They said no, now what?

I recently spoke with a colleague who applied for an internal job and didn’t get it.

He was disappointed and didn’t know what to do next.

He still wanted the job, but they told him that he wasn’t a good fit and didn’t have the right kind of experience they wanted for the job.

He still wanted the job, but now he felt stuck and powerless.

Because it’s an internal position, he saw the person who got the job and compared himself to her. Why was she right and he wasn’t? The question plagued him, kept him up at night.

When we talked, I encouraged him to go back to the hiring manager and have an honest conversation with her.

Don’t you want to know the real reasons why?

He told me that he was spinning down a mental hole imagining all sorts of negative things about himself, including, “I’m not good enough at X,” and “I’ll never be good enough at Y.”

I asked him, “Don’t you want to know, if you were able to get X experience, would she hire you? OR are you not suited because of other things that are more inherent to your personality or communication style? And if that’s true, is it true for that kind of job at all companies or just the company you’re in right now?”

Let’s say, for example, that she wants someone who is outgoing and easily draws people in. Your personality is more stoic or analytical.

That’s good to know.

Because once you know, you can decide what to do next instead of staying stuck in your own mind.

Try asking in a completely curious and not defensive way, “I’m still very interested in moving my career in this direction and it would be so helpful to me if you would share with me some honest feedback about what I need to do to move into a position like this.”

In the best case scenario, she’ll share helpful and specific things you can do. Worst case, she won’t be honest or share things that are specific. Or maybe she doesn’t like you and doesn’t want to work with you.

In those cases, put on your sleuthing hat and go onto Linked In to find people in that field that you can connect with and ask for informational interviews. Connect and be curious. “Can I talk with you for 15 minutes about what you look for when you’re hiring for these types of jobs?”

You can make it happen, but it takes a lot of courage to not let one person or one rejection stop you.

Be courageous. Be curious. Be fearless!

Warmly,  Melissa


Sometimes asking feels too hard. If you’ve ever thought, “I feel greedy,” “I feel foolish,” “What if they think I’m not worth it?” If you’re spending a lot of time doubting yourself, take control of fear and hesitation in my class Fearless Mindset: Increase your confidence so you can take the next step.

Check it out HERE.
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