Hurdles – Fear Of Rejection and Failure

There are an awful lot of things that get in the way of our success, whether the objective is looking for and finding work, or any other personally important endeavor.  Fear of rejection and failure in the job search are among the most cited concerns voiced by job seekers.  “What if I don’t get the job?” “What happens if I can’t do what they need me to do once I get the job?”
Ok, if you’re one of those confident people, who have successfully accomplished everything you have ever set out to do, fully know the depth and breadth of your skills, excellent!  May you always be an inspiration to others, and may you continue to be successful at all your pursuits!
But millions of job seekers face the fear of failure with every resume and cover letter they submit.  The experience is real, and discomforting at the least, and disruptive and overpowering in the worse cases.  It doesn’t take a PhD to recognize and understand that the fear is real for all too many people.  A positive attitude doesn’t come easily, and by itself, may not be enough.  For those who are most impeded by their fear, professional help is seriously recommended, and should also be considered by others who have major difficulties overcoming such obstacles.
So for anyone looking for a job, no matter how strong a candidate you are, the percentages say you are likely to get rejected more than accepted.  It generally takes (more than) a few “no’s” before you hear a “yes” from an employer. Job search is a numbers game; no matter how good you are.  Even in good economic times, there are far fewer jobs than there are applicants, so there will always to be more rejection than acceptance.  But you can’t let that stop you from applying for the jobs you want.
These days with so many people looking for work, rejection is commonplace.  The competition for almost every open position (advertised or not) is tremendous.  Those employers who search for appropriate candidates and scan resumes posted on the Internet job search sites have a vast wealth of job seekers from which to choose; and the employers who solicit resumes from online job announcements are receiving an average of over a hundred resumes for every opening.
And remember that not all job candidates are created equal.  Some applicants have great work-related skills, but don’t have the great resume to back it up.  Others have a great resume and skills, but may not have the verbal communication skills needed to excel in an interview.  Typically the employer will be considering a combination of factors, such as the resume, experience, interviewing skills, industry knowledge, passion, dedication and commitment, when selecting a final candidate for hire.
So when it comes time for the employer to choose which applicant to hire, the decision will ultimately not be based on who you are, but what the employer believes you can contribute to their perceived needs.  I said “perceived” because often employers don’t fully know what they want, or the job may turn out to be vastly different from what is put in the job posting.
In other words: You shouldn’t be taking rejection personally when the decision is not about you.  The decision is about the job, and the employer will be trying to hire the person they believe (correctly or not) will perform that job the best.
So it doesn’t pay to fear the competition; you just have to make yourself the best candidate you can be. Stay focused on the relevancy of your skills and experience to the needs of the employer, and match your qualifications with the skills sought by the company.
As for the fear of not being able to perform the job once you’re hired, unless you are an absolute poseur, you should be able to do the job you are applying for, or you have no business applying for it in the first place!  It is normal to be apprehensive when you start a new job, with normal concerns about being able to meet your new employer’s expectations.
But don’t let that apprehension turn into something that paralyzes you from performing at your optimal competence.  Concentrate on the tasks you need to accomplish.  Do the job you were hired to do, and don’t try to prove anything to anyone but yourself.  You are aware of your own limitations, so get acclimated as fast as you can.  If there’s something you don’t know, ask!  If there is something that you should know but don’t, than make sure you use your off-work time wisely to find the answers.  You’ll be too busy to worry about the fear.  Just do the job!
And keep in mind what Franklin Delano Roosevelt said:  “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!”
To learn more about how we can help you overcome these and other career obstacles, please visit: