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HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU BE SHOT DOWN?

Postby nadampel » March 30th, 2018, 12:39 pm


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Alright, just got shot down again from a dream job. I'm talented, have real-world experience and am a hard-worker. going over my portfolio isn't going to do jack, as I have that about as polished as it's going to get. I just want to know something....even though I have a decent job in a crap-hole town, should I just give up on design? I'm kinda tempted right now, but I'm not sure what I would do.

I'm just really fed up with this. I should feel fortunate for the position I have, but the town sucks and I hate living here. It's AMAZING how bad it is here. I'm sick of the elitest attitude that most design firms have, and even most designers act this way (whoohoo, look at me, I'm from Art Center, blah blah blah)

I'm just blowing off some steam. Very peeved right now and sort of lost for direction. Maybe a professional athlete? Nope, suck at that too.

Re: HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU BE SHOT DOWN?

Postby AVClub » March 30th, 2018, 9:24 pm


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I can think of four main aspects that would be looked at when making a hiring decision. Portfolio, experience, personality, and fit within the company.

Portfolio - You made the comment that your portfolio can't get any better (I've not known many designers who have said that, so congrats) so there's obviously no way to improve on that, or at least no willingness to. Maybe it would help to post your portfolio on here to get feedback? Maybe there's something you're missing that someone will pick up and its an easy fix, you never know.
Experience - Is the real world experience you talk of the same thing the company is looking for? Does it align with the position?
Fit within the company + Personality - Maybe this is a good thing, if you thought they were so elitist, why would you want to work for someone like that? Also, your personality could be great, but not necessarily one that jives well with the team, which is important.

You have to remember that you HAVE a job. There a tons of extremely talented designers who would probably be very happy with that job. Use this time to get better and just keep trying. If you're truly passionate about design, then I wouldn't give up if I were you.

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Exactly, be thankful at first that you have a job in the field.
Second, maybe the other firms simply seem elitist to you. In case they are, there can be a reason that they are - the least what you can do is 'cope' with it and focus on other aspects besides those that irritate you.
Let us see your portfolio so we can give you a better point of view.
http://www.designsoul.nl
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Re: HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU BE SHOT DOWN?

Postby frdiby » April 2nd, 2018, 12:13 pm

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Screw the dream job, they don't know what you are worth. Only you know that, and you can keep designing awesome products no matter where you are in the world. Keep designing, we need good design in the world and we need people who are not afraid to be creative. Do your best to communicate your value, but don't base your value on what others think. Peace.

Re: HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU BE SHOT DOWN?

Postby yo » April 2nd, 2018, 12:55 pm

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A little tough love, we have all been there.

When I graduated I was rejected by almost every big firm I applied to. I was rejected by Nike 4 years before they recruited me. Another 4 years after that I became one of the youngest directors there. After working for a good firm, and for one of the biggest brands in the world I applied to a creative director role at frog... only to get a pretty nasty rejection email... 3 months later they recruited me. After I negotiated a nice pay raise and move package for myself and signed the offer letter I told them to check their HR database to see that they had previously rejected me. I thanked them because them recruiting me is what allowed me to negotiate a better salary. I did the to explain that I wanted a new recruitment process in place for when I hired people, and I worked with HR as a friendly partner to make that happen.

Pick yourself back up and keep at it. It isn't the first time you have been rejected and it damn well won't be the last. If you want to give up, that's on you. Your portfolio is 1/3 of the battle, your attitude is another 1/3, being at the right place at the right time (luck) is the last 1/3. You can't control the luck bit, but you can be ready for it with solid work and a great attitude. I'm not saying to be grateful for scraps. It is good to aspire, to be ambitious, to push, but you have to be someone people want to work with. Venting through a public statement does not reflect that. We've all been there. I find it best to call up an old classmate or colleague and do that over a beer and then figure out what I'm going to do next and move on.

