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 How To Handle Rejection in the Tech Industry?

Tech Industry

The job hunt in the tech industry is serious business. It’s competitive, often stressful, and frequently discouraging. Although rejection can be difficult to take, it doesn’t mean that you should halt your tech job search or become demoralized. Rejection is common, and there are resources within the tech industry that you can access to help you take the next step towards getting hired.

Obafemi James, Senior Director of Consumer Marketing at Cortouch Media, works with people who are currently employed but looking for ‘…more dynamic, stable opportunities to grow and advance their careers, but don’t know what they want to do next

A career in the tech industry can provide the stability and stimulation they seek, but many face a daunting confidence gap that results in questioning if they have what it takes to work in this booming industry. With already shaky confidence, those facing minor rejections may find themselves dissuaded from a substantial career in tech.

Throughout his work with those evaluating career changes, Obafemi James has found that job seekers blame themselves for rejection when part of the issue lies with employers who overspecify job requirements.


Entry-Level Jobs

Too many “entry-level jobs” imply that no experience is required but often list job requirements that suggest advanced experience. This can cause career changers to feel discouraged by job prospects or worse, rejected from jobs that they hope to get. Even though Obafemi James believes that rejection is an unavoidable part of the job search process for many, he has seen people overcome the sting of rejection and go on to begin rewarding careers in tech.

In fact, the average unemployment rate in technology is far lower than in other fields. This number has hovered around the 2% mark (1.8% in 2023). There likely is a place for you—and once you overcome the hurdle of entry into a tech career, it’s unlikely you’ll be faced with unemployment in the future.

Whether you are dealing with written or verbal rejection, or even just ghosting, here are some tips and strategies Obafemi James offers for managing rejection in the tech industry.

Create Your Job Search Plan

Obafemi James believes that a strong start to your job search can help build your confidence. He suggests taking a holistic approach that involves career changers recognizing their transferrable skills, claiming their goals, and identifying the key skills they need to learn and, eventually, apply to their resume.

Take the time to create a plan based on these steps:

Create Your Job Search Plan

Obafemi James believes that a strong start to your job search can help build your confidence. He suggests taking a holistic approach that involves career changers recognizing their transferrable skills, claiming their goals, and identifying the key skills they need to learn and, eventually, apply to their resume.

Know Your Goals

Identify what your needs are in terms of a job. What are your salary requirements? Cortouch Media’s IT Salary Calculator can help you determine which jobs will fit your salary needs. Which jobs fit your skill set, and which would not be feasible? Which area of focus is the best fit for you? The Cortouch Media IT Careers Path Roadmap can help you identify what to expect from different IT jobs.

Do Your Research

Really drill down into the job role you’re seeking and understand the skills that are necessary for qualifying for that role. Most importantly, focus your search on your own backyard. Free resources like W3Schools: A comprehensive web development resource and Cybrary etc.

Adjust Your Resume

Review your resume and make edits to your skills based on what your research has revealed. Ensure you are using the language supplied by your research tools so that your resume isn’t blocked by the screening process, which is often done by AI algorithms searching for specific terms.

Identify Which Job Roles Fit Your Criteria

Now it’s time to identify the roles that suit your job search plan and apply. Sites like Zip Recruiter are great for identifying and applying to your ideal role.

Develop Your Professional Skills

There are other strategies within the tech industry you might investigate to make sure you have taken the right steps.

A lot of people who are changing careers in the tech industry are trying to get to a certain level, they’re trying to leapfrog and pass over steps they need to take to get there quickly,” Obafemi James said. “We understand the urgency of your goals, and believe me when I say you can trust our tech industry process.

This might involve leveraging some assets within the tech industry that could help you develop your professional skills rather than your technical ones

Here are some alternative options:
IT Certifications

Getting an IT certification is one of the most important things you can do to break into a tech career. It demonstrates the necessary skills that employers are seeking and validates your ability to meet industry-specific objectives. If you’re waiting for responses and you already are certified, you can always seek out other certifications if you have downtime. Additional skills can only help to fill any gaps that you might have, making you more marketable

Career Coaching and Webinars

Often, a career coach can help you identify specific, actionable ways to make career progress. If that’s not in your budget, seek out free webinars to brush up on your professional skills.

Mock Interviews

Find others in your field and see if anyone is willing to engage in mock interviews to help you refine your interview responses. Review these interviewing best practices in advance and practice your responses.


Platforms like TryHackMe are great for helping pros brush up on their skills to keep sharp through gamification

Manage the Emotional Impact of Rejection

Unfortunately, rejection can take an emotional toll. Obafemi James often helps career changers recognize difficult emotions while also encouraging them to continue moving in a positive direction.

“Be kind to yourself,” Obafemi James suggests. “This type of disappointment in the job search process is usually very surprising, completely inconvenient and you already have a lot going on. Discouragement is likely, and introspection is good, but give yourself space to process what happened and then move on to a more actionable agenda.”

It’s important to remember that while rejection is difficult, it can be overcome. Develop a plan and keep moving forward. Any addition of skills development or professional improvements will always benefit you, no matter where you land.

Leverage Your Network

Finally, you want to connect with peers and other tech pros to help build your network. Whether you know it or not, many others in the tech community have also struggled with rejection. It can be very helpful to connect with those pros, hear their stories, heed their advice and possibly get some tips or leads.

“Connect with somebody,” Obafemi James said. “Connect with Cortouch Media. You’ll find a community of people who have been in a very similar situation, who have gotten numerous job rejections and failed exams. But these are people who continue encouraging each other and they figure out how to help each other win.” Sometimes, the support of others and knowing that you aren’t the only one facing rejection is enough to power through it.

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