Job Rejection Depression: What it is and How to Cope

Job rejection depression can be a difficult experience, but it is important to know that you are not alone. Many people experience this type of depression after being rejected for a job, and there are steps you can take to cope.

In this article, we will discuss the causes and symptoms of job rejection depression, as well as how to cope with it. We will also provide tips for preventing job rejection depression in the future.

Job rejection depression is a real and common experience. It can be caused by a number of factors, including the fear of failure, the loss of a dream, and the feeling of being inadequate. There are a number of things you can do to cope with job rejection depression, including talking to a friend or family member, seeking professional help, and focusing on your strengths.

Why Do I Keep Getting Rejected from Jobs?

Facing multiple job rejections can be a disheartening experience, but it’s essential to recognize that this is a common occurrence, especially in today’s fiercely competitive job market. Some key reasons for consistent job rejection include:

1. Competitive Job Market

The job market is like a bustling marketplace, with an increasing number of qualified candidates vying for a limited number of job openings. This heightened competition means that even highly skilled and capable individuals may face rejection simply because of the sheer volume of applicants. Employers have to make difficult choices, and not everyone can be chosen.

2. Mismatches in Skills and Requirements

It’s crucial to apply for jobs that align with your skills, qualifications, and experience. Sometimes, eager job seekers apply for positions that don’t match their abilities, leading to inevitable rejection. When your skills and the job’s requirements don’t align, employers often opt for candidates whose qualifications more closely fit the role.

3. Resume and Cover Letter Issues

Your resume and cover letter serve as your initial introduction to potential employers. A poorly crafted resume or a cover letter filled with errors can create a negative first impression, often leading to rejection. Employers are looking for candidates who can pay attention to detail and effectively communicate their qualifications.

4. Interview Skills

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking, and a lack of preparation or excessive nervousness can lead to job rejections. Employers want to see confidence, relevant knowledge, and an ability to articulate your skills and experiences effectively. When you don’t perform well in interviews, employers may choose candidates who do.

5. External Factors

Sometimes, factors beyond your control can influence your job search. Economic conditions, company-specific circumstances, or even your geographical location can impact your job prospects.

A downturn in a particular industry, a company’s restructuring, or being in a location with fewer job opportunities can all contribute to job rejections, even if you are a highly qualified candidate.

6. Thoughts of suicide or self-harm

The emotional toll of repeated job rejections can sometimes lead to severe psychological distress, including thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

Symptoms of Job Rejection Depression

Job rejection depression is a type of situational depression triggered by consistent job rejections. Recognizing the symptoms can help individuals address this issue. Common symptoms include:

1. Persistent Sadness

Experiencing persistent sadness in the aftermath of multiple job rejections can be emotionally overwhelming. It’s not just about feeling down; it’s like a cloud of gloom that lingers, casting a shadow over your everyday life. This prolonged feeling of sadness can lead to a sense of hopelessness, where it becomes challenging to envision a brighter future. The weight of continuous rejections can be emotionally exhausting, making it harder to find reasons for optimism.

2. Low Self-Esteem

Job rejection can be a major blow to your self-esteem, causing you to question your own abilities and self-worth. It’s as if every rejection chips away at your self-confidence, leaving you feeling devalued and doubting your qualifications. The constant feeling of not being good enough can be a painful and persistent aspect of job rejection depression. It’s like having a constant inner critic, eroding your self-belief.

3. Isolation

The impact of job rejection depression often extends beyond emotional struggles and into your social life. It’s common to withdraw from social activities, gradually isolating yourself from friends and family. This isolation can stem from the desire to shield loved ones from your pain, or it can result from a sense of not wanting to burden others with your feelings.

4. Difficulty Concentrating

Job rejection depression can have a tangible impact on your ability to concentrate and focus. It’s like having a persistent distraction in the back of your mind, making it challenging to stay engaged with tasks and responsibilities. Your mind may frequently wander back to the rejections, creating a mental fog that affects your daily productivity. Tasks that used to be routine may become more demanding to complete due to this lack of concentration.

5. Physical Symptoms

The toll of job rejection depression isn’t limited to emotional and mental struggles; it often manifests in physical ways as well. The stress and anxiety associated with multiple rejections can lead to a range of physical symptoms. Headaches may become a regular occurrence, brought on by the tension and stress. Sleep disturbances can disrupt your rest, leaving you fatigued and irritable during the day.

Changes in appetite, whether overeating or a loss of appetite, can also be common, reflecting the physical toll of this emotional battle. These physical symptoms further compound the challenges of managing job rejection depression, as they affect your overall well-being.

How to Handle Job Rejection

Coping with job rejection depression is essential for maintaining your mental and emotional well-being. Here are some strategies to help you navigate this challenging period:

1. Don’t take it personally

Job rejection can feel like a personal attack on your worth and abilities, but it’s crucial to remind yourself that it’s not about you as a person. It’s a natural part of the job search process, where employers make decisions based on various factors, many of which are beyond your control. Understanding this can help you separate your self-worth from the outcomes of your job applications and maintain a healthier perspective on the process.

2. Seek feedback

Reaching out to employers for feedback when possible can be an invaluable resource for self-improvement. While not all employers offer feedback, when they do, it provides you with a chance to learn and grow. Constructive criticism can identify areas where you can enhance your qualifications, skills, or approach to job applications, ultimately increasing your chances of success.

3. Stay persistent

Job hunting often requires unwavering persistence. Rejections are part and parcel of the journey, but they should not deter you from pursuing your goals. Keeping a persistent attitude, even when faced with adversity, is often the key to eventually landing the right job. Learn from each rejection, refine your approach, and stay committed to your job search.

4. Network

Building and maintaining a professional network can be a game-changer in your job search. Networking can open doors to opportunities that might not be advertised publicly. By connecting with professionals in your field, attending industry events, and engaging in networking activities, you increase your visibility and access to potential job openings. These connections can also offer guidance, advice, and support throughout your job search.

5. Self-Care

Taking care of your well-being is paramount during the job search, as it can be a trying and emotionally draining process. Prioritize self-care by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep.

Engage in activities you enjoy, as they can provide a much-needed emotional boost. Seek emotional support from friends and family to help you navigate the challenges and maintain a positive outlook.

6. Set Realistic expectations

Setting achievable goals and managing your expectations is vital for maintaining your motivation and mental well-being. Recognize that not every job application will result in a job offer. Be patient with the process, as job searches can often take time. By setting realistic expectations, you can prevent the disappointment that might accompany unrealistically high hopes.

7. Professional help

If the symptoms of job rejection depression persist or worsen, don’t hesitate to consider seeking help from a mental health professional. They can provide guidance and support tailored to your specific needs, helping you manage the emotional toll of repeated rejections and develop strategies to cope effectively.

8. Do Something you enjoy

Engaging in activities that bring you joy and satisfaction is a powerful counterbalance to the negative emotions that job rejection can evoke. Whether it’s a hobby, a creative pursuit, or simply spending quality time with loved ones, these enjoyable activities can provide emotional relief and improve your overall well-being during challenging times.


Job rejection depression is a tough experience, but it doesn’t last forever. By knowing why it happens, recognizing the symptoms, and using these coping strategies, you can get through it.

Lean on your friends, family, and professionals when needed, and remember that every rejection gets you closer to finding the right job.