Rejected Not A Reject
A good deal of time has passed since I last posted to this blog. I wish I could say the reason I’ve been so remiss is because I found a fantastic job, and I’m going to work every day; however, that is not the case. I’ve come to realize, I’m at an awkward age, to young to retire, and to old for someone to hire. HR people don’t know what to do with me and are torn.
I wish I could accurately illustrate the expression on the interviewer’s faces’ when I show up for an interview. You can literally see the play of emotions on their faces and in their carriage. It’s as if they want to say, “I never thought you were this old” and “I wonder how quickly I can get you out of here?” Talk about an alternate universe.
Years ago when I was coming up, I was regularly overlooked for positions because I didn’t have enough experience. I needed experience to get a job, but no one would hire me so I could get experience. Now that I have the hard won experience and knowledge under my belt, I’m overlooked again, but this time for other reasons, namely age
I had some amazing mentors early in my career. They taught me things that you never learn in school. They always told me, “Monica, the experience you get now will be your professional nest egg later in your career.” Unfortunately, that has turned out not to be true. There is one thing that is true in my upside down world, and that is I no longer have to “fake it”. I actually “know it” now.
Let’s face it the likelihood of being hired by any company, as a full time employee is pretty slim. You know you have a problem when AARP didn’t hire you. I know this may sound bitter to some but I’m not ashamed to admit that’s a tough pill to swallow. All this ongoing rejection has taken a toll on my self-esteem and forced me to look at my skills and experience through a new lens. Let’s face it; self-examination is meant to be humbling. After much reflection, I decided not to allow others to dictate my worth any more. Hell, I’ve got a lot to offer. I don’t make stupid mistakes any more and I know how to get a job done. I’m confident there are companies/organizations out there that would benefit from the services of a seasoned design professional on a project-by-project basis. Using that as my premise I’ve decided to throw myself into building a design business.
This decision is not a big surprise to my close friends. These people have given me encouragement, a hand up, and work. (You know who you are, and I am grateful.) Without you I would have just continued to wallow until, who knows when.
Until recently this business concept has been more of a loosey goosey, catch as catch can, sort of thing. No real marketing just what fell into my lap. That will and has changed. I’m putting myself out there. Even now I have a project and I’m feeling good about it and myself. I’ll need to learn to toughen up my outer shell and prepare for the emotional ups and downs. I’ll still get rejected but now it will be on my terms.
There are those that may say this is distinction without a difference. I say it’s enough of a difference to allow me to look in the mirror and feel good about what I’m doing in my life.