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Dealing with job search frustration

by Sellick Partnership | 19 August 2020

Applying for jobs in a crowded marketplace can be a challenging activity that can easily lead to feelings of frustration and rejection if you fail to secure interviews or offers. This can make the process of applying for jobs – which already takes considerable time and effort – feel painful and, sometimes, lead to candidates putting a complete halt to their job search.

Though these feelings are common for most job seekers, there are ways to manage these negative emotions in the midst of a job search.

In this article we will provide expert tips and advice on how to remain in the best mindset for securing the role of your dreams.

Maintain perspective

It is important to put your disappointment into perspective as quickly as you can and begin to positively focus on the next opportunity.

It is a simple fact that more people get turned down for job roles than are offered them, so you should try and keep this front and centre in your mind when dealing with a rejection.

You should also try and remember that we tend to pay more attention to negative events than positive ones, which means we are more likely to feel the world is against us and quickly forget all the joys and successes we still have in our lives – both professionally and personally.


Try and take the time to think as objectively as possible about how you might be perceived by others on the basis of your application, and consider carefully how it could be improved in the eyes of the employer.

Reflect on the interview and think about how you answered the questions that were asked of you and what you might do differently next time. However, it is important to remain focused on the future while doing this exercise. Rather than berating yourself about your interview performance, you should think about how your next answer to a given question will be stronger than ever.

It is also useful to conduct a self-review exercise that looks at how well you feel you highlighted your key strengths and unique characteristics. Could you do more next time?

Ask for feedback

It is always worth asking for feedback from the hiring manager following their decision. You may not always get a response, especially if a role has attracted a large number of applicants, however it only takes one person to come back to you and you may receive some useful tips and advice for next time.

Again, it is important to take the feedback constructively – you requested it so that you can perform better next time, so take the information on board even if it is difficult to hear and use it positively moving forward.

Maintain momentum

One way to reduce the feelings of frustration during a job search is to avoid putting all of your eggs in one basket.

If you can, try and continue applying for jobs and building your network even while you are waiting for decisions from other potential employers. By ensuring your search moves ahead with multiple options, you will feel more positive about your search and avoid unnecessary upset that may come with being turned down for that one dream job.

Searching for jobs can be extremely time-consuming and stressful, and sometimes it feels as though you will never find the right job for you.

But remember, you are in the same boat as everyone else.

There will always be multiple candidates competing for the same role, meaning the statistical likelihood is that there may well be someone better qualified or suited for that job than you. Do not take rejection personally – turn every setback into an opportunity to improve and secure the job you are looking for next time around.

If you would like some help or advice on searching for a new role, get in touch, we would be more than happy to talk to you. You can also search our current jobs here.