How to Remain Confident When You Keep Getting Rejected From Jobs

For most people, job searching entails some rejection. You send in a resume and receive no response. You go to an interview and don’t get a callback. You go to another interview and get ghosted.

But, knowing it can happen doesn’t lessen the sting. It’s normal to feel disappointed when an opportunity doesn’t pan out, and you don’t want the fear of losing out to hold you back.

With that in mind, here’s how to rebuild your confidence.

Step 1: Let Go of the Bad Experience

Psychologist Matthew Jepsen compares uncomfortable feelings to an inflatable beach ball in a pool. Your instinct is to keep it under the water where you can’t see it, but of course it floats to the surface every time you let go. When your attention’s on keeping the ball submerged, it’s hard to do anything else. You can’t swim or splash around with your friends. It’s hard to even concentrate on a conversation.

However, you have the option to release the ball and let it float around in the pool with you. You’re now free to do all kinds of things! The ball is still there, but it isn’t keeping you from having fun or doing the things you want to do.

Too often, people become obsessed with figuring out what they did wrong. Yes, you want to reflect and avoid replicating mistakes. But sometimes, you won’t get a call because you’re not as qualified as the competition or because there was an internal candidate.

And if you carry the baggage—er, beach ball—around, you could end up sabotaging your next interview (say, by asking the hiring manager over and over again if they’re sure you can’t say anything else, or sending overly aggressive follow-up emails).

So, the very first step to feeling more confident is to make sure you won’t let whatever happened previously hold you back.