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  • Writer's pictureKelly Adams

How I Handle Rejection During the Job Search

A woman is in a library at a desk. She has her eyes closed and is taking a break by listening to music using her phone.

Recently I was rejected from a position I was excited about. I had interviewed with the manager and I thought I did well. It felt disheartening getting rejected. Particularly after a lengthy interview process. Throughout my job search I'd occasionally question my decision to transition into the data analytics field. Especially with limited experience in data field. I realize I'm taking a difficult route. It's not easy but I'm committed. I talked a little about this in my LinkedIn post yesterday. But below I'll dive into how I deal with rejection when job searching.

The first thing I do is acknowledge and "sit with my feelings". This doesn't mean dwelling in the negative feelings, Rather I'm allowing myself to feel them. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I don't want to bottle up or push my feelings down. After this I take a break either by walking the dog, weightlifting, or anything else to get my mind off of the job search. Then I do the following:

I remind myself why I want to transition into the data analytics field. A few are:

  • The ability to work in a variety of domains

  • Constantly learning new things

  • The joy I get from exploring and analyzing data

Next, I remember that there are other factors outside of my control may be affecting my job search. One of them is timing. This month is (probably) not the best for looking for jobs because of the holiday season. Typically during the winter months companies have a hiring freeze or have slowed down with job postings.

Then I remember that there are things I can control. While I can't control my timing or luck. I can work on:

  • Improve my technical skills - by practicing my skills on websites like Hackerrank, DataLemur and Stratascratch

  • Portfolio projects - continue working on my projects which include the analysis portion but also the written article and how I present it

  • Networking - (I use LinkedIn for all of this) schedule coffee chats, commenting on other people's posts, having meaningful conversations in the DMs, and generally being active on LinkedIn

  • Practice interviewing - work on perfecting the STAR format when answering questions, practice my speaking skills, and have answers and stories for typical interview questions

  • Job application itself - tailor each resume to the job posting, contacting hiring managers or recruiters, and maybe write a cover letter or two

I try to reflect and be thankful about the experience I've gained from interviews. I get to learn about different companies and meet some amazing people. It's interesting to see the type of questions companies ask during an interview process. Along with the diversity between the hiring process for each company.

I also remind myself about what I've accomplished. How much I've improvement in the job searching process. I've had four interviews in the past week. Which is a major improvement compared to the beginning of my job search when I was struggling to get interviews. Now I have got to practice and hone in my interview skills.

Now, my next steps are:

  1. Reflect and analyzed each interview I've been through to see what I can improve on

  2. Continue networking and creating content on LinkedIn

  3. Finish my current portfolio project and start a new one that's focused on solving a business problem

  4. Keep applying

  5. And have hope that the right job and opportunity is out there

This is what I'll be focusing on for the rest of the year. I will be taking a break from my blog and newsletter. I'll be back next year with more content.


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