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Dealing with rejection


A few weeks ago, I shared how I had been redoing my CV to send off an application for an associate role. It was a role training new coaches for about 20 days per year. It would have been an additional “service line” to my existing business portfolio. It wasn’t something I was looking for but it was something that attracted me enough to spend considerable time redesigning my CV and crafting a compelling cover email.

Well, as you may have guessed from this email’s subject line, I didn’t get the role.

It’s a long time since I applied for a “job” so it was really helpful for me to re-experience what my clients go through each time they apply for something new. Particularly something where you don’t have exactly the right skills.

Here is what I learned.

What I learned

It is DEFINITELY worth creating a CV that showcases your personality

I felt completely comfortable that my application was a true representation of me. It showcased my energising strengths, values and career purpose. It showed my creativity and boldness as well as my sense of humour.

We must think of job applications as a two-way exploration with equal status between you and the potential employer. A CV that truly reflects your personality can serve as a filter for you as much as the organisation. Will they like me? Will they get me? If they don’t, you won’t be happy with them!

Try to get constructive feedback

Obviously, it helps if you get a decent rejection email with constructive feedback on your application. I was lucky that I received a lovely rejection email. It showed that they had clearly read my cover email and CV and that they really appreciated what I had shared as well as my enthusiasm. They explained that there were many applications and other coaches with more experience of coaching coaches than I currently have. I knew that this was my gap so that made sense.

If you don’t get feedback, I would always follow up with the recruiters / employers / interviewers to ask for what you could improve to take forward to your next application. Don’t be worried about chasing. You took the time to carefully craft your application so it’s only right that they should respond.

Allow yourself to be disappointed

Don’t just sweep your emotions under the carpet. You took the time to apply for the role and this means that it’s important to you. Take care of yourself and let others know about your disappointment.

Also, disappointment can be really helpful data to point you towards what you really want. For example, I hadn’t previously had a plan to train coaches but, once I saw the advert, I knew it could be a great fit for me. My initial disappointment in not getting it, showed me that it was important so, I can explore different avenues for doing this sort of work in the future.

Reflect on what you’ve learned

Having experienced the disappointment, take stock of what you’ve learned and what this might mean for your future. What could you have done differently or improved? What have you learned?

For me:

  • I would have spent even more time articulating my achievements and making them really relevant to the role (apologies to my clients who I nag to do this!).
  • I have also identified that supporting the development of other coaches is attractive. There are a few different ways I can do that so I’m exploring opportunities to develop myself in that direction in the future.
  • I have learned what it’s like to go through this application process and this has already helped me hone my approach and increase my empathy with clients in the same position.

I hope that some of these learnings are useful to you whether you’re currently applying for roles or will be in the future.

Don’t forget, if you’d like to find out about different ways to work with me or would like my input on your career ideas, book a free Discovery Call.

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