The other week I was dropped from a hold at my freelance job. This happens all the time – jobs cancel, dates get moved around… no big deal. But then I came in to the studio and overheard them talking about the job still. I realized that it was still happening… I was kicked off of it. So of course I was pissed off, kindof hurt even, racking my brain to figure out what I did wrong. Was I doing a bad job as a photo assistant? Did I forget to clean something, or say something wrong in front of a client? I was stressing out.
Finally, I just asked the studio manager. She said “The client just didn’t like you the last time”. Wait. What do you mean? Everybody likes me? I’m nice, friendly, make conversation but not too much conversation, and I work hard. But no. He didn’t like me and didn’t want me on the next job. Eventually I stopped kicking myself. You can’t please everyone. Maybe he didn’t like that I made conversation with him, maybe he thought I should just shut up and do my job and only speak when he spoke to me. And I’ll never know.
The moral of the story here is not a moral at all, just a reminder: You can’t control whether people like you, but you can always do your best. I have gotten more jobs just from being a cool nice person than I ever have by having a good resume. People hire their friends, they want to like who they work with. Work hard, but don’t forget to be a real person at your job, too. And if they still don’t like you? Well, I did my best.