Let’s talk and learn about ‘Rejection’. Published by Nick Roud

by | Jul 14, 2020

As an executive leadership coach I still get goosebumps every time a client who has worked with me on their careers call to say they have got the results they deserve – it is hugely humbling and a proud moment as a coach to hear that life changing news for them.

Since 2006 I have worked with professionals in their leadership and careers and since launching Roud Career Coaching in 2016 it has been a huge honour to personally coach over 600 clients on their leadership and careers.

For those of you new to Roud Career Coaching a big Welcome……each and every Tuesday I write a free leadership & career blog The Nick Roud Blog.

Recently I was updating my website and looking back over the library of blogs, to my surprise and shock I haven’t once written a blog on ‘Rejection’ yet it plays a huge part of our everyday professional lives.

So today Let’s talk and learn about ‘Rejection’ – what happens if things do not go to plan?

Welcome to  today’s leadership and career blog – in it we talk about rejection or as I like to call it a ‘knock-back’ be it from a job application, an interview or even an internal promotion. 

If you have ever been knocked-back and you are looking at ways to bounce back then you will love todays blog.

Enjoy, look after yourself and each other.

Nick x

Some of our best learnings will come from a knock-back
— Nick Roud. Master Certified Executive Coach

Lets try and break down a few things when we talk about jobs. 

  • Only one person will get the job. 

  • Typically, only 5-7 individuals will be interviewed for a position

  • On average each position advertised will receive 250 CV/Resume 

  • The hiring manager/team will hopefully have a clear understanding of their current and future needs

  • Your CV will be one of many applying for the role (is it working best for you?)

  • Your LinkedIn profile will be one of many looked at by the hiring team (is it working best for you?)

  • Interviews will come in all shapes and sizes be it formal or informal, behavioural etc (are you articulating yourself as best you can?)

How people hire may change with technology advances, we only need to go back 20 or so years and you would simply need to apply to a newspaper advert for a certain position, or head to your local job centre and spend hours looking at boards with job adverts. Today we have so many ways of reaching a potential hiring manager, and organisations have so many ways of finding talent to hire into their organisation, but fundamental I believe success will always come down to how you and your potential hiring manager ‘connect’ with each other.

Some things in life we will never know the answer to (it may be hard but please stop worrying about the small things – do try and focus on the positives)! You may never find out the real reason why you didn’t get the interview or get offered the position. Try and remain focused and positive towards you own plans.

We may well have the best looking CV/Resume, the latest hack for LinkedIn and have prepared ourselves so much around our interview that no question will stop you! But if we take a look at the above break down around jobs (only 1 person will be offered the position) the rest will be rejected (or knocked-back).

As hard as it is to take – this is where the wonderful saying really does make sense

you can never keep a good person down.

I know that not being offered the job or internal promotion is going to be hard to swallow for a little bit but once that taste goes away I would urge you to look at the positives and build on that.

When I was playing rugby I remember a training camp that I was asked to go along to – they had scouts from a well know team in the UK who were looking to recruit a few players if successful it would mean leaving a club I was proud and passionate to play for (along with my mates who I had played alongside for a few years) I would have given my left ear to have played for the new club. From Friday to Sunday night I busted my self silly, I had trained hard for the weekend and mentally I thought I was ready. (but rejection, I had never contemplated)…….They were recruiting only a few positions and my position shirt – number 9 was up for grabs, and as you can imagine I was keen to take the opportunity. After a long weekend of drills and game time everyone gathered around and the coach of the club – he said thanks to everyone and he would call out the names of those who had been successful (offered the role) Having a surname Roud I had a long wait as they started at A and worked down to Z. I knew the other half-backs going for it and thought I was in with a chance. Let’s just say they got to letter S and my name was not called. I had missed my change. I was rejected. I was not worthy of that team.

The reality of rejection was hard to take but to grow and mature – we should look at learning from rejection. The positives I took away really helped me grow, getting feedback from the coach on specific areas to develop and grow helped resolve my disappointment, being surrounded by talented players and learning from them was a massive learning curve.

So as we look at rejection around our careers or job search some Questions I would like to ask

  1. How many of us reading today’s career blog around the world have over the last year applied for a position only to be rejected (in one way or another)?

  2. How many of us have sent in a glowing CV/Resume, been phone screen by HR, meet with the hiring manger on a number of occasions, completed physicometric testing, had a number of references done only to be rejected?

  3. How many of us around the world have been offered a position only for you to reject the offer?

Rejection or knock-backs comes in many forms when it comes to jobs. In my business Roud Career Coaching I regularly have the pleasure of coaching and helping professionals who want to get results in their leadership and careers. Part of that coaching work we do together is how we embrace and face into rejection and getting our heads around not winning the job or not being offered the job. It is part of our lives and therefore part of my career coaching work.

So let’s look at how to handle or manage rejection.

  • Please don’t beat yourself up!

  • Allow yourself to learn from rejection – what might you do differently or consider for next time?

  • Be comfortable with what you do and who you are.

  • Please stop short of over analysing things, remember sometimes it just comes down to how you and the hiring manger connect!

  • Try and get feedback and listen to what is being said

  • Embrace rejection but don’t let it hold you back

  • Continue to focus on your strengths, the wonderful achievements that have helped you to today

  • Remember to say thank you

  • Keep positive

  • Don’t give up

As we wrap up today’s career blog on rejection I wanted to share a story about never giving up even when we are rejected. Back in 2016 a wonderful lady engaged with me, she shared with me how over the last year she had applied for over 45 jobs and had got no where, rejection, rejection – more rejection.

She was really down on herself and felt that she could never find a job.

So over a few months we partnered together on a few specific areas. The first was to stop applying for jobs until we were both comfortable and she was ready. This was what we did together.

  • We worked on her CV and gave this a total refresh (I like to call it a face-lift),

  • We spent time working out what was she actually great at – what really did motivate her,

  • We put a plan together

  • We played around with mock interviews – behavioural based and informal based

  • We spent time facing into rejection and turning that negativity into a positive outcome.

  • We built a plan on securing her next job.

Once she was ready – she then went back out to the market and in a very short period of time she found 4 specific jobs that fitted into her career plan. She approached each of them, she got interviews for all 4 and the good news is she got offered 3 of them, She now had choices on her career.

What a transformation and what a result for her………….

As mentioned earlier in our blog – You cannot keep good people down – embrace rejection – learn from it and grow from it.


Nick Roud – Coach

Roud Career Coaching

‘Unleash Your Most Authentic-Self’

About Nick Roud

Nick owns Roud Career Coaching and is a Master Certified Executive Coach (MCEC) he is one of the Top 3 executive coaches in the world on Intelligent Leadership Executive Coaching. Nick partners professionals in their leadership and careers. More information on working with Nick can be found here Nick has personally coached over 600 professionals and you can work with him on your leadership & careers here


For a confidential conversation about your leadership coaching needs, call Nick on +6421375630 or email him nick@roudcareers.co.nz

Nick Roud

Nick Roud

Executive Leadership Coach

Nick is the Chairman of Nick Roud Coaching and a Global Award Winning Executive Coach. Nick holds the highest coaching qualification MCEC. His clients are typically Chief Executive Officers, Executives and Emerging Leaders. Nick’s office is based in Auckland, New Zealand and he travels extensively around the world to coach his clients. You can contact Nick directly on +6421375630