Dealing with job rejection

Unemployment remains relatively low in Israel at around 6.5% compared to Europe and the US; yet colds and the flu usually hit Israel at a later date. So next year might bring a slow down and lay-offs in specific industries, and perhaps it will be harder for new college graduates to find the job they were seeking. So how do we deal with rejection?

I have reviewed close to a thousand resumes of both students and job seekers in my 25 years on Wall Street and 20-plus years teaching at various universities. The interview is more important than the resume, so preparing for them is more than just tactics but a strategy.

There is also a difference depending if you are a recent college graduate or someone who was just fired at forty years of age or even older. But the basic concepts remain the same. There are hundreds of articles and sites on resumes and the interview process let me share with you the most important part, dealing with rejection!

First, embrace rejection consider rejection your friend. The fact is you should thank you interviewer after being rejected because mathematically you are becoming that much closer to being accepted somewhere else, plus if you were not rejected you would never have been able to have found your dream job or boss that you are about to find whether it is a week or six months away. I guess it is no different than the spouse we all marry, it is all about timing.

Second, remember physics (although I never studied it), a negative multiplied by a negative is a positive. So if you are getting a lot of rejection focus on the potential positive charge. Sounds easier said than done. Follow up with the interviewer and ask what he/she felt that can enhance your interview process.  It is amazing what you may learn and in certain instances may even get a second interview by the way you follow up, especially if it is a sales related job, for that job is about dealing with rejection as well and turning it around. Consider videotaping yourself in a mock interview, you will be surprised what you might find.

Third, is the rejection process trying to tell you something; that perhaps the industry or specific job position isn’t the one you should be looking to attain? That is why it is healthy to have two resumes one general and one more specific to an industry or job position. Think if you could work in any other industry what else would be your dream job? Consider looking for a job a gift; you get to explore new passions whether you just graduated college or unfortunately or fortunately just got laid off. Share your passions and experiences intertwined to the answers and questions you are being asked. I know of one person hired because he was so passionate talking about golf (his two handicap didn’t hurt)!

For the record I have been there more than once since age sixteen getting fired and wondering what to do. Ok four times if I include getting fired at Carvel Ice Cream due to my handwriting on the cakes; another time dropping the salad on a VIP who taught me the greatest lesson in life. Just like in the movies I was fired by the French Maitre d, and this sixty plus year old CEO of Fortunoff’s Department Stores suggested at my 17 years of age that I shouldn’t make being a waiter a profession. He and his wife invited me to have dinner with them; the Maitre d could do nothing about it (although I was still fired after dinner). He taught me the concept of rachmones (compassion) when people are at low inflection points in their lives, even strangers. His advice and lesson that night has stayed with me ever since.

Allow me to conclude with a few helpful hints: look at the fastest growing companies in the U.S. and Europe from Business Week and Forbes and call the CEO or executive in charge to see if they are looking to sell their product or service in Israel. No matter your age attend conferences related to your industry, you can find out prior how many companies are going to be there; no better place to network. Always, I mean always have a business card with your email and cell number and a normal voice answering message.  Lastly, help other friends who are also seeking jobs with something that might relate to them, yes I believe in Karma called the Web of Life!

About the Author
Dr. Peter Kash holds a Doctorate in Education and an MBA. He is a Venture Capitalist for 30 years and has taught at the Wharton School of Business and Nihon University in Japan, and lectured worldwide including as a Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at Hebrew University in 2015. He has authored three books worldwide and his two bestselling books are available in Hebrew and English. All proceeds from the books in Hebrew go to the charity NATAL.