If you've ever been desperate to find employment, you're likely familiar with the job search blues. In a market with limited openings and tons of candidates, it can be difficult to land a position that suits you.
And the majority of us want to find work that interests and challenges us.
Most job seekers will run through a number of rejections before finding that work. That's a normal part of the process, but knowing that doesn't necessarily make it any easier to swallow. After all, no one enjoys being turned down repeatedly.
And as those disappointing emails pile up, it can be tempting to take them personally. Society tells us that our successes are a direct reflection of who we are. So naturally, our failures must indicate that we're doing something terribly wrong.
Alas, that usually isn't the case.
Employers are faced with so many qualified applicants, it's a wonder that they can limit their decision to just one person.
So when you aren't their final choice, it isn't a reflection of you. It simply means that someone else fit the company's needs slightly better, or that other factors led them to choose that candidate over you. And there are so many unseen factors that play into the final decision, from salary to availability.
When you receive the "we won't be moving forward with your application" speech, try to keep that in mind.
Just because you weren't the chosen candidate doesn't mean that you're unqualified or unprofessional. It isn't a personal attack on you, and it doesn't even mean that the hiring managers weren't impressed by you.
It simply means they chose someone else. And that's OK.
It's also OK to let yourself mourn that role for a day or two. Even if you aren't internalizing the rejections, it can still be frustrating to be turned away from positions you feel so passionately about.
The lack of control over the situation can also lead job hunters to feel hopeless at times. This is particularly true if you're setting goals for yourself that you have no control over. Planning to land your dream job by August? That's lovely, but you're not the one in control of that decision. Once you send the application, the rest is out of your hands.
The important thing is to make sure you're taking care of yourself during the application process.
If you find that your disappointment and frustration are building to the point of affecting your mental health, take a step back. There will always be more job postings, but you won't be likely to land any of them if you're burnt out and miserable.
Accept that the process takes time, and allow yourself to indulge in other things while you wait for the right opportunity. And don't get hung up on the wrong ones.