You worked so hard to present yourself in the best possible way, to impress your interviewer with all of your examples and knowledge of the company, but sometimes it just isn't enough. Sometimes the hiring manager just clicked better with someone else or someone else had more experience or a bigger skill set. Rejection happens when you're job searching, it's just part of the process.
Instead of believing you're back to square one, I challenge you to think of a rejection in a different way: progress.
Rejection in the job search is a sign of progress. It's the worst, but it's progress. If you're being rejected after interviews, that means you're in the game, you're really in the middle of the fight.
If you're not applying, there's no progress. If you're not interviewing, there's little progress. If you're interviewing and getting better and better at playing the game, at presenting yourself appropriately and answering the tough questions with ease, then your job search is showing progress.
Rejection hurts. It's a crummy feeling. But the great part is that you're in the game. You're applying, interviewing, and moving forward. When you get an interview, be excited. You've earned it.
The rejection calls and emails are part of the game. No boxer likes getting punched, but he knows it's going to happen. It hurts, but he doesn't give up. He takes the hit, gets back up and moves on with the fight, giving it his all until he finally succeeds. Your job search can be like this too. Rejection means that you're in the game. And eventually, when you land a job, you'll be throwing your hands up in triumph.
The next time you face a rejection in your job search, take heart. You're back in the game. You've got to keep playing in order to win.