Job Rejection Doesn’t Have to Sting

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When you apply for a job at your dream company, you’re hoping, maybe even praying, that you’ll be successful in the interview process and receive an offer. After all, it’s the company you’ve always wanted to work for. So when you don’t get an offer, it can feel devastating — but it doesn’t have to. Here’s why rejection happens and how you can learn from it to position yourself for success in future interviews.

Why rejection happens

The second you receive the rejection phone call or email, you immediately try to figure out why. But the answer may be elusive, especially if the person on the other end doesn’t give you much information to go on. There are a few possible reasons why you didn’t receive an offer:

There was a “better” candidate.

This may seem like the most obvious reason, but “better” doesn’t always mean better than you. Sometimes it just means different. Once a job is posted and candidates are interviewed, hiring managers sometimes realize they could use skills or experience they didn’t know they needed.

Or, your skills and capabilities may be right in line with what the hiring manager needs, but there are always intangibles that aren’t listed, like wanting a product manager who has worked on a novel product or wanting someone who is insatiably curious about the world around them. If another candidate demonstrates those intangibles during the interview process, they may be “better” because they can contribute and bring value in a different way.

You didn’t tie your skills and experience to the role.

You may have all the necessary capabilities and experience, but the hiring manager needs to understand how you’ll apply them to this particular role. Too many people focus on making sure they talk about their accomplishments but ignore the actual job description. Truly understanding the role and articulating how you would apply your skills and capabilities to it is key to helping the hiring manager visualize how you can bring value to the team and organization.

You have a mismatch with the culture.

This doesn’t mean you’re a bad person! Every company has a specific culture. For example, if your success has come from making unilateral decisions but this company makes all decisions through consensus, you may become frustrated quickly. The last thing a hiring manager wants to do is hire someone who doesn’t fit in with the team or company culture.

While you may believe you can adapt to fit the environment, the hiring manager will predict your success based on how you describe your work style and preferences during the interview process. There is nothing you can do if they don’t believe you’d fit in with the team or overall company culture.

The job scope changed.

Once a job is posted, changes at the company could change the scope of the job — for example, maybe someone departed the team or there was a reorganization of functions. While a company should update and repost the job accordingly, not all of them do.

The job was paused or cancelled.

In uncertain economic times, hiring for new roles can be placed on hold or even canceled as companies figure out their short- and long-term strategies. While the job may still be posted, a company may not be interviewing for it or may stop the process after you’ve already interviewed. Some companies have been rescinding offers after making them, essentially firing employees before they even start. It’s not personal or a reflection of your skills and capabilities — it’s the business resetting itself.

Learning from rejection

Rejection stings, and not knowing why you were rejected can cause you to engage in negative self-talk about your skills and capabilities. Here are some ways to learn from the rejection and move forward:

Understand that the perfect job isn’t always perfect.

It’s normal to romanticize a job and company based on what we read or hear about them. And part of an interviewer’s role is to sell you on the job and make it seem amazing and exciting from their first contact with you.

If you weren’t selected for whatever reason, use the rejection to reset that romanticized vision and remind yourself that no company or job is as perfect as described. To get a more realistic view of a prospective employer next time around, take time in advance to think through deeper questions than, “Tell me about the culture.”

For example, during your next interview, ask the hiring manager, “Can you give me an example of how you developed an employee?” or “Is there one common thread to being a stellar performer on your team?” This will help you assess whether a company will take your development seriously and how the company assesses and appreciates its employees.

Reflect on your values.

When we’re desperate to find a job — any job — we don’t focus on what’s important to us and whether the role will contribute to our overall fulfillment. Take a step back and reflect on the job you didn’t get and whether it truly aligned with your values. This exercise will help ensure that when you do land a job, it will be fulfilling.

Sharpen your interviewing skills.

Going through any interview process allows you to practice your interviewing skills and messaging for the next job interview. When I was trying to change careers from entertainment lawyer to human resources professional, I was asked why I wanted to make the change. I would say, “I want to help people.” One hiring manager said that’s not the role of HR; the role is to align people’s skills and capabilities to business goals. I knew that but had never said it in an interview.

