Banner Default Seo

​Embracing Failure in Your Job Search

Blog Img

Embracing Failure

Back to Blogs

​No one likes failure. After all, our entire way of life as human beings is geared towards success. From putting a roof over your head to getting yourself a new gift, we measure our progress by how satisfied we feel at the successful outcome of any process we undertake. ​

Finding a new role is no different: being successful in this process is incredibly rewarding and provides a tremendous amount of satisfaction. The big difference with this situation, though, is that changing positions or finding a new one can be quite a disheartening and brutal process. In such a context, it is critical to know how to use failed applications to ultimately achieve success. As you will see below, embracing failure in your job search can, in the end, be a true ass

Rejection to Motivation

Unfortunately, there is no secret formula when it comes to using rejection to achieve success. Just take a moment to talk to hiring managers, peers, mentors, or even friends who have decided to start up their own thing. All of them have suffered knock backs in their personal and professional lives. And all of them have created their own ways to work around those setbacks. ​

Most importantly, they all managed to figure out how to take those rejections and turn them into motivation to carry on. In many cases, the key lies in shifting your own perspective on what is currently happening in your life. A “no” does not mean the road ends here: it just means the opportunity in front of you wasn’t the best one at this point in time. Think of rejection as a way to better align your current situation with the best opportunity there is out there, or as a way to challenge yourself in seeing options you may have overlooked in the past.

What about your job search?

2020 is a big year, not only because of the pandemic: we are also going through the second multi-generational economic shock in a decade. As a result, a huge amount of talent has suddenly been dumped on the market – rightly or wrongly – and there has not been the equivalent opening of hiring opportunities.​

This means that rejection will unfortunately be part of the process. More than ever, it will be important to manage the way you come to terms with being rejected and shift your mindset to turn it into motivation. If you are a new candidate on the market, this new reality implies several things:

  • Persistence beats resistance. This one is an important life lesson. Given the exceptional situation we are in, expect to receive an overwhelming number of rejections. The question is – what are you going to do about it? Are you going to move on with your life, or use these rejections to better yourself and learn how to grow? Whenever you hear a “no”, try to get feedback on the reasons behind the decision not to take you forward into the hiring process. If you have a good relationship with your recruitment consultant, be candid with them and ask them not to shield you from feedback. If they offer services such as Free CV format, don’t hesitate to go for it – it might be a life saver.

  • While round after round of rejection is not an easy thing to handle, remember one crucial aspect: you are not alone. Even in a good economy, very few candidates get placed at the first time of asking, including when headhunted. For every acceptance, there may be hundreds of rejections. Keep this in mind: you are not experiencing that rejection alone.

  • Be open to alternative career paths or options you have overlooked in the past. Amazing careers and life opportunities happen when one gets out of one's comfort zone: now might be the time to do just that. Whether it is applying for roles you wouldn’t normally go for, or starting your own small business, make sure you diversify your options and go beyond what you would normally do. If you are thinking of starting your own company, keep in mind that while it might not pay as much as your previous role right now, you may also be at the beginning of the next Facebook or Gymshark!

There is always room to learn from failure. There is always scope to grow as a direct result of those lessons. As with every other action and process in life – you have two options should you fail: the positive or negative option. Be positive. Choose to learn and grow. Choose to embrace your failure, and your end goal will get that little bit closer.


Octavian Donnelly is a Consultant at Rutherford, the executive cyber, legal and compliance recruitment specialists.

Contact us for a confidential search, send us an email to or see our latest vacancies.


The Paralegal Job Description

Paralegal Job Description

​​Have you ever wondered how to kickstart a career in law? Or perhaps if you had the relevant skills and qualifications to become a legal professio...

Read more