Dealing with rejection during the job hunt

Friday July 10 2020

Always stay hopeful even when you get

Always stay hopeful even when you get rejections in your job hunt. PHOTO BY RACHEL MABALA 


The job hunting process is never an easy one. This is partly because of the likely bumps one may encounter along the search journey including getting turned down for a position.

Many times, unsuccessful applicants are notified through email or simply not given any response at all, an often indicator that one has not gotten the job. The rejection emails are usually very painful to read despite the fact that recruiters always try to sugarcoat the words so that they do not appear lethal.

Keira Sanyu, a recent university graduate, says it is in fact better for hiring organisations to send a rejection email for an applied position rather than keeping quiet.
“When you don’t get back to me, I get worried, Sanyu says, adding: “I keep wondering why you have not gotten back to me.”

When she applies for a job and is not considered for it, Sanyu says she prefers to be given feedback.

“In case I don’t get the job for whatever reason, just tell me so that I find closure and move on with my life. Don’t leave me in suspense because it is agonising,” she says.

Remain hopeful
Sanyu, a graduate of Business Administration, has been applying for different jobs for the past two years, in vain. Though she has not been successful in getting a job yet, the 28-year-old remains hopeful that she will get one someday.


So, besides staying hopeful, what are some of the other ways one can deal with rejection during the job hunting process?

Talk to a trusted party
Getting turned down for a job opportunity (especially one that you had really hoped to get) can end up having all kinds of impact on the applicant.

The rejection can make one feel sad or even unworthy. In some cases, one can even develop issues affiliated to mental distress. So, what can a dejected applicant in such a position do?
Here is what Josephine Asiimwe did. About two years ago, Asiimwe was turned down for a position of an accountant at one of the Non-Government Organisations (NGOs).

Asiimwe says the organisation got back to her via email. Part of the email read, “… We are sorry that our organisation won’t be hiring you for the position because we feel another candidate is better experienced and qualified for the role.”

Upon reading the email, Asiimwe broke down. “I stayed inside the house and cried for days,” she says, adding, “I felt like a complete failure and thought something was wrong with me. I kept asking myself, repeatedly, why didn’t I get that job?

Remember, you are not alone
But eventually, Asiimwe reached out to some of her close friends who ended up revealing that they had undergone similar disappointments during their respective job hunting experiences.

“Their different experiences made me realise I was not the only one facing rejection during the job hunting process. One particular friend in fact shared that she eventually got a job after receiving about 36 rejection emails from different organisations,” Asiimwe says.
In some way, the job searching experiences of Asiimwe’s friends comforted as well as gave her a renewed spirit to strive on.

Never give up
Whether you receive over 1,000 rejection letters concerning your job applications, the important thing is never to give up. Continue sending out applications for those jobs. And as you do so, incorporate the learnt lessons into your job application process. A case in point, if you feel that you didn’t get that dream job due to lack of certain skills, find a way of acquiring them.

You could for instance go back to school or find someone to teach you. Or, in case you feel that the position was not given to you because of lack of enough preparation, next time, do enough groundwork before going for the interview.

Improve your skills
Keep improving yourself during the job hunting process and that opportunity will find you fully prepared for it. No matter what happens, don’t give up.