Day 3: The Price of Rejection
About three weeks ago, I went for an interview with an agency. The recruiter enthusiastically put me forward to the client as a possible candidate. I then received a phone call from her later that afternoon. It wasn’t good news. I had already applied to the company before and she could no longer recommend me.
It was fair enough. My direct application meant that she wouldn’t be able to get her commission.
Fast forward a few days and my phone rang constantly to a point where I wasn’t sure if I had spoken to the person on the other side before.
Fast forward to today.
No one has called me — except one recruiter who points out the benefits and certainty of permanent employment. I explained to her that I was only looking at contract jobs and freelance opportunities. She tried to convince me of a place that made road construction software. She talked about the young and agile culture, the need for someone to guide them, the senior skills that I possess and would make a great fit for the team.
Perhaps if I was in a different frame of mind, I would have been excited. But the thought of waking up at 6am every day to do something I’m not passionate about made me dread existing.
In the first 2 weeks, everyone wanted me.
Now it’s only the sporadic few that hasn’t had the chance to try and place me yet. The initial silence made me wonder what was wrong with me.
I know my weaknesses and did my best to showcase my strengths in my CV. But everyone wanted someone who’s done it all. It’s a weird catch 22 — especially for me who has really done it all. My age range made me fall just under the radar of being worth my weight in gold based on the experiences I’ve got.
Then to top it all off, Upwork rejected my profile because their marketplace is already saturated with developers.
But rather than feeling angry and confused, I felt somewhat relieved. It wasn’t really what I wanted any way. They were all detours to where I wanted to go and what I really want to do. The multitude of rejections and sudden silence came as a blessing in disguise.
I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no certainty in permanent employment, despite what everyone tries to tell me. While it may feel safe, you’re only an asset that can be let go at any moment. I’ve tried to make myself valuable to others by undervaluing myself.
Day and night, I constantly do what is needed to be done to increase my value without asking for more. There was a certain underlying fear that I would be let go if I became too expensive.
When no one called me back, I began to wonder if I’m simply asking too much.
Perhaps I am for what they’re looking for.
After years of undervaluing myself, I’ve decided to ask for what I think I’m worth — and one person has taken me up on it in the form of a contract project. It’s one big ego boost and only confirms that I shouldn’t be short selling myself.
And that’s the price of being rejected by those that don’t know my real worth. They were most likely looking for a bargain steal and I am not that person anymore.
I am worth my worth and no one can tell me otherwise.