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Searching for a job and having enough money to live on are likely the biggest pain points for newcomers when they arrive in Canada. And even with years of experience in your field, you may face challenges when interviewing, including dealing with job search rejection. However, it’s important to know how to stay positive, learn from your interview experience, and move forward with confidence.

Linda Ryan is the National Program Manager with BCCA-Integrating Newcomers, a government funded, Canada-wide, pre-arrival career coaching service for high skilled construction professionals immigrating to Canada (*BCCA-IN). A career and certified performance coach, she and the BCCA-IN team specialise in helping newcomers plan for, and achieve, employment success, no matter what city or province they are moving to.

When it comes to how to deal with job search rejection, Ryan provides four simple, proven steps to deal with the self-doubt that can follow. As a successful career coach for newcomers to Canada, Ryan has helped many along the path to success. Ryan states, “We’ve all been there and done that…the dreaded job search. A joyous journey to rejection, silence, and self-doubt. Until the time when your job application, contacts, or chance meeting shines bright like a diamond and you’re in.”

Four Steps to Stay Positive and Achieve Job Search Success 

Once a newcomer herself, Ryan has had first-hand experience with the challenges and realities of a Canadian job search. She knows that job search rejection can create difficult feelings. So here are four steps that she followed and recommends to others to stay positive and achieve success.

Step One: Shoot for the Stars

“I encourage clients to shoot for the stars, dream big and give themselves the luxury of feeling successful.” Specifically, Ryan advises clients to ask these vital questions: “What does success look like, feel like and sound like?” You can read more about visualizing success in Newcomers Need Two Career Plans.

Step Two: Get Realistic About the Job Search Process

This step relates to your job search goals. Once you have established your lofty goals, it’s time to set realistic, measurable, and time-sensitive objectives. “Breaking lofty goals into teeny, weeny baby steps and actions towards those goals makes your job search less daunting.”

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Step Three: Get Philosophical About Job Search Rejection and Stay Positive

Ryan reminds clients to avoid taking job search rejection personally. She says, “We are infinite beings in finite bodies. And even if we were always told that we were special, when it comes to the job search, we are one of many.” And as a result, our efforts are constrained by factors we can’t control or even influence. Ryan states “there are many factors that determine who will get selected for an interview. For example, these factors include the:

  • number of applicants we’re competing with
  • database parameters that sort and reject our resumes
  • people who review and shortlist our beautifully formatted work histories.”

As for the people who are reviewing the resumes, think about what may be influencing their decision-making. For example, Ryan says, “Are they having a good day or bad day? Are they energized or exhausted? Are they happy with their company or looking to jump ship themselves? There are many reasons why it may not go your way, so why give those things your attention and energy!” Stay positive and don’t let disappointment derail your job search efforts.

Step Four: Read The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

“Written by Don Miguel Ruiz (1997, Amber-Allen Publishing), the book reminds us of four things we all should have been taught when we were seven years old!” Ryan says.

First Agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Word

“When you are impeccable, you take responsibility for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself (or others!)”

Second Agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally

“Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally because the issue can be about the other person (or process), not you.”

Third Agreement: Don’t Make Assumptions

“We have the tendency to make assumptions about everything. The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth…We assume, we misunderstand, we take it personally, and we end up creating a whole big drama that works against us.”

Fourth Agreement: Always Do Your Best

“Under any circumstance, always do your best, no more and no less. But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next.”

Learn More about BCCA-IN

*The BCCA-Integrating Newcomers program is a free, pre-arrival, Canada-wide service, focused on helping high-skilled newcomers explore and build successful construction careers. Services include one-on-one career guidance, tailored resume, cover letter, LinkedIn advice, and an in-depth skills and education assessment to help newcomers focus on the best career, credentials and connections activities. The Integrating Newcomers team not only has multi-industry experience but are also immigrants who have built successful careers in Canada.