The Best Way to Play Office Politics
How to Cope with an Internal Job Application Rejection
Applying for an internal job can be a lot harder and fraught with worries than applying for an external one because everyone involved already knows you. It can feel as if you are exposing yourself by having to sell yourself to people who already work with you. Although great if you get the internal position, what happens when you don't? It can be a bit of an ego-hit and can leave you continuing to feel exposed and uncomfortable around those who were involved. Here is how to ride it out.
Have confidence.The fact that you took the initiative to apply says a lot about your personality and interests. It tells management that you are a keen and loyal worker who has ambitions to go places within the company or organization.
Don't take it personally.It is very difficult to assess internal applicants, especially when several apply for the same position, and the choice and ranking has to come down to some pretty objective criteria. Such criteria are likely to include level and time of experience, specific knowledge of issues or subject-matter and training background. This does not mean that they think you will never make a suitable fit in that role and it certainly does not mean that they think you are unsuitable in your current role.
Ask questions.You are entitled to ask what factors swayed them against choosing you and how you can better your chances next time. You have already created an invisible link with future possibilities by showing your hand this time round and management will remember this enthusiasm and potential for future appointments, or even for interim projects on which you might be able to learn necessary skills. The current application will have helped, not hindered, your future prospects.
Don't pout, don't shout, put on a happy face.Your reaction will be observed and commented on. Make sure your reaction is a good one, a reasoned one and one that says "OK, I'm still good for this place and it's good for me." A good sport continues to be viewed as a good team player worth near future consideration. Be graceful and it will be duly noted.
Seek professional or other relevant development opportunities.Ask for training, for courses, for mentoring as needed. Improve the relevant knowledge and abilities that you have found out need improvement. Your enthusiasm will continue to impress and your obvious increased knowledge will set you in better stead next time.
- Try not to talk this over with colleagues. It makes everyone nervous and edgy, not just you. If you need reassurance, talk with management, talk with an employee counseling service, talk with friends and family. Leave at-level colleagues out of the equation. And whatever you do, don't ever bitch about those who did succeed or those who ran the process!
- Management is meant to remain silent and keep confidences. Sometimes, however, this does not happen. If you overhear your application being discussed in the general office environment, lodge an immediate complaint. There is no room for any sense of humiliation or castigation in a professional work environment and a manager who gossips deserves to be pulled up immediately.
- If this outcome was the end of the straw for you, remain calm and polite but be proactive in looking for external work opportunities rather than fuming. You may still need these people to be good referees. Remember the invisible link? It can also be strategically pulled on to get reference assistance when you point out that you tried but felt that the job opportunities were limiting where you are currently. Keep it simple, keep it nice.
Video: 08 common Interview question and answers - Job Interview Skills
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