Posts Tagged ‘job requirements’
This is how wikipedia defines freelancing:
“A freelancer, freelance worker, or freelance is somebody who is self-employed and is not committed to a particular employer long term.”
Pay attention to the “free” in the word freelancing. Freelancing is -by definition- different than a regular desk/office job. You don’t have one boss, you don’t have set working hours. You don’t typically make the same income every month.
Unfortuntely, economy is almost always tough, and many employers in the marketplace have some unreasonable demands, or just demands that resemble more of the demands of a controlling office boss.
Below are some of these unreasonable, un-freelance-like demands that I run into often:
1. Hourly pays
Some employers want to pay you hourly. While it can make sense for some writers, most freelancers like to freelance because of the freedom.
Some jobs can take you 30 minutes and some can take 4 hours. When you are expected to bill in, your performance and motivation can dramatically decrease.
Of course if you manage to snatch a writing job that pays $500/hour, by all means please take it. I know I would.
But jobs that pay $10/hour? Thanks, but no, thanks.
2. Webcam on desktop turned on
There are freelance job sites (such as odesk) and employers who request that they can see you working. It is a very odd demand, as even your ex office boss didn’t probably have a chance to watch you directly, unless you worked in a very small office.
How can you concentrate or feel liberated when you know someone can observe you anytime? Yikes.
There are many bidding job sites, such as Elance, Guru, oDesk and more.
The concept on these sites is that an employer gives you his budget and you estimate how much your time should be worth. Then you make a bid at a common denominator.
But of course the employer will be likely to choose the writer that charges less, given that the credentials are equal. This doesn’t work in the favor of the writer as the cheapest most qualified writer tends to get the job. The only benefits here is obtained by the employer.
And since most projects don’t really involve impressive budgets, these bidding sites decrease the amount of money the writer is going to make.
4. No-pay jobs and Internships
The idea behind applying to a job is to make money. Some job posters do not disclose how much they are offering. And you quickly find out that this is mostly because they don’t intend to pay at all. Under the name of internship, recognition and work-experience, you are supposed to work for free. But who is going to pay for the bills?
5. Very low pay
Some businesses ask you to turn in about 10-20 articles a week. This is doable, unless you are expected to get $5 or less for each article. Then why would you do it? You could write whatever you wanted for user-generated content sites, and maybe earn even a little more, without being obliged to write about something you don’t have control over.
I am not defending content mills blindly, but I am really opposed to taking $5/article jobs. The lowest I ever went for was $10/500 words -on a topic I could write my eyes closed. Let me put it this way: I used to talk about these topics (my favorite bands) all the time when I was in high school. No one paid me then.
If an article is going to take you a lot of time, and it is not on a subject you’d write about even for free, even $20/500 words is low.
6. Low pay, but maximum quality requirements
Some companies do offer to pay you $1-5 per article, and moreover, they demand the quality of a $50-100 article. Yes, you heard right. This is not any more rational than a guy who demands a loyal wife while he wants to be allowed to sleep with whomever he wants. These are things that should never happen!
If noones takes these jobs, no matter how desperate they are, people won’t post it. If there is no supply, how can there be demand?
7. Only employing people from certain countries
Many employers have some specific location requirements. Of course being from New York would help if you are to write New York-related articles. But if you are going to write about universal topics, such as blog traffic tips, what difference does it make if you are in New Zealand and your employer lives in Japan?
8. Only hiring people of 5 years’ experience
Some jobs go very overboard with their requirements, such as demanding multiple years of experience. While experience is a bonus, not all jobs really require that much experience. Sometimes experience is wanted only for experience’s sake alone.
I mean, if you have 5 years of experience, chances are you are not applying to jobs to get clients. Clients are contacting to hire you.
9. Phone calls and face-to-face interviews
One of the most appealing things about freelancing in the 21st Century is that you can handle anything via an internet connection and a laptop.
However some editors like to treat their freelance writers as they are office-bound, or as if freelancers need to live nearby. While it might be helpful on some occasions, having to meet/see your employers is something you did frequently when you weren’t freelancing.
I’m not opposed to the occasional skype conferencing, but commuting to offices? It wouldn’t work unless you lived close to where the hiring company is located. Remember one of the most attractive things about freelancing versus office jobs: Eliminating commute!!!!
10. Revenue-sharing job ads
Many internet writers take advantage of revenue sharing sites such as Factoidz. I did. I actually still do. It is fun to get paid while I do article marketing and link-building.
