Five ways to deal with journalism job search rejection

Credit: Andrew Neel – Unsplash

We’ve all been rejected for a job in our lives. It’s something that you cannot control albeit getting rejected for a journalism job can be a huge blow to your confidence.

The journalism industry is notoriously competitive to break into although it’s not impossible to work for a magazine, newspaper, broadcast media outlet or B2B publisher although it takes many rejections to get there.

I have lost count the amount of times I was rejected for freelance client work or a full-time job, but pitying yourself for rejections beyond your control will lead to resentment.

While everyone’s journey is different, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone in the search. It’s tough and exhausting, but here are five ways of dealing with journalism job search rejection.

Take a break

No matter how many job applications and interviews you put in, networking events you attend or coffee meet-ups, it can leave you feeling exhausted.

Instead of applying and hoping for any journalism job, take a few days or a week off. Finding a job is an exercise in perseverance and sometimes you have to take a break before the job search consumes you.

Taking a break may give you a chance to recharge your job search and reevaluate the type of journalism jobs to go for.

Don’t pity yourself

One of the easiest mistakes to commit in finding a journalism job is self-pity, particularly when you get to the interview stage, only to find after having a great interview that you did not get the job.

Crying and questioning yourself are natural responses to finding out you were rejected from getting the job. However, it’s something that you cannot control because there will always be external factors behind the final decision.

Getting to the final stage interview is an achievement in itself and you should never pity yourself in your current job search situation.

Speak to someone

Having someone to talk to can be incredibly useful if finding a journalism job pushes you to the brink of going crazy.

You could talk to a friend, an old university lecturer, family member or an industry person, it’s being able to discuss your feelings and goals without having to resort to ranting on social media.

Speaking to that person may give you some added peace of mind and confidence away from the journo job search.

Ask for feedback

As a rule, you should always ask for feedback whether if it’s to improve your CV, cover letter or look into how you performed in your job interview.

Getting that feedback is crucial if you are pursuing that first journalism job or paid freelance client. If that feedback proves to be great in terms of developing your resume, then that self-pity can turn into confidence overtime.

Dealing with job search rejection does not always need to be dealt in silence and you have nothing to lose from asking for feedback on your resume.

Set some specific, measurable goals

Setting specific, measurable goals can be effective when it comes to achieving things in the never-ending job search.

It could be something as simple as making two quality job applications in the morning and spending the rest of the day off, working on projects or that freelance commission to an editor.

You could even set a non-journo job goal of running a half-marathon or 10k, so long as it helps you try to achieve something in the struggle of finding a job.

It’s not impossible to find a journalism job once you’ve graduated from a fast-track course or university degree, but it’s not easy. You’ll have many rejected applications and job offers, but it’s how you get back up that really matters.

Most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself when finding new freelance clients or getting that first job in the journalism industry. It will happen with time and hard work.

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