I’m not going to tell you to “keep your chin up” and “don’t take it personally” or any other cliché advice like that.
Rejection is hard. Period.
There’s no sugar-coating it.
Add to the fact that not having a job means bills are piling up, and you wake up every morning feeling lousy from not having anything to do and nowhere to go.
The best way to deal with rejection – any rejection – is to set a quantifiable goal.
Let’s say, for example, I’m a door-to-door salesman selling cookies. My company tells me that on average, you get 1 sale for every 20 houses I visit.
So mentally, I know that even if I don’t make a sale for the first 10 houses, I should still keep going.
That’s what you need to deal with rejection – a specific target that you know you should reach. And until you reach that target, your job search is not over.
Now you’re probably thinking I’m going to suggest a job application target. That you should target to reach 200 online job applications or something.
Your target should be to build a core network of 25 people.
According to Orville Pierson, author of “The unwritten rules of the highly effective job search”, his research uncovered that in order to get your next job, on average you need to build a core network of 25 people.
Who is your core network? It’s not your family or friends. It’s not even recruiters. These are people who have the power and authority to hire you, i.e. senior managers, directors, VPs, SVPs, CEOs
His research confirmed that by the time you reach 25 people in your core network, you should have your next job.
But there’s a catch.
For someone to be qualified to be part of your core network, you must be engaging with them on a regular basis, and they must respond to you as well.
This means they are responding back to your LinkedInn messages, they have agreed to meet with you (in-person or virtually), and you feel confident that they will refer you to a job when they are aware of it.
Of course, in order to get them to this level, you have to do more than ping them with “Hi, How are you. Hope you’re keeping well” type messages. You have to be offering value. Every single time.
It’s like this blog. My goal for every post is to offer you value by giving you a job search tip that you can use to get the career you want. Imagine if my posts just said “Hi. How are you. Hope your job search is going great. Chin up!” Would you still be subscribed?
So connect to 25 hiring authorities and offer value.
This is your core network. This is your job search goal.
Yes, apply for jobs online. But never forget about your core network. Because these are the folks that will reveal the hidden job market to you.These are the folks whose referral will pretty much guarantee an interview.
Dealing with rejection is hard, but when you have a plan of action to build a core network everyday, speaking to individuals that have the power and authority to hire you gives you the confidence boost you need to overcome the sting of rejection.