Don’t stop believin’

From time to time, you can get a little blue about the prospects. You wonder if you’ll ever be hire to write or edit anything again, ever. You apply for things day after day after day, and never hear back. And often, you apply for jobs or write proposals for projects that you’re 99 percent sure you’re never going to get.

And weirdly, those jobs you’re not even sure you’re qualified for, but are excited about anyway, are the ones you get. At least, this seems to be the theme of my freelancing life!

For example, today I got a letter notifying me that I had qualified as a supplier to write for a prominent government agency. I just happened to see the RFQ (request for qualifications) for writing services on BC Bid a few days before the deadline. I wasn’t doing much of anything at the time, so I thought, what the H—, I’ll pull a little proposal together.

I got it in on time, but never heard anything. From my previous experience writing proposals for an IT company, I knew that sometimes the evaluation process takes awhile. Still, the RFQ mentioned stuff about proponents possibly having to make an oral presentation, and I never got called to do that. But then out of the blue, I get the acceptance letter.

It’s been a similar story with all my favourite jobs in the past year. When I applied to be a Scout for Yelp.ca, I thought, I’m not cool and hip – I’m really kind of a homebody… how am I going to write 35+ reviews a week of the Vancouver’s hot spots? But I applied, and got it, and ended up writing almost 400 reviews. And when I saw a posting to proofread a huge government report, I wrote the proposal, thinking all the while, this will probably go to one of the editorial firms, or a team of people. But I got that contract too.

So maybe I didn’t totally believe in myself while going after these opportunities – but with a little time, a few qualifications, and a lot of formatting and proofreading, they’re there for the taking.

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