The Nurse Becoming Podcast 

#063 How to Deal with Job Rejections

I know some of you right now are dealing with job rejections.

I also know that getting rejected for a job you wanted really sucks.

Oftentimes, rejection sucks because we internalize it and create a meaning out of it that isn’t actually based on factual evidence.

I can think of a few times in my life where I’ve made meaning out of something that wasn’t real,

And it got me thinking that, if you got rejected recently, that there might be a chance that you’ve equated that rejection to your worthiness.

 

Today on the podcast, I’m sharing the in’s and outs on how to deal with rejection and…

  • How to shift your mindset around rejection 
  • What getting rejected can bring to your process
  • The one question that I ask myself whenever I face a negative thought (I hope this will help a lot of you. 💜)

LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED TODAY: 

  • If you are an NP or NP student and you’re wondering how the heck to get started and stand out looking for a job, click here to sign up for my live workshops happening on Aug 31st & September 2nd that will teach you how to find opportunities that are NOT posted online!

Listen to more episodes here!

 

How To Deal With Getting REJECTED In Your Job Search

Unless you are ultra skilled in targeting, or already know how to find a nursing job, the reality is that you WILL be rejected at some point.

Whether you’ve been rejected or not, the first question I have is, are you playing it safe? 

Believe it or not, it is good and healthy to get job rejections. And to prove this statement, I’m going to tell you a little story. 

When I was first starting out in business with The Resume Rx, I wanted to create products and services that would help a lot of people and have it be nearly entirely online. So to get there, I spent a lot of time learning about sales and marketing, because at the end of the day, I needed to learn how to make an offer to someone and inspire that person to purchase or enroll or say yes… But – if someone is in a position to say “Yes!”, then they are also in a position to say “No!” 

As I was learning, I watched this video all about this concept of “Going For No”, which basically means that if you’re not receiving “No”’s, that means you might not actually be putting yourself out there enough. You might not be reaching enough people in order to also be reaching the wrong people. 

When I heard it reframed like this, something really shifted for me. 

Of course, it’s still important to emphasize targeting with who you’re reaching out to, especially in your job search… So please don’t misinterpret this by me saying that you have to apply to every job so that you can get a “No” from every job. I’m not saying this at all.

What I AM saying is,

When you can reframe the thought pattern around the fact that “No” should be expected and will happen, this can really help your mindset in the long run. If you’re hearing “No”, it means that you’re taking risks and putting yourself out there. That’s a good step towards greatness. It takes massive courage and I hope you feel proud of yourself for it!

 

High Risk For Rejection Can Lead To High Reward

I often encourage new graduates to apply for jobs that require a certain number of years of experience. It can be uncomfortable for them and understandably so, right? I mean, you see right there in front of you that under the requirements list, you don’t have what they’re “requiring”. BUT I’ve seen it happen often enough that new grads will actually get that job regardless of not meeting the requirements! And it makes me think, 

Woah, what would have happened if they didn’t apply?

What if they had given in to their fear of rejection?

What if they had counted themselves out right from the beginning? 

Sometimes taking a chance and putting yourself out there means applying for something that you might not be entirely qualified for. And yes, that’s going to come with some rejection. But at the same point, learning to grow a bit more comfortable with taking those high chances can get you closer to the right opportunity-  that’s the best one for you. 


Rejection Is Rarely Personal

I’ll say that ^  title again: job rejections are rarely ever personal. Sometimes the timing is not great, or personalities aren’t a match, or the skill set you have is not the skill set they are looking for, or the schedule you’re available for is not the schedule that they’re hiring for. 

These are all neutral reasons. Nothing more, nothing less. So here is an important question that I want you to ask yourself whenever you experience a job rejection: What am I making this mean?

Asking myself the question, “What am I making this mean?” is a tool that I use frequently to help myself deal with an array of difficult emotions, situations or interactions. 

As humans, it is part of our nature to make meaning out of things. We are really the only species that makes meaning out of our experiences – it’s how we interact with the world. It’s also how we form relationships and ideas. But the meaning we make is of our own doing, happening inside our own brains. And when we recognize that we are the ones in control of the meaning-making machine, then we can set ourselves free and choose a different meaning. 

Recently, I dropped my kids off at the camp bus stop as my oldest girls are in summer camp. And after I waved goodbye to the bus, there was a group of other moms standing in a circle and chatting. So I walked by them to my car, and no one waved or said “Hi” to me. 

Since we just moved and I’m new in town, I’m already very aware of my new-ness and my other-ness. Honestly, it kind of feels like everybody truly knows each other because it’s a fairly small town. Meanwhile, I know nobody. So when I walked by and was unacknowledged by the other mom’s, at some point my head was making meaning out of this interaction. 

Inside my head, I was telling myself:

These moms don’t want to be my friend.

They think I’m weird to still be wearing leggings in the afternoon and that I look un-put together. 

They don’t want to be friends with me because my body is bigger than theirs. They must think I’m fat and don’t want to be associated with me.

All these thoughts entered my head… Wow! Right? That’s a lot of meaning that I made out of the simple reality that there was a group of people engaged in conversation with one another, and probably didn’t even notice me walk by. It’s not like I went up to them, and said, “Hi, everyone, my name is Amanda” and they ignored me and didn’t look in my direction. I walked past them. But my insecurities about the situation made the interaction mean so much more than it was. The more likely reality is that they didn’t even see or notice me, not because I’m weird, but because they were looking at each other and talking. They were being present with one another. 

So in situations where anxiety, insecurity and doubt creep in, I have the opportunity to ask myself which meaning I am going to assign. And you have this same opportunity, too!

 

Be Careful With The Meanings You Assign In Your Mind…

Here’s another example of meaning-making at play to really drive this point home.

Back at the end of 2020, I shared on social media about the upcoming launch of my private membership, The NP Society. A nurse practitioner, Jenna, reached out because she wanted to connect and potentially be a part of it. So I replied to her message and I let her know that I was not ready to move forward at that moment but that I would reach out when I was because I was still in the very early planning stages of this membership community. 

Four months later, the infrastructure was in place for the membership and I was ready to reach back out to her. I was excited too because now I would be able to bring some clear outlines of what I needed help with. 

I reached out to her, we reconnected, and she’s now a mentor inside the NP Society. 

But get this – she later told me that when I originally said I wasn’t ready to move forward, she interpreted it as that I actually didn’t want her involved. So she was really surprised to eventually hear from me about the opportunity.

Super interesting, right? In her mind, she thought I didn’t want her involved. Meanwhile, on my end, her email was flagged so that I could follow up with her when I was ready, because I actually did want her to be involved. Oh, the tricks the mind can play on us…

 

Final Thoughts

If you’re job searching, or you will be soon… or maybe if you’re dating or moving to a new place, or volunteering for opportunities… Expect to hear some “No’s”, okay? 

Expect it and try to protect yourself from any negativity associated with that. 

And if you do find yourself having negative thoughts, ask yourself, “What am I making this mean?” 

Write this question down somewhere, really, because it’s such a powerful question that will help you work through any negative thoughts. I guarantee you it will be very illuminating. And looking at the big picture – if you continue to ask yourself this question as you move through life, I think that you will only benefit from what you learn. 

I’m always rooting for you!