Today, I want to talk about something that hits close to home for many college students in the cybersecurity game: dealing with job rejections and how it can mess with our heads. I just read a post from someone feeling down, “I applied for over 300 security internships, and not a single company hit me back. It’s got me feeling all sorts of down, doubting myself and stuff.”
Unfortunately, I receive countless messages asking for help, guidance, hope — something. I thought it would be timely to shine a light on mental health in cybersecurity, and aspiring cybersecurity professionals.
First off, I want to give a shoutout to the person who shared this struggle. Rejections can be a real gut punch, making us question our worth. But be encouraged, these setbacks do not define you or what you’re capable of.
The cybersecurity industry is a wild, competitive world. Landing that dream cybersecurity internship or cyber career does takes time, and persistence. There are a million factors at play, like the sheer number of applicants, specific skill requirements, and yes, sometimes just plain luck. I get it, I feel your pain. Normalizing rejection does not minimize the impact it has on your confidence, your hope for the future, or your mental health.
For these reasons, it’s crucial for your own well-being to remind yourself – by not receiving a call back and receiving countless rejection emails – that does not mean you you don’t have what it takes to rock the cybersecurity world.
When times get tough like this, it’s time to focus on YOU and keeping your mental game STRONG. Here are a few things you can do to navigate through the rough patches:
Get Some Backup
Reach out to your support crew, whether it’s family, friends, or mentors. Share your thoughts and worries with them. They’ll give you the pep talk and guidance you need to keep pushing forward.
Reflect and Adapt
Take a step back and look at your applications. Any areas where you can level up? Tweak that resume and cover letter to fit each company’s vibe. Show them what makes you unique in the cybersecurity game. Don’t be afraid to be YOU, and showcase your cybersecurity skills arsenal that you’ve been working so hard to build.
Boost Your Skills
Consider adding more tools to your belt. Grab some certifications, hit up online courses, or join cybersecurity communities. It’s not just about your resume, it’s about showing your passion and dedication to the field.
Network Like a Boss
Attend events, join pro cybersecurity groups, and mingle with the experts. Networking can open doors you didn’t even know existed. Sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know – AND who knows you.
Lastly, never forget to take care of yourself. If you’re feeling down or questioning yourself too much, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help. Your college or uni probably has counseling or mental health services. Don’t be afraid to make use of them.
As you chase your cybersecurity career dreams, know that the Bolt Resources‘ cyber talent team, and our Founder, Jessie Bolton have your back. Rejections might sting, but they won’t break us. Stay strong, stay determined, and always believe in your own unique potential.