Lets face it, no one enjoys being rejected after a job interview. Especially if youve put in hours of prep, hard work, and feel you can do the job better than anyone else. Whats more, women take career rejection to heart more than men do. No really, were serious! Despite their supposedly huge egos, men continue to apply for jobs undeterred by refusals. A write-up in the Harvard Business Review by Raina Brands and Isabel Fernandez-Mateo in 2017 featured findings from a study that women were much less likely to apply for a job (around 1.5 times less than men) if they had been rejected for a similar job in the past.This could potentially be one of the reasons that women occupy lesser leadership positions across the world. After all, the ladder to the top is paved with disappointments, and one must be prepared to keep at it despite discouragement. So how do you handle job rejection and ensure that it doesnt get in the way of your dreams?AcceptanceMumbai-based career counsellor Swati Salunkhe, MD, Growth Centre Pvt Ltd, says very simply, Accept the rejection and try to focus on the next move. She believes that once the decision is out of your hands, the wisest thing to do is to be philosophical and move on. Looking back only slows you down. Try to learn from the past, focus on where you want to apply, review your career goal, what sort of job profile you want and start preparing and planning accordingly, she adds. When 32-year-old HR manager Parul Shah was not selected for a job, she did some research on the mid-size Kolkata-based company that had rejected her. She found that she had only been interviewed as a token diversity candidate. They needed a couple of women on the interview list, and I happened to have applied. It made me feel quite lousy, but it wasnt personal and didnt necessarily have to do with my lack of skills. I now check every companys hiring policy, as well as their track record with women employees before I apply.IntrospectionTry to introspect as to where things would have gone wrong lack of conceptual clarity, poor body language or lack of enthusiasm perhaps, says Mumbai-based career counsellor Suchitra Surve, JMD, RightGoal Consulting Private Limited. Was it lack of digital skills or was the job not a right fit for you? With job roles and careers being defined by rapid technological advances, you need to constantly push yourself out of your comfort zone and stay abreast of whats new in your career field to get ahead and ensure long-term success. Focus on not becoming redundant and staying relevant.AwarenessDo not take each rejection personally. There might be other reasons for not accepting you, says Surve. Do not play the blame game or find fault with the company for rejecting you. If possible, try to find why you were not accepted. Feedback is especially important. When your interviewer says something negative, do not process it emotionally instead use it to further your own developmental goals. Should you opt for soft skills classes? Informal coaching? Or simply just change your approach to resume writing and interviews? Use your rejection experience to be more self-aware of gaps youd otherwise remain oblivious to.Avoiding comparisonAre you comparing yourself with the candidate that has got the job and wondering what he or she has that you dont? Salunkhe says, Be aware of the competition but be objective. Do not compare yourself with others, be patient and focus on your own race. A companys reasons for hiring someone could be anything ranging from practical factors like salary, logistical factors like how far you need to commute or even just random factors like chemistry. At the end of the day, the company is represented by just one or a few people interviewing you, and the selection process is in their hands alone. Instead of comparing yourself to others, work on being the best and most authentic version of yourself for the job.Consulting a professionalIf you want to understand your skills and choices better, consult a career counsellor who understands the market and has a good track record. Not only will they vet your prospective employers to see if theyre a good fit, theyll also guide you through resume writing, the dos and donts of a job interview and salary negotiation. Sometimes, a job might seem perfect on paper, but is not a good fit for you. Alternatively, you may be suited to other jobs, roles and careers that youre unaware of. A fresh professional perspective may help you see and realise unexplored potential as well.Thinking positiveSays Surve, Remember, to feel upset on being rejected is natural, but it does not define you nor can it determine your future. So, be positive and work towards your goal positively.When author-actor Fran Lebowitz was very young, she wrote a book of poetry and dashed it off to multiple publishers. She was disheartened then by all the rejection letters she received. Today, she claims shes thrilled by it because it is a terrible book in hindsight. Sometimes, youve got to put your best foot forward, but then eventually trust in the universe and let go.In an interview with The Huffington Post in 2014, bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert put it across beautifully: The funny thing is that rejection is not so bad, really. This is something I think men have always understood that a glorious failure can sometimes be more life-affirming than a cautious win. This is why men are constantly asking for stuff they might not even deserve or arent totally qualified to handle. I dont say this as an insult to men, either; I wish more women would do the same. Because sometimes you get a yes, and even if you werent prepared for that yes, you rise to the occasion. You arent ready, and then you are. Its irrational, but its magical.