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How to Get Over an Internal Job Rejection

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Being rejected for an internal position can take a toll on an employee's esteem and is a disappointment that is sometimes difficult to get past. By not taking it personal, remaining positive, focusing on the task at hand and setting goals an employee can get past an internal job rejection.

Don't Take It Personal

Organizations make hiring decisions based on factors, such as skill sets of potential candidates, department needs and budgeting constraints. The factors employers consider are those that will impact the business, its operations and its profitabIility. When employees are rejected for internal jobs, it's not always personal. In some cases, the employee applicant is so effective in his current position that the business refrains from changing his position. When an employee is rejected for an internal promotion, this does not give him a reason to doubt his worth or value to the organization. He should not take it personally.

Remain Positive

It is essential that an employee applicant maintain a positive attitude -- especially after a rejection. She must remain mindful of her good and beneficial attributes and all of the positive things she has going for her. She must then evaluate how to use her positive qualities to her advantage. The U.S. Department of Labor, or DOL, uses the acronym PMA (positive mental attitude) to describe a person's belief that she can change a trying situation around into something better. According to the DOL, a good example of this in practice is Abraham Lincoln who was defeated in eight different elections before going on to become one of the most influential presidents of all time.

Focus on the Task at Hand

An employee who is rejected for an internal promotion still has a job to do. By perfecting the duties in his current position, he can increase performance ratings and improve his employer's perception of his work. Enhancing performance in his current job will not only increase esteem, it may also provide quantifiable evidence of his skills and abilities for the next promotion. His internal status gives him an advantage over external applicants. According to a study of the U.S. investment banking industry by Wharton University Management professor Matthew Bidwell, employers promote twice as many employees from within than are hired externally.

Set Goals and a Timeline

Setting clear goals and objectives helps the employee move forward. This begins with the employee setting a timeline indicating how long he wants to wait before applying for another internal promotion. The employee should then decide what steps, within that timeline, he must take to improve his position. This may include obtaining additional education or certification, volunteering for additional work projects or volunteering to mentor other employees.


E.M. Rawes is a professional writer specializing in business, finance, mathematical and social sciences topics. She completed her studies at the University of Maryland, where she earned her Bachelor of Science. During her time working in workforce management and as a financial analyst, she reinforced her business and financial know-how.

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