Rejection. Don’t take it personally.

If, after reading the previous post, you’ve decided that freelance is the way to go, then the next step is to ask yourself  “how well do I handle rejection”.

Because, and here’s the thing, it will happen. More times than you care to think about

Most of the time, however, it’s really not personal. In fact, it could be due to any number of reasons, some of which are inexplicable. When you have poured your heart and soul into a project, however, it can be a crushing blow whan the client just simply doesn’t like it (or get it).

If you feel that rejection is getting you down, there are several stategies to handle the pain as well as minimise the chance of rejection in the future.

1. Remind yourself that EVERYONE, even he most talented, experienced designers get rejected now and then. In fact, if you never, or rarely, get rejected, it could be a sign your rates are too low.

2. Seek clarity about why you were rejected. It may well be that they liked your work, but had another designer come in cheaper. Or it may have been that they preferred another designer’s work. Next time, you could be the designer whose work someone prefers.

3.Take each rejection graciously. Don’t burn bridges because, while you were not the right fit for this project, you may be perfect for the next.

4. Use rejection as motivation and learn from it. Each time you pitch, you’re gaining valuable experience.

Rejection is a part of life. Unfortunately, as a freelancer it can be a pretty big part of life. Staff designers go for their jobs once, freelancers are doing it time and time again. But, as they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you a better designer.

We would love to hear from people about their strategies for handling rejection – chocolate is always a safe bet.