Application Unsuccessful!!! The hidden stresses of job hunting

If you are looking for work at the moment, there are inevitably certain challenges that you will face. On a practical level, there is the long application form to be filled in, in some cases, requiring a personal statement covering all the personal and professional attributes that the position requires. The next step is receiving the offer of an interview. That in itself is an achievement as you will have been short listed from a significant number of candidates. They send you the interview schedule with all the interviews and activities that you will have to complete on the day and give you some time to prepare for what is expected of you. The day of the interview arrives and your adrenaline is pumping. Depending on what you have applied for, the day may have informal and formal aspects to engage with, but you get through the day with the rest of the interviewees hopefully without too many mistakes and feel generally on a high due to all the adrenaline pumping through your veins; all of you are in with a chance. And now the wait…

As a couple of days go by, you view the interview procedure slightly differently, you start to review your answers given in the interview, you perhaps wonder whether they thought you were suitable for the position from a professional perspective; you decide on whether you liked the environment you found yourself in at the time and also how you got on with the prospective colleagues that you would have to work with. There are also other practical challenges that you need to consider should you be offered the post, whether it be full-time or part time, regarding your personal life and financial or other arrangements you would need to make in order to make this particular job work for you. A lot to consider seeing as you’re not sure whether you have the position yet – perhaps secretly you are hoping you get it, at least knowing that you were the best candidate for the job gives you a confidence boost and the greater sense of choice as to whether you really would like to take the job. Just as you were thinking about all these prospects, a letter or email arrives to say….

We regret to inform you that your application was unsuccessful at this time'. The word ‘regret’ looms large. Although on a cerebral level you knew that this could  happen, the hope was perhaps still alive that at least you would have an offer so that you could make that choice to take it or not. If you really wanted or needed the job, you would quite possibly be really disappointed. But what does this disappointment mean for you? 

Any rejection, verbal or written can have a powerful effect on how you feel about yourself. As positive as feedback can be from the interview process in terms of your development and improvement in your area of work, there is potentially always a part of you that feels that you just weren’t good enough on the day. If you struggle with confidence issues in general, often past negative experiences could come flooding back which then intensifies your emotional response to the current situation.  Also, if you have a number of rejections in a row, you may find it more difficult to pick yourself up afterwards every time. 

It is very important to hold on to something positive during these difficult times when job hunting. And do remember, that you are not alone, there are many more that are having these very same experiences; but what do you do with all these negative feelings? It is important to talk about them, whether you find a local support group, have some counselling, or talk to friends. Sharing feelings sometimes can help to put things into perspective and can help you to move on from these situations which can have a negative effect on your mood.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Romsey SO51

Written by Carolyn Langlands

Romsey SO51

I am a BACP accredited integrative psychotherapist and supervisor based in Romsey,  Hampshire, with extensive experience in working with children, adolescents and young people in a school and college environment; I also have extensive experience in working with adults  in workplace environ...

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