Unsuccessful in your recent application? What to do next.

The old saying that you must taste failure before you can truly succeed has gained scientific backing from an unlikely source, The New York Times says. Decade-long scientific research from Northwestern University published by “Nature” found that workers who encountered early-career stumbles are more likely to come through the experience stronger than those who hadn’t experienced a setback.

“This is not just survival of the fittest,” Dr. Wang said. “These people became better versions of themselves,” he said, adding that the crucial contribution of this research is that the performance improvement is causally linked to the near-miss event itself.

Inspired by these recent findings, and given the nature of working within recruitment where rejection is a common occurrence, our latest blog explores what to do when faced with an unsuccessful application:

  1. Change the meaning of what rejection means to you! If you take anything away from this, remember that rejection is just a re-direction, and with the above research, this can be a very powerful way to push you to become a stronger version of yourself. Growth isn’t always painless – and the discomfort of being confronted with your weaknesses can be the healthy stress to motivate you to work harder, stay focused and work on improvement.
  1. Going off the previous point, keep a strong and positive mentality. Allow the experience of missing out on your first preference to be one where you learn and grow – and be made aware of where you have room to improve as opposed to focusing on skills/experience that you lack. Honestly self-evaluate areas to work on – whether that be technical skill or soft skills, so that you can really focus your energy in improving this in a considered manner.

Remember – everyone had to begin somewhere, no one is born being an exceptional lawyer or an outstanding communicator, all of these things had to be practiced, conditioned and continually improved upon.

  1. Use the resources available at hand i.e. your consultant! They often have insights into the company, partners, and may be able to engage the partners or hiring managers to gauge feedback for you. Use this to your advantage. From this, you can take on the feedback and apply it in a mock interview with your consultant.

Most people don’t take advantage of the resources available to them! So by really learning from your consultant as much as possible, you’re getting invaluable career advice and coaching that may be the very thing that sees you excel later in your career.

Sonder Consultants are a boutique legal recruitment firm specialising in both in-house and private practice, and have opportunities in domestic and international markets. For more information on career advice or opportunities in your respective field. Contact Kevin for a confidential discussion on: email kevin.sinnott@sonderconsultants or give him a call on 02 8277 4511.  


“When you’re following your inner voice, doors tend to eventually open for you, even if they mostly slam at first.

– Kelly Cutrone

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