Dealing with constant rejection
Being rejected for any reason in any aspect of life is complicated. Being rejected constantly becomes a real pain. As I struggle to find projects and clients this year, I often have to deal with rejection.
Types of rejection
The first type of rejection is when I see myself taking a job or project, but then it appears I lack the skill for it. Let’s take the last rejection as an example. I was rejected because my “React and Gutenberg skillset doesn’t align with our project needs right now.” Was it my fault for being honest and admitting that I have never worked with these technologies in the production environment? While I did take some courses, do they count? My conscience prevents me from lying, so I go out there and admit I lack these skills. What bothers me is that I feel I would thrive working with these technologies if given a fair chance. But, unfortunately, it seems the world doesn’t work that way.
Sometimes I don’t even go that far because I was rejected by an online testing platform. I openly admit I am pretty bad at solving algorithm tasks, so I often fail online tests. But am I required to know algorithms if I am in charge of building your website? I don’t see it and cannot remember the last time some algorithm saved the day. The hiring process has been broken for so long that nobody even tries to fix it. I could only guess how many quality people weren’t hired just because they failed some ridiculous online test.
Often times I am the one that rejects a client. The most common reason is compensation. I worked so hard to be able to reach my current rate. Nobody knows how many nights I’ve been learning or working on a side project to master a skill, framework, or technique. I’m constantly learning and trying to apply my newly acquired knowledge whenever applicable. Clients often don’t even realize all aspects of the delivered project. I am never happy with my average job, so I always try to provide top solutions. I am aware that the global economic situation is far from ideal, so I adjusted my rate, which, by the way, I think is more than fair anyway. Still, there are principles I cannot walk over.
Sometimes I reject job offers because they require me to solve an exercise. With more than ten years in the industry, I reject solving some foolish task that will take more than a few days. It is because even when I don’t work on paying projects, I work every day. Be it that I am looking for a job and applying, which I think is even more demanding than doing your job, be it that I am preparing my newsletter, optimizing and updating my site, or writing articles. So I reject proving myself all over again when I could do something that makes me feel like I am doing something worthwhile.
Another reason for rejection is because of the timezone difference. I’m a family man who appreciates my time too much, so I cannot accept being around my computer all day. For example, I had to reject a high-profile client last month because they expected me to be available for a possible meeting the entire day. I usually work in the morning and offer time slots when I am available in the afternoon for meetings. Still, I cannot be available the whole day waiting for a meeting to happen or not. I’ve worked for more than six years with clients worldwide, and everyone appreciated my time by arranging a meeting at least a day in advance so I could plan my time efficiently. That is all I ask, and it is a dealbreaker for me.
It is hard to stay positive when dealing with constant rejection, but I am somehow still positive. It still excites me when I speak with potential clients. I still look forward to hearing about every new project. I guess I just had to wait patiently for the perfect opportunity to arrive.
Stay positive and happy coding, everyone!