Rejection and the Frustration of Lacking Control
Friday, May 24, 2013Tweet
More doors have closed for me in the past few weeks.
I was supposed to do some consulting work for the university where we live, but the provost turned the reins over to another administrator, who initially seemed enthusiastic about getting my help and then proceeded to ignore all communication from me. So I've more or less given up on that now.
I didn't land a freelance job I applied for, editing evaluation reports -- which still kind of confuses me, since how many other people can there be locally with as much experience as I have in editing and evaluation? I interviewed well enough to get sent the editing test, which I passed, and then a week later I got a short e-mail that another candidate had been selected, and no response to my reply asking for feedback.
I've put in a lot of work on my great-grandfather's manuscript and sent it to several friends, who graciously took the time to read it and provide feedback. They all said they liked it a lot. I then sent a question to one of my past freelance clients, who's a published author, asking if she had any suggestions on where or how to pitch it, with the understanding that it was going to be a niche piece that wouldn't have broad commercial appeal. She asked for the first chapter and then said it wasn't good enough to get published and she couldn't help me. Even though it was clear from her message that she didn't really understand what I was asking, it was still a punch in the gut and made me doubt whether it was even worth taking the time to pitch to agents.
The campus office that had been stringing me along since I applied back in January, and which finally interviewed me at the beginning of May, told me this week that I didn't get the job. The director was very kind about it, and said that if their existing team had a different balance of skills I would have been a great fit, she was disappointed she couldn't hire me, and that I was a fantastic fit for the university and she'd be happy to recommend me to any other job I applied for on campus. It was basically the best possible rejection you could hope for -- but it was still a rejection, and it sucked.
I had been waiting to hear about another job being posted at a nearby university, since the office director had specifically sought me out at a conference I attended last month and urged me to apply when the position was posted. After I got the rejection call for the job I'd been hoping for, I saw that this director had finally e-mailed me that the posting was up. I looked it over and found it was longer hours than I'd expected and paid nearly half what it should. (This is not my wishful thinking -- a similar post on the same site but in a different office, for a job that unfortunately was just filled, listed the salary I expected.) I wrote her back and thanked her for the information, but said it was too far below my salary range to consider applying.
So there go those doors. Slam slam slam.
Objectively, I know that I'm incredibly, incredibly fortunate. Mike is on a 10-month contract but gets paid over 12 months and is staying on in the same res hall next year, so technically neither of us is working right now and yet we have free housing and an income coming in, which just blows my mind.
Everyone in my life is supportive -- if anyone is judging me for quitting my job and not having a new one by now, they're not saying it to my face. I talked to a friend on the day I got the latest rejection call, and she assured me that I was doing all the right things and that she even admired me for having high standards about which jobs I applied to. She reminded me that if I had no standards and just wanted any job, I could get one.
So when it comes down to it, the only thing left to be upset over is my lack of control. I can't make relevant, local job postings appear any faster. I can't guarantee when I'll be bringing in a paycheck again. And I hate that uncertainty, having to trust God that things will work themselves out the way they're supposed to.
That's all for this week. Just wanted to give you guys an update on my life. Words of encouragement, especially about how you deal with uncertainty and a lack of control, are more than welcome.