How to get over job rejection and the way forward

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Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash

No matter how well you think your offer or proposition is, there will be times when it is turned down. Rejections happen, and understanding this is important so you aren't taken aback.

According to Orville Pierson, a career coach, and author, the average job seeker is rejected 24 times before being offered a position. As you look for work, you may face much rejection. It is only a part of the process and does not imply that you are unqualified.

That being said, you must understand how to deal with job rejection when it occurs. When you master the art of coping with rejection, you will no longer be afraid of being declined, and it will also help you become more confident.

This Workee article will explain what a job rejection is, how to deal with it, and provide some useful advice.

What is job rejection?

Rejection means losing an opportunity that you desire to get. This comes with a feeling of abandonment, pain, unworthiness, or undesirability. Similarly, being turned down for a job means missing out on an amazing opportunity.

Feeling rejected hurts. People often feel unwanted or unimportant when they are turned down. It's important to process feelings of rejection as soon as they arise so that the emotional, psychological, and social distress they cause doesn't escalate. Knowing how to recover from rejection is crucial to avoid experiencing any of these negative outcomes after being passed over for a job.

Why should you handle rejection?

Not getting over rejection quickly is unhealthy for the following reasons:

  1. It can damper your self-worth

  2. It can hold you back from living your life 

  3. Rejection negatively impacts your relationships

  4. It can cause depression and anxiety problems

  5. Rejection can lead to mental issues.

Because of these reasons and more, you should deal with job rejections as soon as they happen.

How to get over job rejections

Knowing how to handle job rejections is an invaluable skill you should have as a freelancer. Below are a few valuable recommendations that can help.

1. Learn from past job rejections

Being refused a job you've long dreamed of can be traumatizing. However, it's also an ample opportunity to learn and make amends to prevent future occurrences. Rather than hurrying to apply for another job, take some time to reflect on what you learned from your previous interview(s). Also, reexamine your skillset to know if you're at par with the current requirement and needs of the present market. Then, review your personal qualities that made you not land the job.

Fixing these issues within your jurisdiction can help you not be rejected for other jobs because you've learned and become better prepared for success.


  • It helps you identify areas of improvement and build a more robust job application for future opportunities.

  • It can lead to personal growth and self-reflection.

  • It can help you better understand the job market and industry trends.

  • It can motivate you to work harder and smarter to achieve your career goals.


  • It may be discouraging and lead to a loss of confidence.

  • It may be difficult to receive constructive feedback or understand the reasons for the rejection.

  • It may be time-consuming to reflect on and learn from past rejections.

Tip: You can reduce your chances of rejection by aligning your priorities and values with your prospective employer(s). Carefully redefine your priorities and values and that of the employers and find a balance between the two. 

2. Work on your emotions

Thoughts produce emotions; how you act comes from what you think. Hence, as part of the healing process, you must process your emotions in line with your thoughts. In other words, you should do a thought reverse engineering to see how your thoughts influence your feelings about your job rejection. By processing your thoughts, you can slowly but surely identify the ideas that (can) make you act abysmally and improve the thoughts that enhance you.

Being rejected from a job can be discouraging, but don't let it define your future. Use the experience to refine your job search strategy and find new opportunities.

Recommended: journal all possible thoughts you've had since being refused the job. Also, list all your emotions during this time. Map both and see where which thought produced which feeling and work on that thought.

3. Practice self-care activities

Rather than passing your aggression after a job rejection on to people and things around you, you should take some time and engage in relaxing sensory activities that can fix the pain. This includes engaging in activities like exercise, medication, looking at nice pictures, yoga, etc. 

A survey by the Pew Research Center found that US adults looking for a job develop mental problems from job hunting; 53% say they’ve felt like they lost a piece of their identity during the job hunt process. 56% say they’ve experienced more emotional or mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression, due to unemployment.

Engaging in relieving physical and mental therapy activities will make you slowly calm down and get off the thoughts of the rejected, which can cause depression, PTSD, and other mental or physical problems.


  • It can reduce stress and improve overall mental health.

  • It can increase productivity and creativity.

  • It can lead to better physical health and well-being.

