The reality of the job seeking journey is that, along the way, you will experience some rejection. While it always hurts to be told ‘you did not get the job’ what hurts more is when you hear nothing and are not sure why you were not successful in getting to the next stage of the job application process.

As an action-oriented person, my focus is on providing my clients with the ‘how to’ of a more successful job search. When I see a problem, I naturally move to solution and pride myself on helping clients develop a step by step action plan. However, sometimes my clients are not ready for action and just want to be heard.

A recent experience with a client was a powerful lesson in the importance of going to where my clients are and taking the time to check if they are okay before moving into solution mode. In this particular case, my client had recently been informed her role was to be made redundant. My role was to help her develop an action plan. I wrongly assumed she was ready to have this conversation, and it was midway through our first meeting that I realised we were not talking about what she needed to focus on. I had made the assumption that she’d done ‘the work’ required to process the news of her redundancy.

I chose efficiency over the relationship and as a result, she rejected me!

The Benefit of Hindsight

As you read this, you may be asking ‘Marina! Why would you share such a story with me?’ This is a good question and one I have considered myself before hitting publish on this blog post. The reason I am sharing this experience with you is because you too will experience rejection in your job search. I want you to benefit from what I learnt from this experience!

So what did I learn from this experience? Lots!

  • Feedback helps you grow and develop
  • It’s about teaching people the process, not just the outcome
  • It’s about regularly checking in for feedback
  • It’s not about me
  • People get confused and frustrated by information and feedback they are not ready for or do not understand
  • Job seekers can struggle with feedback if they have not dealt with the trauma of their situation (especially if there is a redundancy or termination involved)

And so what do I want you to take from this?

That feedback helps you grow and develop and rejection can sometimes be the best teacher!

What This Experience Taught Me About Myself

With the benefit of hindsight and some workshopping of the situation with a number of close colleagues, I am now on the other side of this. The rejection hurt at first, and I have taken the time to work through it, using the experience to inform my practice. This means future clients will receive a more empathetic Marina who will double check you are okay before she dives into action mode!

Specifically, I will also continue to focus on the following key areas with my clients, including:

  • Going at the pace that feels comfortable for my clients
  • Clarifying where they want to go during the conversation and making sure we cover the issues they are worried about
  • Explaining the process and how I can help
  • Asking lots of questions to understand what they really need and want
  • Playing my understanding of their needs and goals back to them to make sure I have ‘got this right’
  • Reviewing what we have discussed
  • Checking what they are thinking / how they are feeling
  • Clearly explaining and agreeing the next steps

And of course, we will move into action and solution mode. When they are ready!

How I can Help Your Job Search

If you’re just about to start your job search or are right in the thick of searching for a new role, I am so glad you’ve found me! I work with professionals who are actively looking for their next challenging role and are not quite sure how to write their cover letter, adapt their resume or prepare for their job interview. In some cases, it’s been a while since my clients have applied for work, in other cases they are applying for their dream job and want to make sure they get it right.

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