You’ve just finished interviewing for a great opportunity that ticks off all of your dream job boxes. You like the hiring manager, she seems to like you and you’re already fantasizing about how to decorate your new workspace when…
…you receive the dreaded rejection email.
What!? How could they not hire you? You’re perfect. Who else could have better references or work experience? There must be some mistake!
Well unfortunately it happens. And while many well-meaning people will tell you to just let it go, the reality is, it’s not quite that easy. The best way to shake your disappointment and move forward is to identify ways to improve your chances in the future.
Here are three suggestions on what to do when your dream job goes to someone else:
1. Ask for Feedback
A day or two after you’ve received your rejection email, respond by letting them know that you’re disappointed to not have been chosen but enjoyed meeting the team and learning about the company. Then, ask for feedback, such as: “If there’s anything I can do to improve my skillset for similar positions, I’d value your thoughts.” You may not get a response, but many hiring managers will take a few minutes to give you a few tips. This information is valuable as you move forward with your job search.
And don’t forget to let the company know that you’d love to be considered for similar opportunities in the future. Don’t go on and on (you don’t want to sound desperate) but many larger organizations have multiple hiring managers in different departments with job openings. It’s fine to ask to be considered for one of them.
2. Don’t Beat Yourself Up
You may not have gotten the job, but you made it through the interviewing process. That must mean you made a pretty good impression on a lot of people. So remember the things that went right. The smart answers you gave to tough questions. The fact that you survived several interviewing cycles. And you beat out who-knows-how many candidates to make it to the finals.
Make a list of all of your positives and think about how they helped you along the way. Perhaps the content of your resume really called out your excellent skills. Or the research you did on the company left you feeling confident – instead of nervous – during your interviews. Write down anything that went well during the process, so you can repeat them in the future.
3. Know There’s More than One Dream Job
The great thing about dream jobs is there’s usually more than one. In fact, rather than having dream jobs, we have dream situations. Believe it – what you want is out there somewhere else, you just need to keep looking.
Make a list of the features that made this your dream job – then prioritize those things when you continue your job search. Once you understand what makes a job your “dream” you’ll be more likely to land a great opportunity that truly fits your wish list.
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