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It Happens to Everyone

It’s all part of the job search game

➔ There’s a lot that goes into a job search. There are some highs. There are some lows. As a job seeker you’ll most likely experience them all.

There is one aspect of the job search that most people don’t like to talk about. Yet it’s something that virtually all job seekers encounter. It’s called… rejection.

The causes are many and varied

All job seekers face rejection. Sometimes it’s early in the application process. You submit a resume (and maybe a cover letter), make a few phone calls and nothing. Sometimes you make it all the way through the interview process only to finish second. And in a job search, there’s not much difference between finishing second or tenth. In both cases, you don’t get the job. You’ve been rejected.

Sometimes it’s difficult, but the job seeker must make a dogged effort to avoid the knee-jerk reaction of blaming it on age discrimination.

Of course age discrimination exists. It’s always existed. And despite the well-intentioned efforts of many people and organizations, it most likely will continue to exist. Most lawyers will admit that age discrimination is a very difficult thing to prove in a court of law, making it a very convenient veil behind which to hide.

And maybe you’ve been the victim of age discrimination. However, the danger lies in assuming that, just because you weren’t hired, it must be age discrimination. Like the song says, “It ain’t necessarily so.”

Anytime you’re rejected for a job – and this is especially true when you make it to being one of the finalists – it’s a good idea to turn the magnifying glass around and take a good look at how you performed during that process.

Maybe your resume wasn’t squarely on point. Maybe you misunderstood the job description. Maybe your interview answers were ill-prepared, or insufficiently prepared (or, at worst, unprepared.) Maybe the competition was just too strong.

It could be any one of a hundred things. It could be that it wasn’t your fault. But the danger in assuming that it was age discrimination is that you focus too much on the ageism and you take your eye off the ball and do not perform the necessary introspection that can only help you the next time around.

It serves no useful purpose to dwell on age discrimination – real or imagined. Best to learn what you can from that experience and move on to the next one.


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