So, I dropped the ball as far as getting this post done on Valentine’s Day goes. I thought “what better way to celebrate this lame holiday than with a insider’s view on rejection?!” I’ve joked about if there were a career that involved rejection or failing that I would be a shoe-in (It’s only kinda a joke. Lol). The thing is, I’ve experienced all kinds of rejection from many efforts, from job applications to book queries to voice over, and I feel like digging deep into those experiences and having a laugh at the hilarious tragedy of the five main types of rejection I see all the time!
I was going mash-up those words to make “Direjction”, but I realized I just made a jacked-up spelling for “direction”. Oh well, Direct rejection is exactly like it sounds. You get a definite answer from whoever you queried, and the answer is no. This usually gives you some amount of closure (The job is filled, your novel is not a good fit, a “Not Likely” on Voice123, etc), but on rare occasions, you get feedback, hence the fancy, smart subtitles below:
- Direct Rejection With Direction – You get shot down, but you are given a reason, like “We went with a candidate that knows more about HTML,” or “We chose our babysitter instead of you because she’s cheaper,” or “Your writing isn’t bad at all, but I just don’t like cats” or “We’re having issues with some legalities business wise but will keep you in mind if we work that out.” Yes, these were all responses I actually got.
- Direct Rejection Without Direction – You just receive a cookie cutter response, saying the job is filled and have a great day…because the first thing on my mind after not succeeding is having a great day.
Some people find this devastating, but I like it more than the other types of rejection, especially if it fits into the smaller subcategory. At least I can work to improve if given constructive criticism, right?
This is the most annoying way to be rejected. You send a query, resume, audition, profession of love, etc, and you never get any response. There is so much room for ambiguity and doubt that it can drive you insane, especially with creative gigs. Traditional jobs are not like creative ones because they can call you back for interviews months after the deadline. So, the best you can do with this kind of rejection, or lack thereof, is to move on. Forget about it. That advice is easier said than done though.
The Blow Off
This is the worst type of rejection by far. You get a response. It sounds like you may finally be getting somewhere, but then suddenly your conversations with Mr. Hireguy McTitties cease. Even when you follow-up a couple times, nothing happens. You then proceed to over analyze every little detail of your interactions with McTitties. Being completely ignored is bad, but being noticed, acknowledged and then tossed away is just too much to bear!
The “Yeah…But Not Really”
This happens when you get what seems like a job, but then you find out it isn’t really what was promised. I’ve been tricked into attending pyramid scheme interviews, whore-like sales of cleaners at stores and voice over/writing gigs that suddenly don’t want to pay you much or anything. Excuse my French, but FUCK these guys! If you’re not willing to be honest, pay honest or hire honest, don’t hire at all. I think Thumper’s Mom covered something similar to this in a children’s Disney film…Sheesh!
And Now The Best Rejection…