Let me get to the point and break some myths people harbour about all freelancers. If you are thinking of hiring the services of one, it is most important that you read these! What I am about to list isn’t new but needs to be said again and again because of lack of acceptance and understanding.
1. Freelancers work for free. Whatever we freelance in, all of us who do, have been through stages of selling our work for free – some unwillingly and some regretfully. From getting people’s resumes (re)written, to content for their work website created, to even thesis paper being edited and proof read – I have done all this for free. Every freelancer has such shameless friends and family, that’s how life tests us. It had to stop, and has. I am now considered rude and arrogant, but so be it. You need my services because you can’t do it yourself. So, pay up. When I need your services, I will too.
2. Freelancers have flexible work hours. Errm…No. We might not have to clock in our presence inside an office, but, we work long hours too. And this might come as a shocker to most, we work more than what 9 to 5-ers do! I have clocked in up to 18 hours too, and not just once or twice! But that had happened only because I wanted to and will never happen because client wants me to. Most of us have set work hours and are strict about them.
3. Freelancing isn’t quite like an office job. Of course. It isn’t. ‘Coz we don’t get time to indulge in office politics, office affairs and lengthy meetings in conference rooms. We work at all those times. We pack in more in eight hours, believe me.
4. Freelancing is cool, ghar baithe paise kamao. We work our asses off. We work through our teeth. To earn what you full timers earn, we, at times need to do triple the amount of work at least in the beginning. You know why? Because, people like you, don’t pay freelancers what they deserve. And if it was really so cool, you’d be doing it too.
5. Freelancers are money minded, they quote unrealistic amounts. And you aren’t? You think we haven’t seen you haggle for raises after every appraisal? We give back an end product – a product which you and your bosses cannot create. So why can we not demand our worth? Bargaining, when you are demanding a quality output, is pretty uncool. Pay up, if it is quality work that you desire.
6. Freelancers are their own bosses. Nobody is their own boss unless they own the mint. As long as someone is paying us, they are our bosses. With multiple projects running, we deal with multiple bosses. Can you imagine the kind of drama we deal with, now?
7. Freelancers are so lucky, pursuing what they love doing. And, who stopped you from doing the same? It takes guts (and some financial security) along with immense faith in own capabilities to let go of regular salary and freelance.
8. Freelancers work in ideal conditions. You should start noticing more, you know. Look at the photographer standing in the sun, while you pose in the shade. Look at the editor editing your book all through the day and the night, so that you can be a famous author. Look at the painter straining her neck, while running a high temperature, so that you get the painting you ordered, in time for your house warming. See them? Try to, next time.
10. Freelancers need a website. Maybe. But it’s not a prerequisite. I got mine after five years of being in the business, that too on a whim. A fancy website doesn’t guarantee steady inflow of good projects. Most people I know are doing pretty decent with a blog and facebook page.
Disclaimer: There are more points, trust me. But first, try understanding these ten? Thank you!