The word “No” is never an easy one to hear. As a model, you will hear the word “no” far more than you’ll hear the word “yes” in you career, and it can make it hard to stay positive when you’re hearing it so much. Unfortunately, many models give up before they even get established due to getting discouraged early on.
Constant rejection is something you’ll have to prepare yourself for if you want to be a model. Many successful models recall the beginning of their careers being difficult because of it, but they didn’t let it deter them from continuing to try again.
Over time, “no” will eventually turn into “yes”. While you continue to work towards that, learning how to turn rejection into lessons that will better you as a model (and likely as a person) in the process is the best way to keep yourself from getting too disheartened. Here are some tips for handling rejection and using it to your advantage!
Use Rejection as Fuel
Instead of getting down on yourself and dwelling on why they rejected you, refocus that energy into bettering yourself as a model. Whether it’s attending a workshop, booking a shoot for a portfolio update, or having a good chat with your agent, there are far better ways to spend your energy than thinking about your disappointment.
Don’t Take it Personally
It is not common practice for a client to explain to you why you weren't chosen, which can leave you wondering or even obsessing over the reasons why you didn’t get booked. Please don't do this! Do the best you can at an audition, forget about it, and move on if you never hear back from them.
The saying goes “You can be the juiciest peach in the whole world, and there’s still going to be someone who doesn’t like peaches”. This principle applies to modeling. If you attend a casting for an ad campaign, the casting agents may have already decided before they even met you that they are set on hiring a blonde-hair, blue-eyed model. Your brunette-haired self doesn’t stand a chance, and you don’t even know it.
You could be the prettiest face they see that day, but you don’t fit the image of what they decide they want, there isn’t much you can do. This is why you can’t take the rejection personally. It has nothing to do with who you are as a person, and it certainly doesn’t mean you aren’t cut out to be a model. What the casting agents are looking for changes from job to job, so just remember there will come a time (or many times) when you are exactly what they are looking for!
Accept Criticism Gracefully
If a client does take the time to give you any type of critique or criticism, accept it graciously, even if it’s not exactly what you wanted to hear. Never get defensive or argue with them, even if you don't agree with what they’re saying. Sometimes they may criticize you just to be catty (another reason not to take anything personally), and other times it really can be beneficial to you if you just listen and then use what they said to make improvements.
Use Every Rejection as a Learning Experience
Even if you aren’t booked from the casting call you attended, you can still get a great deal of valuable experience just from attending the casting. Pay attention to what other models are doing and see if it’s something that might be beneficial for you to learn and apply to your own career. There will always be someone there with more experience than you, so why not take the chance to learn from them? Think of it as “on the job training” and use every opportunity you can to gain more knowledge. Remember, sometimes there just isn’t anything you could have done differently or better to be booked, but that doesn’t mean it has to be time wasted.
Unfortunately, some models will take hearing “no” a few times in a row as a sign they should throw in the towel. If you think hearing "no" means you should give up your modeling career, you couldn’t be more wrong. Many of the most successful models have been through the exact same situation, and if they had given up, they never would have made it to the successful place they’re in now.
When you have a streak of rejections or miss out on a booking you really wanted, it’s really easy to just take a break from putting yourself out there or call it quits all together. The thing to remember is, while you are busy pouting about rejection, other models are busy hustling for the for the jobs you want and could be perfect for. If you really want to make it in the industry, keep your head up and know that opportunities will come your way!