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April 5, 2022, by aeyam24

My Advice for Coping with Rejection From Grad Schemes

By Anna McConachie, English Student Blogger

Facing rejection is demoralising, demotivating and down-right difficult. Unfortunately, as graduates we are likely to face a lot of it. Here is how I have been dealing with rejection from grad schemes recently. 

Process your emotions

Being rejected hurts. After spending hours on an application, agonising over assessment questions, and even making it to an interview, to receive that conciliatory rejection letter can really affect your confidence. It’s important to acknowledge how you are feeling, in order to process that rejection.

In an earlier blog post about job rejection, Jackie Thompson recommends externalising how you feel through writing and/or speaking. I spoke to my older sister about how stressed I felt about graduating without securing a grad scheme. As she had been through a similar experience, she helped to reassure me that my feelings were valid and normal. It was great to talk to someone who knew what I was going through. Moreover, she mentioned that grad schemes are not the be all and end all of job opportunities. Her current position as part of the civil service was secured through applying to the job directly, rather than getting onto a grad scheme.

Ask for feedback

It’s so important to ask for feedback from employers to see how you can do better next time. It may seem like this will knock your confidence hearing the factors that contributed to your failure, but I’ve found it made me more confident with my following applications. And, if you have your sights set on a particular company or role, feedback can be very helpful in making sure you stand out when you reapply.

Feedback is great for making your applications stronger. It’s also helpful to think that, as a graduate, this is the best time to receive rejection as it helps to develop you as a candidate while you are still finding your feet.

Rest, regroup, reframe

It’s most important to prioritise your mental well being when facing rejection. If you are overworking yourself spending hours a day applying to any job you can find, this will likely be reflected in the quality of your applications. It’s always okay to take a step back from the job hunt in order to protect your mental well being.

Once you have processed your feelings, try to reframe how you view rejection. It’s worth remembering that everyone will face rejection at some point in their lives. Moreover, try not to take rejection personally – this is something I have struggled with the most!

Rejection is therefore a natural part of the job-hunting process. Ironically, the more we face rejection, the more equipped we are to cope with it. Reframing how I view my own rejection helps me maintain a positive mindset, and reinvigorates me for the next leg of my search – and maybe it will help you too.

The Careers team are available to talk through applications, your CV, and prepping for interviews. Take a look at the website, browse upcoming skills workshops, or book an appointment with a careers adviser for more support. 

Posted in Applying For JobsCareer wellbeingGraduating in 2022InterviewsStudent Bloggers