Ugh, so I can’t stop thinking about this side job that I was up for and didn’t get. I can’t stop thinking about why I wasn’t picked!! I am pretty sure I know who wound up getting it and now I can’t stop thinking about how I measure up to that guy and what I should be doing differently. Whatever it is, I can’t seem to let it go. HELP.

Robyn Says:

Dear ‘Why Not Me’,

Can I just tell you first of all how much I would really wish to insert a Frozen “Let it Go” gif right here?! So so tempting but JK! That’s horrible advice!

Here’s the deal – everyone gets rejected and turned down. Here’s what I would do about it:

1. Ask the company directly for feedback.


I hate when companies say “we decided to go in a different direction”. Like it’s okay – you can tell me the truth. I’m trying to learn how to be better and where I could improve my skills or improve so that I continue to evolve and grow. Press them for more information. When they give it to you you can even disagree with it to yourself. [Note again- to yourself].

2. Treat this like dating.


There’s a certain “je ne sais quoi” about companies and finding the right talent. But first, this absolutely does not apply if you feel you were discriminated against. Ex: race, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status such as disability, age, marital and family status, sexual orientation and gender identity, health status, place of residence, economic and social situation.

Know that sometimes you gotta “feel it” on both sides.

3. Feel the fire and get a win.


There’s nothing like a “no” to get you to prove others right. Go do something to make you feel good [booze, karaoke, friends, hiking, etc] and then get back in that saddle and pony up you DPM.

Let me know how it goes – but don’t just “let it go” okay?!

Ben Says:

Dear ‘Why Not Me’,

This is awkward, but maybe that guy really was going to be a better fit for the job.

You can’t be the best for everything, all the time, and that’s ok! Play to your strengths, and you’ll start winning more.

So you didn’t get that job, but if you want side jobs, is there another one that you can initiate, that’ll be a better fit for you? And if you can’t get someone to give it to you, start something yourself anyway. Whatever you do, don’t just sit and stew. Put that energy into actually creating something.


Back to being productive? Be sure to check in on that original job to see how the project is progressing and see if you can help out. Maybe ‘that guy’ screwed up! Or there are any other projects you can take on? Be a keen bean, not bitter. That way you might even learn what ‘that guy’ is doing better!

sneak and learn


Robyn Birkedal

Robyn Birkedal

I’m Robyn, a Portland, OR based digital project manager. I’ve been in the industry for the past 10 years and have produced a wide swath of digital efforts including websites, product UX/UI, digital experiences, social, and even a national broadcast spot. I hate bitmojis and pickled herring. I love memes and charcuterie. Outside of that, I’m a mom and probably the world’s most lazy crossfitter.

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