So, in the next one, I changed my core messaging and landed the job. Think back to the questions you were asked and how your counterpart reacted to your answers. Which responses landed and which didn’t? Did the hiring manager rephrase what you said more succinctly? Do you have an opportunity to make your message crisper or change your messaging completely?

Incorporate feedback.

If you can obtain feedback from your interviewer, you’ll have some actionable information to apply to your next interviews. This is a neutral party’s perspective on how you were perceived in that short period of time they interacted with you. Even if you don’t agree with the feedback or it doesn’t resonate with who you are, consider the 2% rule: What if 2% of it was true? Use the feedback as fuel to advance your skills or change your interview approach.

Develop resilience.

The more you’re rejected, the more resilient you’ll become as you learn to recover from the disappointment. After finding out you didn’t get the job, figure out what kind of self-care you need to heal — for example, doing an activity you’re great at and enjoy, like bowling, drawing, or exercising. Knowing how you feel in that moment and what it takes to move forward will give you a formula you can apply when faced with any failure.

Hiring managers can sense negative energy during the interview process. Making rejection a part of your learning will help reframe it as taking one step closer to job that’s right for you. The quicker you learn what helps you move forward, the easier it will be to look at the next round of interviews as the next challenge to conquer.

By: Marlo Lyons

Marlo Lyons is a certified career coach and strategist, HR executive, and the author of Wanted – A New Career: The Definitive Playbook for Transitioning to a New Career or Finding Your Dream Job.

Source: Job Rejection Doesn’t Have to Sting

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Critics by Julia Hurtado

A job rejection can be hard, especially if you are trying to break into a competitive job market. It can make you feel deflated, angry, and cause you to lose your motivation and desire to keep interviewing for other career opportunities. We understand that and have experienced this disappointment throughout our careers as well.

However, it’s important not to let a job rejection keep you from applying for other opportunities. So, this week, we’ve put together some of our best advice on how you can not only deal with job rejection but also use it to improve yourself and future career prospects.

Let’s get started.

#1 Take some time out and get your emotions in place

After any rejection, you are likely to have many different emotions, and therefore we encourage you to take some time out to allow you to process your feelings.

Being rejected doesn’t mean that your attributes and professional qualifications aren’t remarkable. When it comes to hiring, employers weigh numerous considerations. Many factors may have led to your job rejection, including being under-qualified or over-qualified, your attitude towards the job and the company, your interview experience and many more.

Often some of these factors may be beyond your control. You have to understand that in today’s competitive job market, there are often hundreds of applicants for a role, so for an employer to pick just one person is a very challenging decision. As a result, even if you are not offered the job, it may not mean that the employer didn’t like you.

Whenever you receive a rejection, start by thanking the employer for their time and follow by asking if they can give you some feedback. If feedback is not an option, begin by evaluating how you thought you did in the interview. Did you cut off the interviewer? Did you not answer questions as well as you could do?

By identifying areas of weakness, you can then focus on learning how to improve yourself in these areas.

#2 Understand that you are not alone

Every day, countless others face job rejection. If you are dealing with job rejection, the best thing you can do is reach out to others who are currently, or have previously been in similar situations.

This way, you can share your experience and emotions and get mutual support that will be enormously beneficial. They can tell you how to deal with job rejection, and you can ask them what they did to overcome this phase.

There are also various books, podcasts and youtube videos on how to handle job rejection. Hearing how others were able to bounce back from a significant job rejection can help you feel less alone and more confident when you are ready to start reapplying again.

#3 Send a thank you email to the interviewer the day you get the job rejection mail

Sending a thank-you email after a job rejection sounds odd. However, it can help your career in the long run. You can use your thank you letter as an opportunity to build your network, receive feedback and ask to be considered for future opportunities.

After you have received the outcome of your interview, respond by thanking the employer for their time and giving you insight into the company. You can also highlight that although you are disappointed to have not been offered the role, you are excited to see how the company develops and would like to be considered for any future opportunities that may become available. Lastly, you can ask for feedback so that you can find out what you did well and areas you may need to improve.

By taking a few minutes out of your day to write this email, you will leave your interviewer with a positive impression of yourself and therefore increase your chances of receiving constructive feedback or even the possibility of being considered for another role in the future

#4 Think about what you could have done differently

After every interview, sit down for a few minutes and consider what you thought you could do better. This could be from how you answered their questions to your presentation skills and even your posture.

