It is difficult to not get ahead of yourself during your job search. This is especially true when you are pursuing what appears to be your dream job. There are a number of reasons that a position could reach this elevated status, such as the work itself, the reputation of the employer, the potential future opportunities, or perhaps some combination of these or other factors. Regardless of the reason, it does not take much to get excited when thinking about yourself starting in this new role.

Unfortunately, life often does not go as we plan, and in this example, we do not receive the job offer we have been dreaming about. Of course, this news is disappointing, but how we respond will be critical for the potential of upcoming success in our job search. So, let’s take a look at what you should do when you receive this unwelcome news.

• Accept The Decision Professionally: Depending on how far you were in the process and the policy of the company, you may receive a call or an e-mail with the news. If you want to maintain the possibility of collaborating with this company in the future, it is critical to manage the rejection professionally. This is especially true if the company made the extra effort by calling you directly. You want the Recruiter and/or Hiring Manager to think of you positively for future positions. Even if this potential position is not as appealing as the one you were rejected for, it still may be of interest to you as it will get you in the door with this employer.

• Try To Have a Viable #2: Too often, a job seeker who is pursuing their dream job will lose track of other open positions in the marketplace for which they are qualified. A savvy job seeker should try to maintain the momentum of their full search, even if a clear favorite is surfacing. This allows you to avoid the time-consuming task of re-starting your search from scratch. When you review the other opportunities, you may even find that you had a viable #2 that you would be thrilled to accept.

• Review Why You Were Not Offered: Very few Hiring Managers or Recruiters will give you much detail regarding why you were not chosen. Most likely, you will hear about how there were a number of qualified candidates, and it was a difficult decision. If you do hear actionable feedback, such as you were missing “x” in your experience or education, then you have something tangible to take a look at. If you really want to continue the long-term pursuit of this role, then you can examine how you can pick up the needed education or experience missing.

• Give Yourself a Chance to Refocus: Not receiving this position can definitely weigh negatively on your psyche. It is important for the success of your job search that you almost immediately move on and forward to the next possible opportunity. If you need a little time for self-care, then invest the time in what you need to place yourself back in the proper mindset. Life has an odd way of turning a negative into a positive, and you may find that the dream job you did not obtain, left you space to pursue a position that will end up even better.

• Close Any Gaps: If you do find that you are lacking something critical that is preventing you from landing that dream job, then consider what it will take for you to close that space. A gap in experience may close naturally over time by performing your current role or, perhaps, you will need to look at stretch assignments or projects that will help build up your resume. Likewise with education, a certification may be sufficient but if it is a degree that is needed, this situation may be what you needed to finally decide to go back and finish your education. Finally, you may decide that you need to leave your current position to gain the necessary skills to land that subsequent dream job. Sometimes there is not a direct path to the desired milestone, but a necessary intermediary step must be taken to get there.

The closing of one opportunity often will surface another possibility for you. The key is for the job seeker to move on from the position they did not receive and start to focus on other openings. It is important for this recalibration process that you don’t place this position on such a pedestal that no other position can compete. Remember, you did not actually work in this dream job, so how can you be sure that your perception of the role, supervisor, or company is completely accurate. You may actually find that the position you accept surpasses even your dream job.

As always, best of luck in your job search.

The following has been prepared for the general information of RochesterJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.

Joe Stein
WNY Human Resources Professional

Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at:
Joe Stein


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