Unfortunately, my advice is not to ‘try, try, try again’… Sorry folks…
We’ve all been there: found the perfect job, opportunity or placement, but unfortunately have missed out. Whether that be at the initial stages of the application, the assessment centre, or at the final interview. Either way, the same feeling surfaces and it’s the absolute worst: a decrease in confidence and a lack of self-belief. I have good news though! It doesn’t have to be seen as a failure or setback; a missed opportunity can be very easily turned into a positive. Here are my top three tips to bounce back. In style, of course.
Clear your head.
Initially, it’s a really good idea to keep yourself distracted and busy to avoid feeling upset. Filling out application after application can be exhausting at the best of times, especially having just missed out on your ‘dream opportunity’. Taking a break from it all for a while puts things into perspective while helping to relax yourself and keep sane. Go on, treat yourself. Do something for the day that isn’t job/placement related (crazy, I know…). Perhaps go to your favourite coffee shop, a nice walk or a trip into town. Not only will you feel better but your mind will be clearer and able to tackle the next challenge life throws at you in a more positive light.
Reflect on what went wrong – and act on it.
Here comes the hardest part, reflecting on exactly what went wrong. This could be a number of things, some of which may not related to you at all. Yes, it could have been a pitfall in your interview technique but it also could have been that in that year someone had one more piece of experience than you. More often than not, it’s a case of narrowly missing out rather than a total flaw in you and your personality. So, don’t worry. A good thing to do is contact the company and ask for some post-interview comments. Companies do this all the time, don’t feel scared or nervous to question them directly as to why you didn’t get the role.
Once you have figured out what went wrong an important next step is to find a solution. It might be worth visiting your university’s careers department to ask for a couple of interview or application tips. As ever, you won’t know unless you don’t try! Hopefully, you will feel ready and better equipped for the next opportunity that comes your way.
Always see a positive side to things.
As the famous saying goes, ‘every cloud has a silver lining’. This might come with time but I promise you the experience, although you didn’t get the role, has not all been for nothing. You never know, that particular role might not have been the right fit for you anyway – or perhaps something better is just around the corner? This setback, whilst initially upsetting, does not have to push you one step back. I promise you, it can do the opposite. With a positive mental attitude, and awareness of what went wrong, you will land yourself that dream opportunity in no time. What’s even better is you might learn something about yourself: the exact types of roles that really suit you, and those that bring you happiness and a genuine feeling of success.
Time for another cliched phrase, we all all love them: ‘You don’t know success without failure’. It’s true, you really don’t. When you finally find success, whatever form that might take, it will be even sweeter knowing that you built up your resilience in the process, and you can finally sit back knowing that it was all worth it.