'It’s Not Rejection, It's Redirection' — 5 Ways to Reframe a Difficult Job Search

Reframing those rejections can help you cope emotionally and get back to landing your next role.

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Alice Graves21
Career Transition Coach
July 15, 2024 at 9:27PM UTC

Searching for a new job can be extremely stressful. 

You’re either unhappy in your current employment and are looking for something new, or you aren’t employed and are keen to get back to work as soon as possible.

Either way, you want to find something quickly and the idea of spending months on end sending in applications and preparing for interviews isn’t very appealing.

Then, when you receive more rejections than you expected, it’s easy for your confidence to take a hit. The self-doubt kicks in and you start to see each job rejection as a failure

This is of course not true at all, but self-doubt is like a virus. Once it sets in, it can be very hard to shift and it makes the job application process that much harder and more painful.

Reframing those rejections can help you cope emotionally and get back to landing your next role. Here’s how.

It’s not rejection, it's redirection.

I love this re-frame. When you see a great job advertised, it’s easy to start picturing yourself working at that company and starting to imagine your new life. So when you don’t get the job. it hurts. 

Start to make the shift that this is not a rejection, but merely a redirection. There have been many times in my past when I was rejected. Those rejections changed my trajectory and led me to things I never could have foreseen or even planned. It’s very hard to see it at the time, but that rejection is redirecting your life to something even greater. 

Change your intention.

What if your intention was not to get the job, but to share your experience with a company and give them the opportunity to speak with you? What if your intention was to see how far you could get in the interview process? 

Changing your intention means there is no longer the possibility to fail, because it’s not a win or lose situation. Approach every job application with curiosity and the intention to learn and share, not to get the job. I know this might sound counterintuitive, but it will take away any feelings of failure and it will also take off a lot of the pressure you are most likely putting on yourself. 

A blessing in disguise.

There is a job out there for everyone, but not every company is the right company for you. It’s really important to remember this whilst doing your job search. It’s easy to start to believe that you are the problem — but you’re not. If you haven't been hired, it’s most likely a blessing in disguise. Interviews should give both the company and the interviewee a chance to see if they’re the right fit for each other. If it didn’t work out, there’s probably a good reason for that and it may even be better that you didn’t get the job. 

There is no failure, only feedback.

This is a powerful belief and it really has the ability to change how you approach everything in your life. 

If you truly believe you can’t fail, but can only get feedback, then you’ll never stop trying. So get the feedback and the lesson from each experience and use it to help you move forward. Keep learning and iterating.

Take control of your mindset.

When you feel the self-doubt kick, in it’s time to take control and shift your mindset. The best way to do that is to read about people who have been where you are and have come out the other side. There are so many people right now sharing their job search experiences. They’re sharing how they faced sometimes up to a 1000 rejections before finally landing their dream job. It’s not only inspiring to read these stories, but a good reminder that it’s possible to find that dream job, even when you’ve faced some knock-backs. Keep reading their stories until you feel that self-doubt fading and your confidence coming back.  


Alice Graves-Nguyen is an expert at getting women unstuck in their careers. She works with them to re-build their confidence and reconnect with who they are. Alice empowers women and helps them find further fulfillment during and after successful careers. Alice is an experienced manager, mentor and executive coach with 10+ years of corporate experience. Her passion and strength is getting people to believe in themselves and to take that step into the future they deserve. Alice believes that people can be who they desire to be and have the future they deserve. They don’t need to keep waiting, or doubting themselves. You can connect with her on social media here and click here to join her newsletter for your weekly dose of motivation and practical tips.

What’s your no. 1 way to reframe rejection in the job search?  Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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