We’ve all heard that right? When someone dumps you. Or when you dump someone.
If only in the corporate world, it were just as simple as a break up (NOT). Instead you get to the date (the interview/audition) thinking it went fantastic, to find that they have ghosted you (or rejected you through an email). So how do we get through this phenomenon of rejection that comes with trying to land a job?
From someone who has been rejected from countless amount of modelling agencies, acting agencies, and acting jobs it just so happens that I can name me the QUEEN of being rejected (by a job) and would happily pass on my wisdom on how to move on after being dumped and how to press on to getting your dream job.
How to get over being dumped.
1) Realise it is not a personal attack on you (and your ego) –
The person that ended up getting the job over you may have been a sister or daughter of a person on the board or of the casting director. The job can also be completely due to the fact that they visualised someone tall, skinny and blonde instead of tall, dark and asian. You may have looked like their ex-girlfriend. You may remind them of somebody they hated in high school. You may be in another country and they didn’t have the funds to fly/accomodate you. Either way, the person that they chose to cast or put in that role may be completely something unrelated to you and completely related to them. Its them and not you.
I remember being turned down by multiple modelling agencies. (Mannnyyy years ago) Their rejection letter went along the lines of this, “You have a beautiful face and we would love to have put you on our books. Unfortunately there is not much work for asian models right now, and we have one asian model that we currently have on our books that we put forward. We wish you the best for the future and hope you apply to other modelling agencies.”
And it was true. Back in the day there wasn’t enough work. There wasn’t many people wanting asian models. It’s not their fault they couldn’t guarantee me work. So even if they wanted to get me work, there wasn’t anything there for me. You feel me? It wasn’t personal.
2) Realise that there are plenty of fish in the sea –
I used to think that there was only that ONE role out there for me. And if I didn’t get that ONE role, I’d be devastated. 5 years on into my acting career, I realised that my mind was playing tricks on me and actually there was a lot of work out there. I just put this unrealistic expectation on me that I had to get THAT specific job, right NOW, or else I’m a failure. Just because I didn’t get that role (which most of the time is completely out of my hands), didn’t mean that I wouldn’t get the next role.
Keep on pressing forward. Keep on emailing more agents. Keep on applying for those business roles. Keep on auditioning for those acting roles. Every “no” is one step closer to a “yes.” Fact, it’s statistics.
3) Keep on working on refining your craft and your goals. (Be specific)
Spend the time that you do have (either unemployed or when you don’t have that dream job) to keep on up-skilling and refining your work. Getting the job is one thing, doing a good job in that role is another thing. And when you are in that position, try to be as prepared as you can be. I remember when I first started acting (real greeennnn, I know), I wanted to be famous NOW. Few years into hustling and bustling, I finally got “Dead Lucky” as Mary Ho, I realised I had focused so much on “getting” the job rather than doing a good job. Those years, months leading up to it, I probably could’ve worked more on my voice, body and different acting skills to make me more prepared.
But that didn’t mean I still wasn’t perfect or right for the role. All I mean is that, it never hurts to use your time to keep on doing courses and investing in your craft as it’ll never go to waste. Even though you may be unemployed for an X amount of time, all that training, hard-work you do in between may make you immediately fit for a pay rise! WOOHOO!
4) Understand that person who got the role was more perfect for it than you were.
As something as small as the acting industry, I realise that everybody knows everyone. And when I first started acting, there was this resentment and entitlement that I deserved this role despite maybe not having the qualifications or even something as simple as “the look” the producers were going for. What really changed my mindset was actually evaluating who got the job and seeing what they did differently to you. And learn from it. I actually really love watching actors who ended up getting the role over me, as I love to see what the vision the directors/producers had in mind. And the more I realised how extremely different we all are as people, and how cool the how flavour of a show( or work environment) can change from someone’s energy/personality and even look.
I had recently been cast in show, and I knew two guys that were shortlisted for the leads. One was a handsome blonde hair and blue eyes, very charimatic and energetic. The other guy was the complete opposite: Dark brown hair, Blue eyes, more serious and mysterious. Both sexy looking and extremely talented. But one just went with the vision of the show more than the other. Neither of them were bad actors. Just one went with the vision of the role that they were casting from.
It makes you wonder, the one who that has the power to hire you has a specific vision and you either fit their pre-disposed vision or not. Again, it’s them not you.
6) Know that God’s dreams are bigger than yours
Same as a relationship. Same as certain things in your life. NEVER settle. You spend the majority of your life working. 8 hours a day, 5 times a week, for 52 weeks in a year. Thats a lot of hours to be spending in a job that you absolutely hate. So please don’t just settle. At least do something that makes you fire with passion. And I know if you are struggling financially then that’s a different story but also be realistic. Is it worth you taking on a job that you potentially get stuck in for years? At least give it a few more times before you throw in the towel.
I remember when I was 15 I wanted to do modelling. I didn’t pursue it because I thought I was too fat. When I was 19, I still wanted to model, but I thought I was too old. Plus multiple modelling agencies rejected me. AT 23, I finally did modelling because I didn’t want to be 40 and regretting a decision just because of a few people saying no. And that modelling job was never supposed to be forever, but it lead me to acting, which lead me to way more rejections but also acting roles that I never would’ve thought I would’ve done in a million years.
So rejection is the process. But it may just mean, “not this one” or “not now” as maybe God has bigger and dreams for your career than you could have possibly have imagined. But it takes baby steps, it takes trusting that he has it for you, it takes a few ‘nos’ and closed doors for a really awesome ‘yes’. And when you get it, it will fully show that it was all through God and nothing through you.
In hindsight, you might realise that you couldn’t get that specific job that you wanted, because God knows that work environment was toxic, that contract might have been wayyyyy to long that would’ve put you out of other amazing job opportunites, or he might’ve you wanted you somewhere specifically because you had to meet someone special there. Who knows!
You might be under-qualified, you may not suit the brief (even physically) but by some miracle, God’s favor and will, you’ll land that awesome job and it’ll be all worth it.
So keep on trusting God during your job seeking adventure. Trust that he has your back!
So keep on swimming. And remember “it’s them, it’s not you.”