Overcoming Rejection and Achieving Success

By Steph Cutler

Looking for a job is a job in itself. You can spend hours and hours looking for vacancies, researching organisations and completing application forms. It’s therefore not surprising that it can feel like a thankless task when you are not selected for interview, don’t get offered the position or, worse still, don’t hear anything at all. Consider the following suggestions when you feel like giving up:

1. It can feel quite lonely looking for work, so remember that you are not alone. In fact, that is probably why you are yet to be selected – because there are so many other people out there also looking! Remember, everyone feels demoralised and rejected at times when seeking employment so you are in good company!

2. Recognise how you are feeling. For example, if you feel totally demoralised after hearing you did not get the job you really wanted there’s little point telling yourself, “It’s OK, another job will come along” as this is not how you are feeling. It may be more beneficial to say, “I am going to wallow in my misery, play miserable music and eat chocolate for today!”

The important thing is that you make a pact with yourself that tomorrow you will wake up and do something productive towards gaining employment elsewhere. Do not allow your feelings of rejection to fester.

3. I am yet to read about a successful person who never had a time when they received a series of knock-backs. It can be heartening and inspiring to read about someone you consider successful and to learn how they have had the same experiences as you – and gone on to create success.

4. It can be difficult to retain your self-belief when you receive set backs from potential employers. Keep in mind what you know you are very capable of doing and tell yourself regularly, “I can…..”; “I am great at …..”; and “I am talented at …” What you tell yourself about your abilities has a significant impact on how you feel about yourself and what you go on to achieve.

It was Henry Ford who said, ‘If you think you can, or you think you can’t…..you’re probably right’!

5. If you believe you are experiencing discrimination it can be all the harder to take. Don’t be bitter, be better! Either work even harder to prove discriminatory employers wrong, or seek advice regarding your rights.

6. Even if it is the last thing you feel like doing, drag yourself out to see friends or family. Only be with positive people. Have fun and forget your feeling of disappointment. You will likely wake up in the morning feeling less rejected and ready to move forward.

7. Keep in the forefront of your mind why employment is important to you. It may be because you want to be financially independent; want to be a good role model; or you want to prove the doubters wrong. Be clear about your reason and it will drive you forward when you feel like quitting.

8. Think how it will feel when you are successful and you receive news you have been chosen. Bank that feeling deep inside you.

9. Request feedback from the employers who have rejected your applications. Analyse it and use it where appropriate to improve your prospects.

10. Retain a positive outlook and do not lose sight of your vision to be in employment. Continue to seek opportunities and apply for vacancies. If it is important to you, then find a way to move forward and success will ultimately come your way.


Steph Cutler had a successful career in the fashion industry when she experienced unexpected sight loss. Determined from the start, she began adapting to her new challenges. She found it disproportionately difficult to gain work compared to when she did not have a disability and so understands the challenges disabled job seekers face.

Steph’s coaching and workshops provide disabled job seekers with the confidence and motivation to become successfully employed. She is also a popular inspirational speaker at employment and business events.

Follow Steph’s blog at http://making-lemonade.co.uk

© Steph Cutler 2010

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