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October 14, 2019

Category: Medical Careers

It can take job seekers up to five months to secure a job.

That’s five months of getting rejected by employers, which no one likes. This can leave you with feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, doubt, anger, sadness, and fear. It’s a grueling process.

Getting rejected by employers is especially difficult if you’re a medical professional trying to start or further your career. After all the time, money, sweat, and emotion you put into medical school and residency, securing a job feels like it should be given, but sadly, that’s not always the case. 

Here are five ways to deal with getting rejected from employers, whether you recently completed a residency or are a seasoned doctor.


1. Don’t take it personally

We know this is easier said than done, but try not to let your rejection get to your head. 

Rejection is part of the game. Business and engineering graduate, Dominic Soh, received 526 employment rejections before landing a job. Doctors can get lots of rejections, as well. Seriously, if you got an offer for every job you interviewed for, you’d be a superhero.

We know not landing the job, especially a dream job, can be upsetting and deflating, and make you want to crawl into a hole in the earth’s inner core, but it happens. You are not alone. Your friends, parents, partners, neighbors, and even strangers on the street have all heard, “Unfortunately, we will have to pass on you.” 

Just make sure you fight the urge to vent about your rejection on social media. You don’t want to burn any bridges with hospitals or medical facilities. Instead, vent about your rejection at dinner with your spouse or at drinks with a buddy. And then get back up on that saddle.


2. Do a post-mortem on your interview

It’s important to reflect on your interview.

That way you can learn from any mistakes made and adjust for the next job interview. If you feel comfortable, ask the hospital or medical facility why they didn’t choose you. They might not be able to give you a lot of information, but you should still push to see if you can get any answers.

In some cases, you were rejected for no reason of your own. Sometimes there are last-minute budget cuts or they hire internally. Sometimes you’re competing with hundreds of people for the gig and there’s a candidate who’s slightly a better fit. It doesn’t mean you’re a weak candidate.

Run a practice interview with a friend or family member. Ask them how your responses sound. Does your voice sound engaging or do you sound boring? Do you sound knowledgeable and confident or timid and bland? This can help you fine-tune your interviewing skills and impress the committee at your next interview.

Also, consider having your support group or a professional you respect review your resume to make sure it looks the best it can be.


3. Try to stay positive

Getting rejected can be tough. Getting 50 in a row can be devastating.

It’s important to keep your eye on the prize and know that at some point, you will get a job. If you’re struggling to make ends meet while you apply for jobs, this entire post might read like lip service. But embracing the negative only creates a cycle of poor outcomes.

Be optimistic instead. If the hospital or medical facility you interviewed for doesn’t see all the great in you, then it’s probably not a good fit anyway. It’s like entrepreneur Richard Branson said: “Business opportunities are like buses—there’s always another one coming.”


4. Activate your network

Now is the time to reach out to your network, particularly your fellow medical professionals.

Think about med school and residency. You suffered through a rigorous, back-breaking experience with fellow students. You bonded over it. You developed many friends for life. Some of those friends have already moved on to long-term careers. These are the folks who will always be there for you and will refer you to jobs.

One study found that referrals are hired 55 percent faster than those hired through career websites, and they’re five times more effective than all other sources of hiring.

So, reach out to your friends, family, and people you went through pre-med, med school, or residency with. Put a call out on Facebook, Twitter, and particularly LinkedIn. Say you’re looking for a new job and need help. Don’t be shy: You never know where an opportunity lies. You’ll be surprised how generous your network is with their time and praise.


5. Keep the search going 

We know it’s easy to want to give up after receiving rejections but stay on that job search train.

You are worth it and you’re going to land that job. You just have to stay at it. Keep applying and letting your network know you’re looking for work. If you get an interview, make sure you stay on top of communication with that hospital or medical facility. Do your research on the company. Make sure you show up in good spirits, well-dressed, and ready to answer any questions thrown your way.

Once the interview is done, send a thank you email. Heck, really wow them and send a thank you card. And when you land that offer, make sure you know what the average salary is for that position and don’t be afraid to negotiate. You’ve spent a lot of time and money becoming a medical professional, and you deserve to be fairly compensated.

For more helpful career tips: 10 Careers in Demand for 2021


Sources: the art of the job hunt., Randstad; After 526 Rejected Job Applications, I Broke Through. So Can You., Entrepreneur Magazine; Turned down for a job? You are now one rejection closer to success, Los Angeles Times; Here’s Why Richard Branson’s Advice on Coping With Job Rejections is Priceless, Inc.