When I was a young freelancer straight out of college, I would take any work that was given to me. I was GRATEFUL for any opportunity to come my way. I was into writing, so a lot of jobs required writing samples to be completed before being considered for the role. I mean, if you think about it, a writing sample is definitely needed. How else is the employer going to know it’s your work? You can send in an already written writing sample that was completed by your roommate’s girlfriend. You just never know. I would see 300 words, then 500 words; not terrible. Then sometimes there would be personality tests, or strategies or 10,000 scenarios in which you need to answer about how you would handle a certain situation.
As a recent college grad, you start to have thoughts that maybe this isn’t worth it, to complete these tasks anytime you wanted to pick up a freelance gig. It’s SO much. So then you get sick of it, and apply to a full-time position, where you’ll have to maybe do it once and then you’re set.
That’s one of the main reasons I got into full-time work. I was tired of the questioning. CONSTANTLY questioning someone on their ability to be able to do the job can be draining. But then again, I can see the other side….
Hiring, even freelancers, is not cheap or easy. Especially for small businesses who have such a small budget. They simply can’t afford the time to continue looking for people or the money to hire sloppy people.
So I do GET IT. But there is definitely a fine line between testing whether someone is a good fit and receiving free work.
God bless my recent graduate soul, but by my recollection, I did a lot of free work. I just felt like that was the way it was SUPPOSED to be. My spirituality has now told me the opposite; stand up for what you believe is right (aka YOUR TRUTH).
So now that I am back into the multiple income sources next step of my life, I have been able to recognize an injustice. In fact, just two weeks ago I had a situation.
I responded to an ad for a social media manager and blog writer for a small business owner in Brooklyn. She called me in for an interview, and honestly it was quite pleasant. She had started her own marketing company after years of working in the marketing departments of non-profits. Not surprisingly, her clients are small non-profits trying to get their name out there. Basically her work was super appealing to me and I felt a connection to her passion for this type of work.
A few days after the interview I had received an email asking me to come up with a social strategy, calendar, and sample blog post for three clients. It took me by shock, but I sucked it up, sent her a basic proposal, one that I do with all my clients, and truly believed this would satisfy her.
She wanted it more detailed, and specific, and basically a whole one month strategy plan. This clearly would take a whole day’s work and CLEARLY a request for free work.
How could this compassionate woman be trying to get one over on me right now? Da fuck? It came out of nowhere, ESPECIALLY since she said the next steps were more interviews and then she was making her decisions. THE BETRAYAL.
Alright, I may be being dramatic here, but none the less, I sent her an email explaining to her that would be a full day’s work, and in corporate companies, they would PAY someone to come up with that strategy. I wished her well, she reciprocated, and we went our separate ways. But something tells me she got a college grad to happily do this work for her….
This is only an assumption I can make. But at the end of the day, you don’t want that type of client anyway. You want clients that make you FEEL good and respect your time and talent. Don’t ever forget that.
You are valuable, don't ever forget it! Can I get a HECK YES?!