Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Lessons learned from my last 1,200 job rejections
I believe in building a brand from the inside out. Creating a high enough volume of daily output that the market targets you. Allowing new opportunities to find you through the attraction of working, not the agony of waiting.
That’s how I’ve successfully run my business for the past fifteen years.
But as an experiment, as a way of testing my own system, I recently spent a summer doing the exact opposite. Filling out job applications, responding to proposals, going on interviews, meeting with recruiters, submitting my portfolio for freelance gigs and seeking out new work opportunities.
By the end of the summer, I had been rejected over twelve hundred times.
Twelve hundred times.
And despite my best efforts, not a single one of those opportunities came to fruition. But as disappointing as the process was, I learned key lessons about career management. Next time you get rejected from a job application, remember these tenants:
1. Don’t spend too much time crossing your fingers.
Waiting around for some invisible jury to stamp your creative passport and tell you that your work is okay is no way to live your life. It creates negative momentum. Each one of those twelve hundred rejections, while only marginally painful in isolation, added up pretty quickly. And by the end of the summer, I was starting to get disillusioned. I knew that the hour I spent each day looking for work would have been better invested creating, instead of waiting around for people to give me the opportunity to show them how creative I was. So I stopped. I ended the experiment and went back to doing what I do best. Making things. And literally within a week, I booked two new clients and a major network television interview. Are you crossing your fingers or using them to create your art?
More lessons learned and the complete TheLadders article