RCA Flag
RCA Flag
Connecting Africa’s Skilled Professionals
RCA Flag

ReConnect Africa is a unique website and online magazine for the African professional in the Diaspora. Packed with essential information about careers, business and jobs, ReConnect Africa keeps you connected to the best of Africa.

Library of Articles


Author and Coach Frank Thaxton offers some helpful advice on how to handle the demoralising rejection letters that come with any job search.

ImageAuthor and Coach Frank Thaxton offers some helpful advice on how to handle the demoralising rejection letters that come with any job search

Feeling rejected is "part of life’s rich pattern"but the effects such rejection can have may range from temporary to long-term, from slight set-backs to major life challenges. Why do some people seem to ride easily over such rejections-whereas others take them much more to heart? There is a wealth of information in the psychological press and elsewhere on causes and treatments-too much to address here-but I would like to single out the rejections faced in job-searching and how they might be addressed.

Be Realistic

First of all-it's important to look at things realistically. It's no good 'burying your feelings' and pretending; much better to gain a realistic understanding of why such feelings have occurred, the events and thought processes that have generated them, and the best way to move them to a more acceptable level

Let's recognise that the process of looking for a job is tough; this is evident from the basic mathematics - many people will apply but only one person will be successful. Most could then perceive themselves as 'being rejected' - which may then be demoralising. We all have different ways of coping with disappointments such as rejection letters, and our methods may or may not be particularly effective.

We all build up patterns of thought and behaviour over the years that help (or hinder) us in our daily lives.

Finding a new job is usually essential when we’ve lost the last one, and to job-search effectively, you will want to find a way of working that offers a higher chance of success. Dealing well with any setbacks you face or perceive is one way to enhance your success significantly.

Recognise Your ’Attributional’ Style

We all build up patterns of thought and behaviour over the years that help (or hinder) us in our daily lives. Events ‘happen’ and we explain them to ourselves, often without realising that we are doing so, and as a result we feel different. The way we explain things is called our "attributional style ’. This can have a material impact on how you behave, whether you try harder or give up. Your attributional style is linked closely to your approach to your job, whether you take on challenging projects, the satisfaction you gain, and the success you enjoy. A strong attributional style is linked to the will to succeed, sporting success, persistence under pressure, educational achievement, and even to improved health (physical and mental).

Change Your Thoughts

Your ’ attributional style ’ can be measured and your thinking patterns recognised. Research has proved that significant and lasting changes can be made by you - particularly when people are looking for jobs - by teaching established psychological and practical techniques which job-seekers can use to change their own thinking and success. The evidence showed success rates three times higher than in a control group.


Next time you feel "below par" after a setback, stop to think, and write down what you were thinking immediately after you received the ’ bad news ’ and what that thought means to you. It ’s hard to catch your thoughts, but the more you try to do it, the better you will be! The main problem is that such thoughts are automatic and fleeting - but our feelings depend on the thoughts, not the events themselves.

Google the phrase "ten thinking errors" and see which ones you are making in reviewing the setback. See if you can check the accuracy of your thoughts - a small change may make you feel better and move you forwards. It ’s not about seeing everything in a positive light, more about seeing things realistically and making cumulative gains in performance as a result.

Revitalise your Job Search Campaign

My book* sets out some usable techniques for challenges which occur when job-searching, but which will work everywhere. The objective is to revitalise your job-search campaign and find a new role as quickly as possible. You will learn how to enhance your success, as well as identifying those thinking processes that may be holding you back and which therefore need attention. You will also be able to set up a programme of work to help you address your work more effectively and to develop the attitudes and behaviours that will help you to succeed in your task.

Alternatively, talk to someone who is a CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) practitioner and engage them for a short number of sessions to gain the information you need - but do whatever you need to do to improve!

In job-search and in the daily management battle, self-doubt and pessimism can drain energy and motivation. If you ’d like to achieve more, consider how to change your attributional style, build your resilience under pressure, and your ability to ’bounce back ’ quickly. You will be able to change your approach and gain a winning edge!

Frank is a widely experienced executive coach, who comes from a varied career of executive (manager/director/chairman) roles in the UK and internationally. He has worked with a wide range of clients (from directors to university graduates) seeking new roles in employment or self-employment. He also has experience assisting overseas clients to return to the UK.
* "I can get you a job" by Frank Thaxton is on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1gne64u or as an E-book: http://amzn.to/1wFNOG2
Welcome to the new, upgraded ReConnect Africa website.
Please help us provide you with information relevant to your needs by completing the fields below (just this once!)