Bounce Back Series: What to Do When You Receive a Rejection Email


If I could convert the rejection emails I’ve gotten this year alone to cash, I would give Ezra a run for his unbelievably liquid wealth. I still got one last week and imagine the audacity those people had to send it at 6:37 a.m. When my mates were waking up to “good morning” texts, I was waking up to a rejection letter.

Getting a rejection email is heartbreaking. It hurts, and it might even make you doubt your abilities. But let’s be honest, with today’s competitive job openings and opportunities, rejections are a part of the game. So, instead of allowing that rejection email to get you down, let’s talk about what you can do when you receive one: 

Before we dive into actionable steps, it’s important to acknowledge your feelings. It’s perfectly normal to feel disappointed, frustrated, or even cry a little when you get that email. Drop the hard guy act and feel what you’re feeling; you are only human.


Step 1: Keep Perspective

First, remember that a rejection email doesn’t define your worth or abilities. The competition can be fierce, sometimes due to factors beyond your control. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that this is just one door closing; many more will be opened.

Step 2: Seek Feedback

Feedback is gold. If you can, reply to the rejection email, thanking them for considering you and expressing your continued interest in the company or opportunity. Politely request feedback on why you weren’t selected. Constructive criticism can help you identify weak points and boost your chances in future applications and interviews.

Step 3: Evaluate and Learn

Now, it’s time to do a little self-reflection. Take a close look at your application, interview performance, or application task. Spot any weak points? Were there questions you struggled with during the interview? Use this experience as a learning opportunity to improve your skills and presentation for future applications.

Step 4: Keep Applying and Networking

The world doesn’t stop because of one rejection email. Keep sending out applications and networking with professionals in your field. Attend industry events, workshops, and seminars in Nigeria to expand your network and learn from others who have faced similar setbacks. You can read more about effective networking here. 

Step 5: Stay Resilient

Resilience will take you far. Rejection is just a detour on your journey, not a dead-end. Keep your spirits high and your determination even higher.

Step 6: Keep Developing Your Skills

You can’t ever get too good at something. Take advantage of online courses, workshops, and mentorship opportunities to improve your skills. The more you invest in your personal and professional growth, the more appealing you become to potential employers or partners.

Step 7: Stay Positive and Persistent

Lastly, maintain a positive attitude. Remember that every “no” brings you closer to a “yes.” Keep your goals in sight, and be confident in your skills.

Rejection emails may slow you down temporarily, but they can’t stop you from achieving your goals. So, the next time you receive a rejection email, keep your head up and push forward. Your success story is still being written!

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