If you felt that you were a bit shaky with your presentation skills, work on presenting to others before your next interview to help reduce your nerves. The same idea applies to answering interview questions, write down some of the questions that you struggled with and do some research into how you may have been able to respond better to them. By doing this, you will create stronger responses that you can call upon in your next interview.

The point of thinking about what you could have done differently is not so you can beat yourself up over what you did wrong, but so that you can learn from it. Take each interview and each job rejection as an opportunity to grow stronger for the next interview.

#5 Focus on your strengths

Although you didn’t get the role, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you did not have any areas that you excelled in. So, take some time to reevaluate what you thought went well in the interview. If you were able to receive feedback, ask what areas they believed you did well in. It’s just as important to focus on your areas of strength as it is to focus on your areas of weakness.

By focusing on your strengths and highlighting them in future interviews, you’ll be able to show employers why you’re the best candidate. It can also help you improve your interviews and even help you land your dream role….To be continued..

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3 Bonding Exercises Businesses Are Using To Combat The Great Resignation

Quirky activities can improve employee retention and company culture, according to Inc. 5000 CEOs. It’s cheesy, but it works. So says Frank B. Mengert, founder and CEO of ebm, a North Haven, Connecticut-based benefits and HR tech company, about his company’s weekly video call, known as “Friday Vibes.” The one rule: You can talk about anything but work.

These unconventional meetings–ebm’s sometimes involve games like Two Truths and a Lie–have helped reduce turnover in the company since they started them in May 2020. At a time when employees are quitting in record numbers and rotating through workplaces without ever meeting co-workers in-person, such bonding activities can potentially improve team dynamics, says Timothy Golden, professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lally School of Management and a longtime researcher of remote work.

From Inc. 5000 CEOs, here are three ways to forge bonds between team members in your still-virtual workplace.

1. “Anything but work” check-ins

Consistency is crucial to Friday Vibes, Mengert says. Every Friday at 4 p.m., anywhere from half to all of ebm’s 47 employees hang out on one Zoom call and chat about non-work topics or play games, especially with new hires. Most Friday Vibes go over the allotted time, he adds. Serious topics like mental health come up sometimes, or the team might spend the whole hour discussing types of cars they’ve driven before.

A couple of months into the pandemic, the team at Burlingame, California-based gaming and strategy research firm IDG Consulting started to look a little haggard, says CEO and president Yoshio Osaki. The 11-person company went remote in 2018 but over time, IDG employees lost an element of interpersonal connection. “We were our own little islands,” he says.

When the pandemic hit and people started going through lockdowns and additional childcare stress, Osaki finally realized that since the company went remote he had been checking in on what people were doing, not how they were doing. And morale seemed to be taking a hit as a result.

That’s actually pretty common in a remote environment, Golden says. People tend to be more task-oriented than relationship-oriented, so managers have to find ways to rebuild interpersonal trust and rapport virtually. Osaki’s solution was to implement a 30-minute mandatory non-work chat every other week (it’s since expanded to 60 minutes).

The calls provided fun bonding time, but some turned less lighthearted. Osaki realized that some employees needed additional help and added an annual $1,000 self-care stipend to make it easier to pay for things like therapy. He learned an employee had back pain and bought them an ergonomic chair.

Another had gotten into building computers, so they bought him some tools, and he ended up building one for their data scientist. And beyond the insight on employees’ needs, Osaki says, “We saw an increase in productivity as well as creativity.” In sum, starting the chat has been an important factor in making 2021 a record year for IDG’s revenue.

2. Gratitude sharing

Telling your employees you appreciate them seems like obvious advice–but helping them do it in structured ways helps you keep from losing them, according to Keegan Caldwell, founder and managing partner of Boston-based Caldwell Intellectual Property Law. Every Friday at noon, employees share whom they’ve been grateful for over the last week.

“What we found was this was the most important meeting for us to have,” Caldwell says. He started it three years ago, inspired by his 12-step recovery process and his ability to make it through the associated challenges. Since then, he estimates, it’s improved retention by 10 percent.

