What to do when you don’t get the gig.
If you watch reality TV, you’re likely familiar with a popular dating show which always ends each weeks’ episode with a girl (or guy) who wasn’t selected being sent home instead of moving towards the ultimate goal of a marriage proposal.
The outtake shows them in the back of a limo – crushed, confused or angry (and very often in tears), explaining to the camera that there must be some mistake. The banished hopefuls had been absolutely convinced they had a strong connection, lots in common and a perfect match in every way. In other words, they were meant for each other. So what went wrong?
Have you ever aced a job interview or really clicked with a potential client only to be rejected? What went wrong when all the signs (in your mind) said you were meant to work together?
When you don’t land the gig or acquire the new client, it can be hard on the ego. But before you drive over a cliff, think about this:
- It’s a buyers’ market. Although this may have been the only job or client YOU were focused on, you were likely not their only option. There’s lots of competition.
- Something’s missing. It’s worth following up to see if there was a specific reason why you were not selected. Was it a gap in skills, lack of experience in a particular area, chemistry or some other criteria they were looking for that you didn’t have?
- Sometimes it’s money. It could be a matter of sticker price shock or a case of cold feet when it comes to committing to the cost of doing business.
- Turn the tables. Put yourself in their chair for a moment and consider the factors that may have influenced their decision. What did they hear or not hear from you that was important to them (availability, reliability, etc.) that would convince them that you would give their business the priority treatment and focus they are expecting?
Take time to evaluate feedback or unsuccessful experiences – it’s a valuable exercise that yields loads of insights and learnings. It might just lead to more ‘proposals’ in the future!