How to cope with job rejection

Being rejected from a job can be a challenging experience. But it’s not all negative: coping strategies can help students to gain a lot of positive learning from job rejection. This lesson explores strategies for students to use to cope with job rejection and to build their character strengths.

Year Level




60 minutes


  • In class activity

SEL Competencies

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management
  • Social awareness

Learning Intention

Students will develop a variety of strategies that they can utilise to cope with job rejection.

Key Outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • explore strategies for coping with job rejection
  • identify their character strengths
  • identify ways that they can demonstrate their character strengths to employers.
Activity 01

Options explosion: Strategies to cope with job rejection 30 min

  1. Present students with the scenario that they have just been rejected from a job that they really wanted. Explain to them that feelings of rejection can occur when they:
    • don’t hear back from the employer
    • receive a first-round interview, but are not successful
    • receive a letter explaining that their application has been unsuccessful
    • learn that their referees have been called, but they don’t get a job offer.
  2. Students list the feelings they might have if they receive a rejection.
  3. Students access the article ‘6 ways to deal when you’re rejected from a job’.
  4. Students list three strategies they could use to deal with this experience. They may explore suggestions additional to those included in the article.
  5. Ask students to delve deeper into these strategies and explain, using a dot point for each strategy, why they could be beneficial.
  6. Ask students: ‘What can you learn from job rejection?’ (For example, it can foster resilience, and awareness that there are things they can do about it.)
  7. Ask students to share times when they, or someone they know, turned what they initially thought was a negative experience into a positive one.