However when I am searching for writing gigs, I don’t want to run into ads of a million sites who only pay according to your adsense earnings. There are already many websites that work in that fashion. If I were satisfied with their paychecks, I’d write for them only. After all, nothing hardly beats the freedom of writing about whatever you want.
11. Job ads of sites already famous for revenue sharing such as Hubpages and Suite 101
It might be a blessing for newbies to find out about as many revenue-sharing sites as they can but for a more seasoned web-writer, it becomes old and boring news. Because chances are you already checked out Hubpages or Suite 101 ages ago and you are either writing for them or you aren’t.
I really don’t want to see their ads on my favorite job-hunting sites!
What writing job requirements do you find against freelance nature? Do you agree with any of these 11 pet peeves of mine? What are yours?
So you are a writer. When you mention this to others, they usually either picture you unemployed, or they think you’re working on your novel. But when it comes to making money from writing, novels are usually only a small part of the picture.
Usually selling non-fiction articles, as well as blog posts, is far more lucrative fo writers. So there’s a lot of query-writing, pitching to magazines and well, until you have built an impressive portfolio, applying to job ads.
Appling to writing job ads is mostly not any different from applying to any other job, whatever the industry. I should know; my non-writing experience includes 3 internships (one PR firm, one advertising firm & Coca Cola), 1 office job (consultancy) and a freelance translation gig.
I survived many interviews, applications and CV-writing. I also observed my friends’ job-hunting processes and listened to their (horror) stories. Since we all have friends and acquaintances with different degrees and qualifications, it becomes very easy to study the job-hunting process on a multi-industrial or even a universal basis. Now that I’m writing for a living, things aren’t as different as some mighjt think:
Similarities – Job Hunting for Writers and Non-Writers
- The job hunter selects the job-posting websites that appeals to him most. Sites like Monster or Linkedin are great for career management. Not to mention, each country has its own sites where job ads are posted. It is no different with the writing industry.
- Many job posters reply very late. When you are not hired, most of the time the editors/business owners don’t take the time to contact you to say you weren’t hired.
One of my friends had an interview at this big toy manufacturing company. The next day, he was contacted through a very sincere and personalized e-mail that they were unable to hire him. He was over the moon. Yes, he didn’t get the job but it was very refreshing that interviewers respected his time and goals.
- Even when you are hired, there is a chance they returned your email weeks, if not months, later. By the time they do, you are probably wrapped up in other projects or there is a good chance you don’t even remember you applied to that specific ad. It happened to me with writing jobs, also jobs in advertising jobs, business, marketing and public relations.
- They offer a lot less than they ask for. All employers want the perfect employee. While this makes sense at a certain level, it is fairly unfair and I’ll dare say unprofessional when the employer himself couldn’t be further from perfect.
Think about it. Everyone wants the perfect candidate: Best schools, years of experience, outstanding portfolio…. Yet they rarely offer the perfect working hours, paycheck or the working environment. How many times did you come across very selective and highly demanding writing job requirements only to find out they are offering only $10 per article?
- Your happiness is the least of their concerns. Unfortunately this is most often the case. You live to make your boss/supervisor/manager/editor happy. It seems like people often forget that happy employees are more productive and successful.
- You usually need to wait for at the end of the payment period to see if they really pay. No matter how we much we ask around and google the company, we can’t always be sure the payment will appear in our bank accounts. Sometimes the firm is too small or new for us to acquire their “credentials” and reputations. And sometimes we just want or need the job so badly that we take our chances.
- Some ads have requirements that are totally hypocritical or plain irrational, like wanting writers only from certain countries (with the few exceptions. A Chicago lifestyle writer has to be from Chicago. We have no objections to that). Some expect you to give you sample of work when they haven’t even offered the pay rate and/or the name of the company. Or some expect you to be a blogger with a blog –ranked 3 or 4 on Google and offering you 10/15$ a piece. If I have that page rank, I won’t bother with that pay rate.
Talking about other industries, I used to work at an education consultancy firm where was paid about $900/month and was expected to work on Saturdays as well.
But my favorite pet peeve is when I was one time interviewed by a public relations agency. The woman wanted me to work for 3 months for free, as a trial period. I said no.
- You need a customized CV. Not all of your experiences or hoobies are relevant to any give job. You need to higlight different areas. Applying to Coca-Cola may require a different resume than applying to Nike. The same goes for writing.
How familiar has these sounded to you? You have probably been there, done that. Job-hunting is rarely fun for anyone, although there have been some exceptions. What’s your industry? What are your experiences?