Work Rejected? Deal With it

Perhaps the worst of feeling in the world of design is when your work is rejected. Sometimes you can begin to wonder why you were rejected and then doubt your ability. In actual fact, however, there are hundreds of factors playing part and several reasons why a client may not have chosen you. You cannot control those things which have caused them not to take you on but you can look at ways of ensuring that it will not happen because of something which you can change or control.


The client may have become upset at you, your work or your deadline keeping. You need to get feedback from your client in order to ensure that you are delivering what you perceive as good work. A tell-tale sign that this may be an issue is if long-standing clients leave you or reject your work.


If a client has left you because you were not qualified enough, then this is a better than other reasons, because at least it is something you can learn. If you are not as qualified as someone else then you must check if that qualification is genuinely something which will cost you more work in the future.

If you believe that you can be successful without changing with the times then you are mistaken. Learn those new skill sets which will benefit your ability as a designer and aid you when looking for work.


Your rate can play part in a client rejecting your work. If your rate is too high or too low then the client may not feel comfortable. This is why you must have a rate which will appeal to your clients. After working out what you want to be making per hour or per project check the market and see what your freelancer colleagues are charging.

I feel that the problem of undercharging yourself is worse than overcharging. With the advent of many freelance web designers from the third world it is much easier to find work for cheap. This is why the quality of you work now plays a larger role in nailing a job. A client will not want cheap shabby work and when you quote them a cheap rate they will expect cheap and shabby work.


You need to consider if the communication between you and the client was such that they fully understood the technicalities of the project. Take the following example of a freelancer explaining a 50% deposit and he says:

‘I will need to pay the coder something and I need 50% as deposit because that’s my policy in case it falls through and I need money for what I did’

A normal person who may not know the first thing about web design will unnecessarily get offended. A normal person who knows naught about freelancing or web design will not know what a coder is, nor will they like the fact that they have to give 50% to start with. To better communicate yourself say:

‘The deposit is 50% and this is standard policy due to the nature of the work and there must be a cash injection to get the ball rolling’

A client is more likely to understand that. Remember a client doesn’t understand what you are talking about, just as you wouldn’t understand what the doctor meant if he used his technical language.


If your work is rejected try to see the reason as to why but do not let it affect you and get you down regarding your ability. Keep trying and you will see success. Designers are an important aspect of the web world and that makes you important.

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6 Responses to Work Rejected? Deal With it

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  2. Stone Deft says:

    Sometimes it’s good to post your design templates for other designers and developers to criticize first before presenting it to the client. Sitepoint forums has a thread exactly like this.

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  5. canvas art says:

    great post, and a good message. when something doesn’t work out, I think its important not to look at it as a failure. Look at it as only as a result. Its either the result you wanted or not. keep trying until you obtain the desired result. looking at something always as a failure will make you too emotional about something. Emotion is good, but too much negative emation will block your creativity.

  6. Pingback: Work Rejected? Deal With it | Design Newz