When a Bad Job Searching Strategy Fails: Getting Rejected By The One You Didn’t Want

Rejection stinks – no matter on what level, for what purpose – it just plain stinks.  What is even worse is to be rejected by someone or something that you didn’t really want in the first place.


That’s when we can turn really nasty or really weepy.


How dare they, the rat-bastards, I didn’t even want the job in the first place and they have the nerve to reject me?  Seriously?  What is wrong with them?!  Oh they will pay, I was the best candidate ever – just who do they think they are?




Even the one I didn’t want rejected me, I’m such a failure; no one will ever want me.  It is hopeless with the crap job that I hated wouldn’t even hire me.  What is the point, why even try – I’ll never land my fairy-tale-happy job let alone a job period.


Sound familiar?


It can really put your job searching in a tailspin.  Rejection brings with it negative emotions and as if there is not enough you are battling with during the job search a rejection from something you really did not want in the first place can sometime just push you over the edge.


I hate to tell you but this is at least partially your fault.  You did this to yourself cupcake.


If you didn’t want the job in the first place then why the heck did you go through the motions?  Are you telling yourself it is part of a strategy to keep busy while you search for the right job or to keep your interviewing and/or networking skills sharp?  Another way to say all these things is to make yourself feel better, to feel wanted, to stroke your ego.  Understandable, but stupid as it leads to no good.


It is like being dumped by a girl you really liked (job loss) and quickly find another girl that is just ok (job you don’t want but are interviewing for).  You really are not into the new girl but either you don’t want to be alone, don’t want to face all those icky things called feelings or just need an ego boost.  No matter how you slice it your intentions are just wrong.


You’re plan can backfire if you try to use the “just ok” girl/job to stoke your ego and she rejects you.  She is able to see from the beginning you are all dark and gloomy and doesn’t even want to go there.  Now you feel even worse because you were never interested in the first place and now you were rejected not only by the one you really wanted but now by someone who normally wouldn’t even cross your radar.


An interviewer can pick up on the ego stroking syndrome pretty quickly.  If you do not want the job then you will broadcast that message through your actions and body language, as well as your written and spoken words.  No one likes to be used – it is right up there with rejection.


Again, you did this to yourself.  It is also called Karma.


I can understand if you were using the experience purely for practice.  If you wanted to brush up on your interviewing skills then I get it; however if that was the goal in the first place then you should have been able to maintain that mindset and bowed out before it went too far.


If your mindset changed you need to ask yourself why.  If you became interested in the job then the “really didn’t want it” doesn’t apply any more.  But if you fake wanted it because you are getting desperate then your priorities are a little out of whack.  It happens, recognize it and realign.


There are better options rather than using people and companies to practice and boost your ego.  Request informational interviews to find out more about a company, position or industry.  This is good practice in interviewing and it gives you valuable information gained in a productive way for you to move forward.


Hire a coach or enlist a friend.  Perform research on interview questions and how to perform well during an interview.  Research companies, positions and industries.  Find out what is going on in the industry, what is important to the position and what a company has performed in the past, how they are doing now and their future plans.


Make actionable plans and take steps to lick your wounds and move forward.  Being courted by a company that you are not interested in may temporarily stroke your ego and make you feel empowered again, but the high will not last.  The rejection can be even worse when your heart was not in it because you quite easily can make it personal.


Job searching is a job in itself and business is business.  It is important to stay true to yourself, your goals and what will make you happy.  Continue to pursue leads in an ethical manner as no one wants to hire someone merely looking to stroke their own ego.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.


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