Having to spend time finding clients, only to then be rejected by them, is a deflating experience. As a freelance translator, you’re probably quite familiar with receiving rejection. And whilst rejections are a normal experience for self-employed people, receiving a new one doesn’t necessarily fill you with confidence.
In this Translators Hub post we’ll offer some tips on how to handle rejection, and hopefully it’ll be helpful the next time you experience it.
Receiving word of having your pitch rejected is disheartening, and the first thing you should do is realise that it’s perfectly normal to feel this way. Simply pressing on with your work and burying your feelings might not always be the best answer, and allowing yourself some time to reflect on the rejection and feel down about it will help you to bounce back a short while later
It’s a good idea to spend time working over the reasons for your rejection in your mind. However, this can turn into a mild obsession if you’re not careful — leading you to draw conclusions that aren’t necessarily accurate! Be aware of your potential to do this when thinking about the rejection.
Everyone needs a confidant — especially people who work alone for most of the day! It’s a good idea to share your thoughts and feelings with a trustworthy person who works in the translation field too. They’ll be able to encourage you and stop you from drawing inaccurate conclusions (as above). But if you don’t know of anyone to turn to, then check out our two-part series on finding a translation mentor .
Why was your translation offer rejected? Did your potential client disagree over a translation option? Perhaps they thought you were pricing yourself too high? Ultimately, you’re the specialist when it comes to translation, so try to see how your skills distinguish you from your potential client, and take stock in your ability as a skilled professional.
If your potential client gave you specific feedback as to why they rejected your services, then try to explain things from your perspective. For example, if your client thought that your services are too expensive, then you could explain all of the work that goes into producing an outstanding translation. By drawing on your specialist knowledge (above), you may even be able to change the client’s mind!
After a short while, it’s time to get back to the job of searching for new clients. And whilst we discussed the importance of rolling with the punches, knowing when to get back on your feet again and look for new work is equally important.
If you’ve landed one successful translation contract then you’ve been proven successful. Take some time to reflect on this fact as you press onwards again. No doubt it won’t be too long before you make another success story of your own.
How have you handled rejection in the past? Do you find it hard to cope with, or are you indifferent to it? We hope that these tips will help you when you face a new client rejection. Please let us know what you think in the comments below.