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  • Diana Schneidman

A different perspective on this whole “rejection” thing

It’s kind of interesting when people tell me they couldn’t possibly telephone companies for freelance or consulting assignments because they can’t risk the rejection.

It’s interesting because I got into telephoning (or as others call it, cold calling) to avoid rejection.

Let’s start at the beginning.

I’ve been terminated from “good” corporate jobs four times. Once I was on disability leave. I’m fine now (that was many years ago) and it didn’t sting because them’s the rules.

The other three times were not plant closings or massive right sizing. Just little ole me and hugely painful. Big time rejection.

It’s been many years and I still feel the rejection. Fortunately my mental health is satisfactory, but I’m just saying. For me, getting terminated is worse than getting divorced.

My divorce in 1993 was big-time messy, but losing jobs has been, for me, far worse.

My next most important experience with rejection was in looking for a full-time corporate job.

I don’t know if “rejection” is the right word. What I experienced was less personal than rejection. I simply didn’t exist. I fell into the black job-market hole repeatedly.

I submitted carefully tailored resumes and cover letters. No response, usually. I did telephone and in-person interviews. No response, usually, unless I was hired. I waited for their follow-up call that was promised early next week. Nothing.

The experts said I should be looking for a full-time job 40 hours a week, but I couldn’t think up enough useful activity to fill the time.

They” said I should discover unsolved corporate problems and get meetings with executives to show my solutions so they would create jobs that did not yet exist.


Still haven’t figured out how to do it.

I was a financial writer for mutual fund companies. Their “problem” was that the marketing copy was dull and uninspired. The reason was that industry regulations prohibit effective writing. So the best way to demonstrate that you don’t know what you’re doing is to show them how you can improve their writing.

Furthermore, I had—and have—no idea how to identify and solve problems that company insiders can’t solve and even less of an idea about how to get in to talk with corporate executives for this purpose without relying on false pretenses.

Most everything I knew how to do to get a job was well-known to be a waste of time (especially sending in a resume for an advertised opening).

And since very little was working, I felt rejected.

So to fill up some time and generate some income, I started telephoning for freelance and consulting assignments. Yes, I turned to phoning to avoid activities that were causing me to feel rejected—or even invisible.

How much rejection have I experienced while phoning for freelance and consulting?

Well, someone hung up on me once. A few people have said “no” somewhat curtly.

And of course, many people have not answered and have instead allowed the call to roll over to voice mail.

I’ll take this level of rejection over the alternatives any day!

Originally posted 7-30-10

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