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We’ve all been there, waiting on a call for a job we really wanted, or checking our email obsessively to see if we got into a course. Inevitably, everyone faces rejection in their career, but how you deal with it is defined by your outlook and attitude.

We’ve teamed up with Kate Hogan, a therapist and coach who spent over a decade working in fashion recruitment before turning her focus to helping creative professionals overcome imposter syndrome, creative block, lack of confidence and procrastination. Below, Kate shares her advice on how to handle rejection.

Remember: A “No” is for now, not forever

“You may not secure your dream job with your dream brand first time around. But that doesn’t mean it will never happen. By this token: don’t burn bridges and always be polite, they may remember you the next time an opening comes up!”

Don’t take it personally

“Fashion is ultra-competitive and the market is saturated with new talent. There are numerous factors that decide who gets the job and often it’s a combination of many things: a specific skill set, company fit, clicking with the interviewer. Don’t assume you’re not good enough if you don’t get the job. It could be lots of other factors that have come into play with their decision which are out of your control!”

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Think of it like dating — it has to click for both of you

“It’s not that YOU are not good enough, it’s more about suitability and being a ‘match’, as I said above. You may not be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s OK because not every company will be your cup of tea either. Fashion brands vary as much as people — you may work better in a large corporate environment or a small office may suit you more. You’ll start to get a better feel for what works for you during the interview process.” 

Maintain a healthy balance

“Job hunting can get consuming. It’s important to look after yourself, see friends and do things you enjoy whilst you’re job hunting to keep your spirits up and distract you if you’re feeling blue about your prospects.”

Ask for feedback, but don’t internalise it!

“Use feedback to help propel you forward rather than a stick to beat yourself with. Don’t internalise the criticism — extract what’s helpful and discard the rest. Don’t get too attached to the outcome. Instead, keep your confidence up by compiling a list of every achievement you’ve had, all the good feedback and compliments you’ve received. Look at this when you need a boost!”

As an exclusive offer for the GFW audience, Kate is offering 25% off therapy and coaching sessions. Email Kate at kate@katehogan.co.uk and mention “GFW” in the subject line for more information.