5 Phrases To Tell Yourself When You Don't Get The Job You Dreamed Of

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Laura Browne524
I help women get more of what they want at work.
May 25, 2024 at 11:55PM UTC

We’ve all heard it – the little voice in our head. The one that whispers nasty things when we don’t get the job that we’ve been dreaming about. It says, “See, you’re not good enough, you didn’t deserve to get the job”. Ouch.

Yes, it’s disappointing when we don’t get a job, but we don’t need to be mean to ourselves. This is actually the time that we need to be especially kind.

You need to recognize the negative voice and STOP it.

Next, take action to disconnect yourself from that thought. You can say something out loud to break the connection such as “stop” or “cancel”. 

Another way to disconnect is to add something physical. For example, you can imagine you’re Taylor Swift and say, “shake it off” while shaking your hands. Or, you can picture the negative word as a piece of paper and crunch it and throw it away in an imaginary garbage.

Now it’s time to choose some positive things to say to yourself. Here are five phrases that might do the trick.

1. “It wasn’t the right job.”

Thinking that the job wasn’t right for you can help take the sting out of it. Often when we think about not getting a job, we beat ourselves up and think that we weren’t good enough. There could be many reasons why you didn’t get the job and they may have nothing to do with you or your abilities.

2. “I will get the right job.”

Even if the job seems like a dream job, we all know that things may not be the way they appear. I remember being really disappointed that I did not get a job at a very interesting company. The company went bankrupt a year later and if I had been hired, I would have been unemployed. Instead, I found a much better company to work for.

3. “Everything happens for a reason.”

I felt terrible when I was laid off from a job years ago but it led me to another job that put me on a much better career path. If I had not lost the first job, I would not have looked for something new.

4. “This is what I’ve learned.”

This is an opportunity to take a positive look at what you learned. Instead of being annoyed at yourself for the way you answered the interview question, you can think about how you could answer differently in the future. Or maybe you learned some new interview questions that you will be better prepared for in the future. Don’t beat yourself up – recognize this as a learning experience that can help you do better on the next interview.

5. “I would say this to a friend.”

Imagine that a friend of yours let you know that she didn’t get the job that she had been really hoping for. What supportive things would you say to her? Now say those things to yourself.

It feels bad when we don’t get the job we want and it’s natural to feel disappointed. You can decide whether you’re going to say negative things to yourself or positive things that can help you get ready for the next job application and interview.

Make the choice to stop the negative things that pop in your brain and replace them with positive thoughts that will help you to move forward and get the job that’s right for you.


This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Browne is a corporate trainer, author, speaker, and certified business coach with more than 20 years of experience in global human resources and management development. She has trained and coached female leaders from Fortune 100 companies. She has been quoted as a business expert in major publications including Cosmopolitan, Family Circle magazine, and USA Weekend. She now helps women to be more confident, more successful, and make more money with online training programs at https://www.careertipsforwomen.com/.

What’s your no. 1 piece of advice for coping when you don’t get the job? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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