  • It can promote a positive mindset and increase self-esteem.


  • Finding time for self-care activities in a busy schedule may be difficult.

  • It may require resources such as money, time, or equipment.

  • Developing a self-care routine that works for your specific needs may be challenging.

4. Understand that there is nothing wrong with you

If you're wondering how to overcome rejection, one effective strategy is to focus on your strengths and accomplishments to boost your self-confidence. Job denial does not imply that you're bad, evil, or generally unfit in other areas of your life.

So, don't go hard on yourself. Rather, take some time and meditate on all the good things in your life, your strengths, and values and assure yourself that you'll do better next time when the opportunity arises. This will help improve your self-esteem and self-worth.

Forbes has found that optimistic employees are 103% more inspired to give their best effort at work, and companies want to employ such employees. If you allow the impact of your previous job rejection to linger for too long in your life, it will show during an interview with your next job, and you may be rejected again. So, being positive and optimistic can help you land jobs more easily than being negative and close-minded.


  • It can improve mental health and reduce anxiety and depression.

  • It can lead to better relationships and social interactions.

  • It can increase confidence and motivation to pursue goals.

  • It can lead to greater self-awareness and self-acceptance.


  • Maintaining positive self-perception in the face of criticism or setbacks can be challenging.

  • It may be difficult to develop positive self-esteem if you have a history of negative self-talk or low self-esteem.

  • It may be challenging to overcome negative self-beliefs and thought patterns.

Tip: carefully and sequentially list all the good things about you and recite these to yourself every morning. Also, repeat positive affirmations often that help improve your thoughts and self-worth.

5. Get support from family and friends

To move on from rejection, it can be helpful to seek support from friends and family or connect with others who have gone through a similar experience. If you can't connect with your family or friends in person, you can connect on the phone, social media, or email, inform them of your job rejection situation and ask for their help and support.

 You could get valuable recommendations and connections from your family and friends that can help you get another job quickly. Also, their support and care go a long way to reduce your pain of job rejection.


  • It can provide emotional support during difficult times.

  • It can offer practical assistance such as financial support or help with childcare.

  • It can increase social connections and reduce feelings of isolation.

  • It can lead to a sense of belonging and community.


  • It may be challenging to ask for help or support from family and friends.

  • It may be challenging to maintain boundaries and prevent over-dependency on others.

  • Finding supportive family and friends may be challenging if you lack social connections or have strained relationships.

6. Maintain a good lifestyle

You might be tempted to engage in unhealthy lifestyles like smoking, drinking, doing drugs, etc., to get over rejection and the depression that comes with it. However, doing these things will do you more harm than good. Instead of engaging in these low-rewarding activities, double up or maintain a good lifestyle to keep you fit and ready for the next job opportunity. This includes staying hydrated, exercising frequently, less alcohol intake, avoiding unprotected sex, and maintaining a healthy diet.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will give you more resources to invest in other aspects of your life, like knowledge, skills, and relationships. Investing in these areas can help you land better roles.


  • It can improve physical health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

  • It can increase energy and productivity.

  • It can lead to better mental health and well-being.

  • It can improve self-esteem and confidence.


  • It may be challenging to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the face of external pressures or temptations.

  • It may require significant time and resources to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

  • It may be challenging to develop and maintain healthy habits.

As a freelancer, you can reduce your rate of prospects and client rejections by reducing stress in your operations using automated solutions. Our enterprise software, Workee, allows you to automate the most significant parts of your prospecting and job delivery in one place. Workee has features for effective communication, client management, invoicing, and collaboration with clients in one suite. Get started now.

To overcome rejection, consider speaking with a therapist or coach who can guide you and help you develop resilience skills. Remember, setbacks can be temporary, but your potential for success is limitless.


Rejection happens to everyone, even the most experienced and highly skilled people. So, you shouldn't be down-casted if it happens to you because everyone experiences one rejection or another. Instead, learn from your job rejection experience, get support, improve yourself, and try again. This will help you in getting over rejection faster. The golden lessons from your job rejection experience can be the pedestal to your success with other jobs.

Ihor, CEO at Workee

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