Rejection Can Be Fun!

Over the past few months I’ve gotten my hands dirty on some freelance projects in the Columbus area. While I’ve had a great time with my projects so far, I’ve learned a lot as well. Mainly that freelancing is a tough game to get into, much like Bounty Hunting.

If you go to a new city looking to freelance, you need to be prepared to be rejected. If you never played sports and everyone always told you that you were the greatest, freelancing may be a shock to you.

What?! Someone doesn’t think I’m the greatest thing since Boba Fett successfully froze Han Solo in carbonite even though it was a dangerous procedure that had yet to be tested?! Preposterous!

Hopefully you had someone in college or high school tell you a piece of work you created sucked. Criticism is good in any form, even when it breaks you down. I went through my first week of searching for jobs with my LinkedIn tagline¬†misspelled. It read that I was looking for “emplyoment” instead of employment. Lesson learned. Public profiles should be spelled well.

Rejection isn’t so bad because you’ve at least heard from the employer. Sometimes they will tell you that they don’t have anything now but will keep your resume “on file.” You may think this is a kind way of saying “you suck, now go away,” but it’s an opportunity to learn. Try asking the employer if there is something you can work on in the mean time to improve your skills. In my first week of hunting, I learned that I needed to beef up my PHP skills and work on custom WordPress themes. If they don’t give you any advice, simply thank them for keeping your resume on file and keep their name in your ’80s rolo-dex. Keep tabs and check back in a few months.

I don’t want to be too wordy in my first post but my advice stands. Criticism is good, rejection isn’t awful. You won’t catch the first bounty you’re hunting for. Be prepared to go after multiple targets and be ready to fail with all of them. This isn’t pessimism, it is purely observation.

Famous Last Words:

“I am still alive!”¬†– Gaius Caligula after being stabbed – 41 A.D.

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John Hartley is a Director of Product Engineering at Beam Dental in Columbus, OH. With 5+ years of leadership experience he has worked in startups, agencies, and began his career as a freelance Front End Developer. Always looking to iterate, this blog is a place for him to share his knowledge as well as hone his craft, challenge assumptions, and build a strong base of leadership and management knowledge. Connect with him on LinkedIn

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