A few weeks ago, I saw a friend and we were talking about Mother’s Day. I showed her the new phone that my kids and husband got for me. My kids keep telling people that they spent so much money on me this year…the most ever for a Mother’s Day gift. I laughed about that with my friend and said, ‘it’s a lot different from my first Mother’s Day. We were so poor back then that I gave my husband an eleven-dollar budget for my gift.’ Then, my seven-year-old daughter said,
Her comment took me off guard. I responded by saying, ‘you’re right, we weren’t poor. We had everything we needed.’ What a beautiful perspective. We were just trying to figure out how to be grown-ups. In her seven-year-old mind, her perspective is so much clearer than mine. I viewed our past as something that we were trying to move through as quickly as possible…maybe even as a time of failure. She, on the other hand, saw it as a time of learning. I have thought about that conversation numerous times in the last few weeks.
We were just trying to figure out how to be grown-ups.
My daughter helped me reframe that time in my life. Is there something in your life that you need to reframe? Are you frustrated with your slow progress in building your writing career? Do you feel like you should be farther along? Maybe the part of your journey that your frustrated with is a necessary part of the process.
I know that when we were new parents on one income, I wished we had more money. But, honestly, if we had what felt like ‘enough’ money back then I don’t think I would have taken the steps needed to develop my writing career. Sometimes the struggle is essential.
How can you apply this to your life and writing career? Let’s say you found a writing job that sounds perfect for you. It fits with your interests, your expertise, and your available time. You confidently apply – it’s perfect for you, surely that will be clear to whoever is doing the hiring – but you do not get the job. This type of situation can feel like a failure. But you’re just trying to figure out how to be a writer…it’s a learning experience. Getting a ‘no’ when you apply for a writing position can happen for a number of reasons. Below are five potential reasons you may get passed over for a writing job that is ‘perfect’ for you.
They filled the position before even looking over your application.
There was someone else who was perfect for the position and had more experience than you.
They decided to take care of the writing in-house.
You’re not as perfect for the job as you originally thought.
You were one of hundreds of applications.
Each one of these potential reasons can be reframed into a learning experience if you are open to it.
They filled the position before even looking over your application. This may mean that you need to put more applications out there in order to be noticed. Sometimes getting a position is about being on the top of the pile (or inbox).
There was someone else who was perfect for the position and had more experience than you. This means that you need to continue writing for free to build up your portfolio and experience. Experience takes time but do not let your lack of experience stop you from trying. I have been with a digital marketing agency for over four years and they gave me a chance at a time when I didn’t have a lot of experience. Keep writing for free and keep trying to find paid work.
They decided to take care of the writing in-house. There’s nothing you can do about this! It happens sometimes and just means you need to keep applying places. Be sure and follow-up with places that give you this answer. If they see the value in great content there will likely be a time in the future where they need more help.
You’re not as perfect for the job as you originally thought. This can be hard to hear. But the reality is that you do not get to see the information of the other people who applied. There may be someone else with more experience, more expertise, and more time than you to devote to the project. All you can do to combat this reason is to continue writing to build up your experience and expertise.
You were one of hundreds of applications. This can easily happen when you apply for work that you find on a large job board. Writing from home is an attractive option to a lot of people and some job postings receive a huge volume of applications. You can try and fix this issue in a couple of different ways. Reach out to the employer after you submit your info to follow-up. Sometimes the extra follow through is enough to make you stand out from the crowd. The second option is to search for opportunities in places other than typical job boards. Options include putting the word out to your network that you are looking, approaching small businesses directly, or reaching out to digital marketing agencies about open writing positions.
One of the most lucrative places I currently write for took over a year to hire me. I was seriously doubting that I would ever get work from them when it suddenly started flowing in. Now I make an extra $1,000 a month just from that client. While I was waiting to hear from that client, I continued to apply for other openings to fill the extra space in my schedule. Now, I regularly have more work than I can handle and find myself turning down work.
Finding work that pays well and aligns with your interests is a process. And many people get discouraged by rejections early on and give up altogether. Try and reframe any ‘no’ you receive into a learning experience. If there is something you can learn to do differently, take that knowledge and use it to help you land the next gig.
If you are in a place where you want more help landing paid writing work, check out my training guide The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Writing Online and Getting Paid. It will walk you through the terminology you need to know, the technology you need learn, the concepts you need to understand, and provide you with resources on how to find paid work.
If you are ready to get serious about writing online, check out my training program The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Writing Online and Getting Paid. In this guide, I go over everything you need to know to get started building a career writing online. To get the latest on this and other projects, sign up for the email list and I will keep in touch.