Don’t Reject Yourself By Beth Hering

“I’m absolutely perfect for that position.”

I’ve had that thought after reading a job ad more times than I can count – only to sit around waiting for an offer that never comes. Relying on landing that golden opportunity can cost a freelancer valuable income, so I’ve learned to toss my hat into many rings and not be quite as judgmental.

Case in point: Three years ago, a major company that sells baby products was starting a blog on its website to attract potential customers. It was looking for actual parents to share stories, thoughts, and advice. The problem was my “baby” was eight years old.

I figured there was little chance the employer would be interested in me since I was quite a few years removed from diaper changes and midnight feedings (thank goodness). Still, in this electronic age where it doesn’t even cost you postage to apply, I decided to give it a shot.

Turns out the hirers enjoyed the cover letter introducing myself as the mom of the boy who got in trouble when he yelled at a bunch of geese that were blocking the road and keeping his bus from returning to school following a field trip. (Too bad his teacher didn’t find his response as amusing as the editors did.) The company decided it had room for a parenting “veteran” on staff.

After roughly 1,000 blogs and lots of paychecks, I retired from “mommy blogging” in favor of writing regularly about employment topics. Again, I didn’t feel a distinct connection when reading about this freelance position, but I knew from experience that having confidence in one’s writing ability and showing others why you’d do a great job can go a long way. Put your best self forward as an applicant for any assignment that you legitimately feel you can tackle and leave rejecting duties to the employer!

Beth Hering is a freelance writer living and working in South Elgin, Ill. Her piece “The Jogging Mommy” was recently published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Runners.

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