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So You Didn't Get the Job...Now What?

August 1, 2019


So you didn’t get that job you wanted, huh? That job you perfected your resume and cover letter for, the one with multiple interviews that you crushed, then followed up with the perfectly-worded thank you note. That same job had you scouting Zillow for your next apartment and daydreaming of new responsibilities. 


First off, I’m truly sorry that you didn’t get that job. I know how badly you wanted it. I also know that life may seem like a real bummer right now, but these things happen! No matter how badly we want something, we won’t get every job we apply for, or interview for, or scout for. It’s just not possible. 


It’s easy to look back and second-guess every choice you made throughout the interview process. Did I answer that one question correctly? (Probably.) Was my lipstick too bright? (Probably not.) Did my references say good things about me? (We’re guessing so.) 


No matter how much we second guess, though, the only direction worth moving now is forward. You didn’t get the job. It sucks, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. 


There have been a few times in my life where I didn’t get a job I applied and subsequently interviewed for. Those situations were all bummers, too, but there are ways to move forward and past this bump in the road. 


  1. Say thank you. This one may seem obvious but it’s the most important first step. When all is said and done and you get that “thanks but no thanks” call, you need to follow up and thank the hiring person for their time and energy. Regardless of how crappy you’re feeling, you were given an opportunity to apply and interview for a position when many others weren’t considered. In the fast-moving and competitive world of sports, that opportunity alone is worth a sincere thank you. 

  2. Ask for feedback. It might seem awkward, but this is a perfect chance to ask where or how you fell short. Sometimes you just aren’t the right fit or another candidate had more experience, but knowing why you weren’t selected for the position can really go a long way. Maybe your interview skills need some work, or maybe they weren’t sold that this is really the job you wanted. There’s always room for improvement, and even just asking this question shows that you want to improve. 

  3. Stay connected. Depending on how the interview process and/or the rejection phone call went, you might not want to stay in touch with this specific hiring person, but don’t burn this bridge unless you are absolutely sure you want to. Maybe this position didn’t work out, but what if another similar one comes open again soon that they need to fill? I know a few people (including myself) who have been rejected from a job but went on to get a different job working for that person or organization. In the same breath, that person could recommend you for a different role elsewhere! Simply put, you never know when this connection could help you out. Read more about building a positive relationship after rejection in Olivia Coiro’s post here.

  4. Look toward the future. Maybe that job didn’t work out, but how does your current situation look? If you’re in a good place and generally happy with how things are going, then maybe this is a sign that you should stay put. If your job is mostly great but leaves something to be desired, perhaps this is a good opportunity to talk with your supervisor about adjusting your current role. If you’re jobless or miserable in your current position, stay positive and on the hunt. Just because this position didn’t work out, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. 


Not getting the job you want can bruise your ego and make you second-guess yourself, but it’s truly not the end of the world. Finding the right position may take time and patience but everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. Stay positive!


For a full list of posts related to the job hunt, click here!


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