Running my own firm I get rejected all the time. Our budget is too high, our portfolio isn't quite right, the CEO has a buddy he wants to use... whatever the reason, it's totally fine. I turn down work all the time as well for all kinds of reasons (their budget isn't high enough, it isn't an industry or project I want our brand associated with, it just doesn't seem like the right personality fit and I don't want to drag us through that...). It is just business. Conditions could change in 3 weeks and it might be the right fit, you never know.

I know it can be hard when you get a few of these in a row, and I know this is easy to type but hard to live by, try not to take it personally. It might have nothing to do with you. I got rejected from a job at Adidas right out of school because it was down to me an another guy and the other guy played baseball in college... that was the reason I was given. I can't go back in time and devote less time to my design studies and play sports, nor would I, so it just wan't the right thing for me. 6 years later I was designing a shoe with Derek Jeter... keep moving forward.

My attitude has always been, if you fall flat on your face, at least you're moving forward. All you have to do is get back up and try again. Richard Branson

Re: HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU BE SHOT DOWN?

Postby iab » April 2nd, 2018, 1:22 pm


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As many times until I'm not shot down.

Been that story for everything I have done in life.

Should it be different than that?

Re: HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU BE SHOT DOWN?

Postby AVClub » April 2nd, 2018, 2:08 pm


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Also, this subject shows up on the core77 main page for me as "HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU BE SHOT" which is also an interesting topic :lol:

Re: HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU BE SHOT DOWN?

Postby singletrack » April 2nd, 2018, 2:32 pm


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Without full context of your difficulties, it is hard to make a call on this. But my experiences says that when change is ready to happen it will. So you got rejected, if you have an industry job now you were very likely rejected a few too many times before. So why so frustrated at this time?

You obviously don't like whatever situations you are in now. So I would start with that, I would look at my situation figure out what I don't like and also understand what I can and can not fix. No reason to dwell on a point you have no control over. As mentioned above there are 3 things you have control over Portfolio/how you present your work, You, and who and what you know which directly relates to creating luck or being at the right place at the right time. You have rejected one aspect by saying your portfolio is perfect, I would think unlikely but that is at least your thought. So now you have two more options for things you can control. I would work on those. Getting rejected to Yo's point really means nothing. It is just as likely they will call you back because they changed their minds as it is that you will never hear from them. For the most part, it all comes down to timing. The best thing for timing is lots of opportunities. So keep plugging away you will eventually realize whatever goal it is you are trying to reach.

Re: HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU BE SHOT DOWN?

Postby Cyberdemon » April 2nd, 2018, 2:55 pm

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Sometimes your dreams need to get crushed a few times to build you into a stronger person. Life is hard and most of us have been there.

If you're sick of living in an area and aren't saddled with mortgage payments, crippling debt or a family then maybe it's time to pick up and move. Go where you want to be and figure out what you need to do to make a living. If you hate where you are, and what you're doing, and then get tied down in that situation you'll regret it more than moving to another city and taking a job at 1/3rd your salary just to start back up somewhere else.

I have friends that just picked up and moved, might have taken them a few months but they knew the market was better where they were going and got new gigs.

Re: HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU BE SHOT DOWN?

Postby mas » April 2nd, 2018, 9:44 pm


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nadampel wrote:Alright, just got shot down again from a dream job. I'm talented, have real-world experience and am a hard-worker.


Have you asked them why they didn't hire you?
I know it's awkward and the last thing you might want to do but it might be a good thing to just ask to have a chat with someone from there to get their perspective why the other person was better. It also means if another job comes up there in a year or 2 you can go back and say "hey you didn't hire me last time because of X and so i have been working on X".

Re: HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU BE SHOT DOWN?

Postby Cyberdemon » April 3rd, 2018, 9:31 am

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mas wrote:
nadampel wrote:Alright, just got shot down again from a dream job. I'm talented, have real-world experience and am a hard-worker.


Have you asked them why they didn't hire you?
I know it's awkward and the last thing you might want to do but it might be a good thing to just ask to have a chat with someone from there to get their perspective why the other person was better. It also means if another job comes up there in a year or 2 you can go back and say "hey you didn't hire me last time because of X and so i have been working on X".


