I don't know a single person on the planet that likes being rejected, and I am not an exception.
When I saw a job position in customer technical support open at Webflow this Spring, I immediately applied.
Over two years ago now, Webflow had opened the world of web design to me. Before finding Webflow, I had used Squarespace, then WordPress to build websites for my customers at Soltech.
I was hardly satisfied with the results of my time and labor. After hours of tweaking designs in Squarespace, I would finally share a site with a client, only to find that they wanted a change to the design that I just couldn't deliver.
It was frustrating, so I moved to WordPress quickly which provided more customizability, but at the end of projects, I would still mostly be disappointed with the results of all my work.
Then came Webflow.
I was finally able to develop exactly what my clients requested! It took several months of playing around with the platform, and even developing two clients websites on Webflow before I felt truly comfortable with it, but after I was hooked.
I knew I was not a real web developer at that time, but it did feel wonderful to actually build custom designed websites that my customers needed and wanted. This led to a couple of years of using Webflow primarily for our web design and development services at Soltech.
Last summer, after running Soltech from Mexico for almost two years, I decided that it was time to start being more open to working at another company. It is extremely difficult running absolutely everything in your own company, especially if you want to provide exceptional service and I was starting to feel a bit burnt out of doing it all. I even threw my resume at a couple of jobs that were way over my head at Webflow and was quickly rejected.
Finally, when the Technical Support position opened up at Webflow this spring, I knew that I was the person they were looking for. Literally, I felt like I checked every single box on the job description. I submitted the resume and a few days later was invited to a first-round interview.
I was excited.
Since I did not have a bachelor's degree and had not had prior experience in anything too techy, I knew when my wife was denied entry to the United States after we got married that I would need to build my own business to provide for us while we waited on her Green Card. With that being said, I never had truly been interviewed with a tech company. Especially a company to the caliper of Webflow.
The day of the interview came, and I had lots to do that kept me busy. I was thankful because my nerves were not overly high as the time approached. Then the interview came. The lady was kind and it all felt very natural.
Finally, towards the end of the interview, the hiring manager dropped a bomb.
The job was going to pay more than 6 figures.
I was absolutely blown away. Never in my life had I made so much money. This would have been huge.
It threw me off, and I mumbled something like... "maybe I'm not the right person... No, I think I can do this!"
The whole day I was in shock. We went over and over it in our talks, my wife and I. Eventually, I came to the point where I was sure I would get the job again. "I ticked the boxes!", I thought. Two days later, the rejection email came. I was not selected.
I wasn't given too much feedback other than there were more than 600 other people that had applied for the job. I am guessing at least 100 were way more qualified than me. It was tough. I went into a few weeks of depression and feeling a bit worthless, but I kept my work going at Soltech the best I could.
Then, August came.
Webflow was hiring in tech support!
This time, they were hiring more people. These positions were not going to have as high of responsibility, so I thought that I may as well apply again.
For this job, I made it through all the interviews! The guys I met were amazing, and I felt like I could have worked with every single one of them.
Unfortunately, I was emailed the rejection a day after the last interviews. They said, "it is not a no from us, just a not right now." I can't share how incredibly painful those words were to read. At that time, my wife and I were really struggling financially, and it felt like everything that I had invested in the company was not enough.
For that job, I never got any feedback.
Through both rejections, I went through a period of grief. I was sad, angry, and finally accepted both answers as the best for us.
Now, I am so grateful for these experiences, and I want to share why.
The number one reason I am thankful that I was rejected, is because it taught me that I am not as great or wonderful as I think that I am.
Although I say that I don't like pride, I easily get caught up with thinking about myself and being rejected from these jobs has taught me that there are many other people as good or better than I am at many things, and that is ok!
Before the rejections, I did not do any interview preparation. My thought was that I wanted to be completely myself, and I did not want to be dishonest, so I thought the best way to be that is by saying what came to my mind in the interview.
Where I failed in the final interview was in the behavioral interview I believe. It was the last interview, and the questions were really hard. I had a hard time remembering certain experiences, and the ones that came to my mind were from things that happened well over 6 years ago!!
I am not who I was then, and it was not an accurate representation of who I am now.
Going forward, I have thought considerably more about the behavioral questions that they asked, and I am much more prepared to share things that will accurately portray the type of person I will be on a team.
You know when you ask a girl out like three times and they keep saying no that feeling you get? Like, "alright, I get it, I am going to move on!" That is how I kind of started feeling about Webflow. I had a crush, now it was time to move on.
Since my rejection, I have interviewed with several companies and now getting close to some offers with a couple. I may even do an internship to get more experience as a software developer. It is like the whole world of work is open and it is completely okay. I'm moving on.
The jobs I was rejected from were jobs that I could do really well, but maybe I would have gotten bored with them quickly. They may have made me a bit stagnant in my career for the long term.
Now, I am primarily applying to jobs where I will grow as a software developer.
At the end of the day, I am pretty glad I was rejected. I learned a lot about the interview process, and I found out more about myself. It was worth it, even if it didn't feel the greatest.
I would also encourage you to not give up when you are rejected like me from your dream company. Look for the ways you can grow. Eventually, we will find a place where we can make an impact in the long term.
By the way, I am still looking to join a great team. Is that team yours? If so, feel free to reach out here.