September 29, 2009

TCB Tuesday: When you don't get the job

[image via caitlin martin ]

Newsflash: I don't book every job/wedding that is inquired of me. I know, right? Rejection is a part of life: I have known that since a young age (ever heard of a third wheel? Hi, that was me), but it still doesn't make it fun or even somewhat bearable. Some people deal with it better than others. I am an other in this case.

Part of the reason I wanted to write this post is because the fear of rejection has held me back in life A LOT: I won't even get into the things I haven't done because I was afraid of losing or not being accepted - you would just think I was ridiculous. The fact is if I want to have a business (and I do) I'm going to have to deal with it & learn to deal with it well, or it will be the end of me.

Yeah, I might sulk for a day, but thanks to husbands & good friends I've been encouraged to take these experiences as times for learning: To think about what I can do better, how I can present in a more effective way. I also need to realize that sometimes it has nothing to do with me personally. Do you know how many wedding photographers there are in Southern California? Many, and many talented ones at that.

So, as booking for 2010 begins I'm constantly questioning my methods & asking myself how I can improve. Really, a "thanks, but no thanks" every once and awhile can be a good thing. It forces me to grow & conquer that fear.

How have you experienced this in your own life & how do you deal? This applies to any business, not just photography & I would love to hear from anyone who relates. Have any good resources for this (especially for women)? Please share in the comments!

13 comments:

Katie Hund said...

My solution: Red Wine and Grey's Anatomy.

mary said...

I am the *exact* same way. I don't deal well with rejection, either. I do think that as long as you turn it into a positive (i.e. use it as motivation to constantly stay on your game and improve), it's perfectly healthy to feel like we do. I do wish I could be a bit less sensitive about it...so I look forward to seeing some comments with advice! :)

Jamieofalltrades said...

I think I do okay with rejection but I have a problem with putting myself out there. Not because I'm afraid of rejection, but I'm really modest about my skills. I need to start spreading the word about my goods. And your posts are inspiring me to do that. So, thanks!

Ashley said...

I related very much to your sentiment; I am an actor. Even though people often preach about how rejection is part of the process (and life in general), it's not always easy to accept. I applaud you for trying to look at rejection as an opportunity to grow. It takes more inner strength to find something positive, even if it's the smallest change, from a painful experience rather than to surrender to the overwhelming disappointment. We don't have control over many things but we do have control over how we deal with tough emotional sensitivities.

Also, chocolate and tv has been known to cure my wounded heart.

jennifer said...

it's good if you can spin the rejection in a positive way as in an opportunity to learn from your mistakes. you have to put yourself out there to get what you want. it sorta reminds of that saying you can't meet "mr. right" sitting on the couch at home.

Team Garaway said...

That's funny, I just read this post on Nancy Wilson's blog. I think it applies and I found it helpful! http://femina.reformedblogs.com/2009/09/29/heavy-branches/

raya said...

Thanks Jessica - that was a great post & totally applies to that feeling of "is this really worth it?". Nancy is a wise woman : )

Dan,Melissa & Caleb Barnett said...

thanks for being open raya. looking forward to chatting more about this in person someday.

Erin said...

I think I deal with recejection by thinking the opposite way! Instead of striving to improve, I think I just figure "I guess we were not the right fit. I don't want to work for them, if they don't want me the way I am." That is probably not a very good business mindset. Ha!

Mystic Paradigm said...

Quite a relevant topic. I have had to face plenty of rejections especially in job hunting. It annoyed me and made me a bit depressed and angry. I think the key is to be resilient and to keep improving your skills. Now I go to job interviews thinking "It's not just I need them but they need me too". I used to think I need to change the way I am but now I have decided not to. If they cannot accept the way I am, then too bad for them. I know who I am and I am here to stay that way. I found that presenting yourself as who you are makes things a lot easier for you and you feel easy to deal with people.

thewinkingfrog said...

I can completely relate to this! I have never been able to handle rejection or criticism very well, but as an adult, I try not too sulk about it too much! I don't need everyone to love what I do. I have the full support of my family and I know that my work is good, but every so often I suffer a crisis of confidence and have to struggle back up again. I'll never be Martha, but I love what I do, so I am going to keep doing it!
Fiona

Lyndsey said...

Oh my gosh, I love this! You always have the right things to say to motivate people. Starting a photography business has been awesome for me-I've learned so much, especially not to take things personal.

Dana said...

i'm new to wedding photography and new to central massachusetts (which, surprisingly, is not known for it's creative and open-minded population). In new york, everyone was creative and exciting, but here not everyone seems to "get" the style i shoot. much of the rejection so far has been "we were looking for something more...traditional..." and in that case (which i would assume would be something commonly experienced by you, based on your style), you're better off. your bookings are based on those who love what you embody, and who will appreciate it. Elsewise, it is wasted. That cheers me up. It's so the "I'm too good for him" breakup line, but it still works. :)