This has come up a few times in other threads, but as a hiring manager I wouldn't provide this feedback to a candidate. The industry standard response is "Sorry we found someone who is a better fit" because you wind up in 2 scenarios.

1 - You didn't hire the person because they were unqualified. You can tell them "We didn't hire you because your sketching and form skills are poor" and some people might take that to heart, but other people will take that feedback as "Well I didn't show you this awesome organic thing I'm working on" or "well I think your corporate design language sucks". In general, skills can be learned, and that often isn't the reason you were hired.

2 - There were a variety of other external factors that no one will be comfortable discussing. You had a crappy attitude, you were asking too much money, you don't demonstrate a clear work ethic or ability to solve problems, etc.

If you want feedback on your skills as a designer, I suggest using portfolio reviews at IDSA conferences or on the forums as a great way of getting unsolicited feedback from strangers who don't have a horse in the game, or who are looking for new talent. If you want feedback on your other soft skills, it could be worth talking to former colleagues to get their perspective.

Sometimes though you might be a great designer and could be a great fit and the employer is just going to go another direction, right or wrong. It's worth reflecting to see what you might have done better, but not worth it to beat yourself up because many times there might be factors beyond your control.

Re: HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU BE SHOT DOWN?

Postby GruvDesign » April 5th, 2018, 9:27 am


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You mentioned your location sucks. Fix that. Yeah, I know you have a job, but if you're in a shitty location, it's basically impossible to get a job without applying in person and meeting people face to face. Yo brought up all these big names, and once you get some of those bigger names it has a snowball effect on your career. And NONE of those big names are in the flat, desolate shithole of the midwest. I hate it here. I hate my life here. It's flat, it's cold, there is nothign interesting to do in a 12 hour driving radius, it's boring, it's conservative, it fucking sucks but I have a good job so I'm here for now. I cannot wait to get the fuck out of here. Fuck this place.

Re: HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU BE SHOT DOWN?

Postby AVClub » April 5th, 2018, 12:46 pm


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GruvDesign wrote:You mentioned your location sucks. Fix that. Yeah, I know you have a job, but if you're in a shitty location, it's basically impossible to get a job without applying in person and meeting people face to face. Yo brought up all these big names, and once you get some of those bigger names it has a snowball effect on your career. And NONE of those big names are in the flat, desolate shithole of the midwest. I hate it here. I hate my life here. It's flat, it's cold, there is nothign interesting to do in a 12 hour driving radius, it's boring, it's conservative, it fucking sucks but I have a good job so I'm here for now. I cannot wait to get the fuck out of here. Fuck this place.


Not sure where you're located but there are plenty of big names in the midwest, and depending where you are, not flat, desolate, or boring.

Re: HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU BE SHOT DOWN?

Postby GruvDesign » April 5th, 2018, 4:37 pm


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AVClub wrote:
GruvDesign wrote:You mentioned your location sucks. Fix that. Yeah, I know you have a job, but if you're in a shitty location, it's basically impossible to get a job without applying in person and meeting people face to face. Yo brought up all these big names, and once you get some of those bigger names it has a snowball effect on your career. And NONE of those big names are in the flat, desolate shithole of the midwest. I hate it here. I hate my life here. It's flat, it's cold, there is nothign interesting to do in a 12 hour driving radius, it's boring, it's conservative, it fucking sucks but I have a good job so I'm here for now. I cannot wait to get the fuck out of here. Fuck this place.


Not sure where you're located but there are plenty of big names in the midwest, and depending where you are, not flat, desolate, or boring.


Yup, lots of opportunities, no doubt. But sorry, it is flat desolate and boring. On a weekend trip, would you like to go on a nice road trip to amazing locations like Illinois? Iowa? Wisconsin? Indiana? Nebraska? Ohio? Kansas? You will see amazing, incredible things, like cornfields and.... more cornfields!

Fuck this place.

Re: HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU BE SHOT DOWN?

Postby yo » April 5th, 2018, 5:56 pm

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Sounds like you need a long drive out to Madison,WI this weekend to chill out :-) I love that town. Of course I went in the summer when it was warm...

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