Alan Polnariev, PharmD, MS, CGP
Alan Polnariev, PharmD, MS, CGP
Alan Polnariev, PharmD, MS, is a board-certified pharmacist committed to improving patient safety by championing pharmaceutical outcomes research and policy. He received his PharmD from Long Island University and a master’s degree in Patient Safety and Risk Management from the University of Florida, where he currently serves as a clinical assistant instructor for several courses in the school’s Master of Science program. Dr. Polnariev has provided consulting services for various pharmacy organizations, including the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and Institute for Safe Medication Practices.

4 Reasons Not to Take Pharmacy Job Rejection Personally

APRIL 04, 2016
We’ve all been rejected at one point or another. Whether personally or professionally, rejection happens to all of us, and it really hurts.
 
The main lessons to learn from rejection are to understand that it happens, know not to take it personally, and use it to grow professionally.
 
In today’s job market, the competition is fierce. You can prepare all you want, but sometimes, external circumstances can get in your way, and there isn’t much you can do about it.
 
A former classmate of mine recently described how he was rejected from his supposed “dream” job. Before the interview, he did his due diligence by researching the organization and reaching out to his network to ask them about the position and demonstrate initiative. He told me how well he thought his interviews went and that he had sent thank you letters to all of his interviewers.
 
He was confident and felt good about the job. But somehow, a week later, he received the bad news: someone else was hired for the positon. Needless to say, he was devastated. 
 
The natural reaction to rejection is to wonder what you did wrong and what you could have done better. From my experience, however, job rejection often has less to do with you and more to do external factors outside of your control. Hence, assuming the reason that you weren’t hired wasn’t personal, rejection shouldn’t be taken personally.
 
Here are 4 possible reasons you could have been overlooked for a job that you were qualified to hold.
  1. The company may have posted the job as a formality and already knew who was going to get it. Your interview was more of a courtesy than a competition. In my opinion, this is the worst reason. It’s not fair, but life isn’t always fair.
  2. The company may have restructured a department or moved around employees internally to avoid having to hire someone afterall.
  3. Because of an overwhelming amount of submitted applications, the hiring personnel may have completely overlooked yours. Companies can get hundreds or even thousands of applications for a single job post. A friend in human resources told me that some companies use a filtration system and recruiters will only read the minimum number of applications necessary to get a good number of potential candidates to screen by phone.
  4. You might have had all the right qualifications and nailed that interview, but if another candidate is personally connected with the interviewer because they went to the same school, or he is the nephew of the boss’s wife, then you’re out of luck. That’s why it is so important to expand your professional network.
The main takeaway here is to not take rejection personally because it may very well have had nothing to do with you. Rarely are you given a reason for the rejection, so learning from the experience may not always be possible.
 
Our career paths aren’t linear and the windows that close may open doors for us down the road that we may not have been able to access if we had landed what we thought was our “dream” job.
 
As for my colleague who was denied the supposed job of his dreams, 6 months after that rejection, he landed another position that was less of a commute and came with a higher salary. He may very well have never heard about this new position if he hadn’t been searching online after his initial job rejection.

Do your best to get the job you are interviewing for, but remember that forces outside of your control may work against you. Your next opportunity could be just around the corner.

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