But then I have times when I truly realize how much difference a couple of years (or even a handful of particular experiences) can make.
The other day a friend of a friend asked me about placements and how you go towards looking for one. Now... funny story, when I was applying and striking out, I kept thinking something was wrong with me, and that it was my own fault for not doing my homework. Nowadays, I realize there's a lot of things factoring in, and that nobody really knows what it's like until they do something.
Still, if there is one universal thing connected to applications for jobs (and other relationships, really), it is this: Rejection stings.
Because, as blase we like to be about it, we put effort and heart into our applications, and even when we know it isn't, rejection feels personal.
So here's what I'd do to keep from taking it too hard:
#1 Keep busy - Having things to do - yes, right now, immediately - keeps us from dwelling too much on what ifs and what could have beens. Maybe you should have spent more time researching the company before the interview. Maybe you should have expanded on certain skills in your covering letter. Or maybe they just had too many people to choose from and you didn't make the cut. Okay, move on please.
#2 Give yourself space, then check the feedback (if there is any) - Interviewers don't always provide feedback, although you're more likely to get some if you progress to later stages of the process. The reason for that is because feedback is hard to produce. Ergo, when you do get it, read it. You might find something surprising.
#3 Keep applying - So that interview went amazingly and you still didn't get the job? Your feedback is basically telling you nothing about why they didn't take you? You're starting to wonder if you will ever find that job? Stop right there. You WILL find that job. This will be a lot easier if you have several applications lined up to send than if you start from scratch. Don't put your eggs into one basket, you can revoke them later.
#4 Venting is best done in moderation, and in private - There are moments in the application processes when you're seriously fed up with the world in general, and companies in particular, and you might think it's a good idea to take to your blog and social media channels for sympathy. Er, no. While it might feel good in the short term, it is generally agreed on that you get what you put into a process, so spewing negativity will only end up hurting you. Not to mention it would look totally unprofessional if some company representative saw your FB page.
Frustration is normal, especially if you've got a few friends who already "made it" and you're wanting to catch up. Your friends will understand if you're feeling down, and they will likely console you if the stress becomes too much. But don't become that person who is only ever bitter or resentful. (I've been there. It was not pretty.)
#5 Be good to yourself - Treat yourself to a nice cup of tea or coffee, or paint your nails, or play Call of Duty for the rest of the evening, or whatever it is that makes you happy. Give yourself a chance to pull back and re-evaluate. Sometimes it's what you need. Sometimes it's not. It doesn't hurt to do it.
What are your top tips for dealing with rejection?