For Boston-based Winthrop Wealth and CEO Max Winthrop, it’s about the “small wins.” On their morning call, the team has the option to share their tiny victories, like putting in extra effort to help a client’s family after their spouse died. The company started it after doing a workshop in the fall of 2020 with self-actualization and sharing activities–and Winthrop hasn’t lost an employee since. It also helps him keep perspective as a leader, he says: “The small contributions add up to the greater success.”

3. Games and experiences

Every month or so, employees at government IT contractor Kech play bingo and Pictionary, compete for who has the cutest pet photo, or speculate about how they would survive a zombie apocalypse. Chris Carpenter, the Williamsburg, Kentucky-based company’s CEO and co-founder, likes to mix it up. Her company, which operates call centers for government services, had high turnover before the pandemic. But she says she’s managed to keep a core group of employees by adding fun and human connection into their workdays.

Most events come with prizes, and Carpenter estimates she spends $2,000 on gift cards a year for the winners. She organizes them herself and regularly gets messages from employees asking when the next game will be.

When it comes to games, pick something that is collaborative rather than competitive to boost organizational cohesion, says Sean Newman, a visiting professor at Rollins College and senior vice president of operations at London-based financial services firm Aon. And try to use bonding activities or games to build up relationships between specific employees. “To the extent that your games can show the manager really cares and establish that relationship… it can be a real positive outcome for retention,” he says.

Games and more elaborate, planned events can help avoid the dreaded Zoom happy hour, says Jonathan Conelias, CEO of Boston-based ReElivate, which provides virtual experiences for clients including Amazon and Google. His advice: Try to plan something special and interesting that gives employees a shared experience to refer to, like an escape room.

Lauren Greenwood’s company, YouCopia, which is based in Chicago and provides organizational home goods for consumers, simply does  “welcome lunches”  on the first day for new hires with three weird questions for everyone else to answer. (The meals were virtual for part of the pandemic but now are in-person for smaller groups.) If you’re too busy to organize creative bonding activities–or it’s just not your thing–hire someone to handle it, she advises.

By Gabrielle Bienasz, Editorial assistant, Inc.@gbienasz

Source: 3 Bonding Exercises Businesses Are Using to Combat The Great Resignation | Inc.com

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The Future Is Looking Up for Small Businesses But Hiring Struggles Continue

A shortage of workers remains a big concern for business owners, and there’s no clear evidence yet that the end of federal unemployment benefits is boosting the labor supply

A lot has changed since unemployment reached a record rate of 14.8 percent in April 2020. Job openings are at their highest number since 2000 — and businesses can’t seem to fill them fast enough.

After any number of pandemic-related setbacks, small businesses are once again optimistic about the near future. Nearly three-fourths expect to increase sales in the next six months — but hiring struggles are putting a damper on these prospects, according to a survey of 500 small-to-medium-size businesses conducted in August 2021 and released yesterday by PNC.

Labor availability is the most-cited concern, and of the those experiencing hiring difficulties, 58 percent point to enhanced federal unemployment benefits as the culprit. With expanded federal unemployment benefits having ended on Labor Day — reducing unemployment pay by $300 a week — businesses widely believed this cut-off would lead to a surge in job applicants.

But the expected surge hasn’t yet materialized. A study released in late August authored by economists Kyle Coombs of Columbia University, Arindrajit Dube of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and others, showed that in the 22 states that ended these federal employment benefits earlier in June, there was only a small rise in employment in subsequent months — 4.4 percent.

Small businesses are now addressing the labor shortage directly by improving pay and benefits. Of those businesses surveyed, more than four in 10 say they’ve increased compensation to help attract and retain talent, and 44 percent have started allowing more flexible work arrangements. Nearly half have also begun implementing improved health and safety measures.

These changes don’t come without a cost. More than half (54 percent) of business owners surveyed say they anticipate raising prices to compensate for increased labor costs and inflation. Once this cost is passed on to consumers, individuals who previously received federal unemployment benefits may, at last, feel increasing financial pressure to re-enter the job market.

By Rebecca Deczynski, Staff reporter, Inc.@rebecca_decz

Source: The Future Is Looking Up for Small Businesses — But Hiring Struggles Continue | Inc.com

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6 Phrases That Make You Sound Unqualified In Job Interviews

When you finally land an interview for an exciting role or for a position you think might be out of your league, the main thing you want to do is get through it without blowing it. But surprisingly, so many qualified candidates chip away at their credibility in interviews because of how they present their skills or talk about their experience.

Here are six phrases you should avoid using in your interviews if you don’t want to sound less qualified:

“I know I’m not the most qualified person, but…”

Be wary of saying this, especially if you’re changing careers or applying for a role that’s out of your comfort zone. You may think saying this shows that you’re honest, humble, and honored to be interviewing for the role. But, saying this diminishes your value. If you tell the interviewer you don’t believe you’re qualified for the role, then they’re going to believe you. After all, you know yourself better than they do.

Landing an interview means that the interviewer believes you’re qualified enough, so don’t give them a reason to think otherwise. Instead, highlight the experiences, stories, and projects you’ve worked on that showcase your ability to excel in the role.

“I don’t have much experience with this, but…”

While this one is similar to the previous phrase, you may be tempted to use this if the interviewer inquires about a specific skill. For instance, one of my clients applied for a role that requested experience leading teams. Although she matched everything else and felt confident she’d be successful in the role, she doubted her leadership skills and thought that her years of experience managing a team of three wasn’t enough.

But as I shared with her, words stick, so even if you think you don’t have enough experience in one area, your language still matters. Instead of disqualifying yourself, go straight into the experience and skills you do have. Either show how your experience has prepared you to be an asset or show how your background has equipped you for this new challenge.

Filler words…

You may not even notice that you’re using the words “like” and “um” in your responses, but using filler words while talking about yourself can give the interviewer the impression that you’re not 100% confident about what you’re sharing. It can also chip away at your professionalism and make an interviewer question if you’d speak to clients or other stakeholders the same way if hired.

Of course, when you’re nervous, and your armpits are sweating, it can be hard to make sure those filler words aren’t slipping out. But, one helpful tip is to speak a bit more slowly and pause in between your statements. This will help you catch yourself rather than simply filling the air out of nervousness.

“What does your company do?”

If you don’t already know what the company does before you walk into an interview, then you probably don’t know how to meet their specific needs or solve their problems. This not only makes you come across as unqualified, but it’s also a red flag to the interviewer. Companies want to hire people who are excited about the role and the organization, and not knowing even basic facts about the company shows a lack of genuine interest in the organization.

On top of that, as an interviewee, not doing your research beforehand hinders you from standing out. So, take some time to not only analyze the job description but also read about the company.

“We…” 

Unless you and your team are interviewing for the role, you should not constantly use “we” in your interviews. Often, some corporate professionals fear taking ownership of the projects and initiatives their team accomplished together. But, not owning your individual contribution and saying “we” when describing your accomplishments erodes your experience and qualifications. It can cause the interviewer to question if you can questions

handle the role you’re interviewing for without your team. So, instead of falling back on your team, identify your specific results and the impact you delivered and then highlight that in your interviews with confidence.

Rambling or dancing around a question…

This isn’t a particular phrase, but dancing around a question and rambling can make you seem unsure about your skills and qualifications, even if you know you are qualified for the position. Particularly, when you ramble, you put the responsibility on the interviewer to take away the most important elements of your response. You also risk losing their attention, and the worst outcome is that they won’t care enough to ask again and will move on still unclear about what you can do.

To prevent dancing around a question and rambling, get clear on what you bring to the table before the interview and decide on the skills and stories you want to use to back up what you can do. If you are asked a question that catches you off guard, request clarification and lean into the value and skills you know qualify you for the role.

There are so many ways that qualified candidates disqualify themselves in interviews without even realizing it. Avoiding these phrases will ensure that you don’t sabotage your interviews and will increase your chances of standing out as a top candidate for the roles you desire.

Adunola Adeshola coaches high-achievers on how to take their careers to the next level and secure the positions they’ve been chasing. Grab her free guide.

Adunola Adeshola is a millennial career strategist. Through her signature coaching program, careerREDEFINED, she helps high-achievers navigate their job hunts and secure the positions they’ve been chasing. She also consults companies on how to improve their corporate culture to attract, engage and retain their employees. Along with Forbes, her expertise has been featured in The New York Times, Bloomberg, Fast Company and other publications.

Source: 6 Phrases That Make You Sound Unqualified In Job Interviews

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