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Freelance Work For Possible Future Employer

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  • Freelance Work For Possible Future Employer

    Hi Everyone!

    I am new to these forums and I was hoping to get a few opinions on the situation I have found myself in...any and all advice is appreciated.

    I quite my comfy in-house design job last year and moved across the company to be closer to my family. While searching for another fulltime position, I started offering freelance service. Recently, I completed an interview with a company, and then was asked to complete a task. After I completed the task, they informed me that my work was excellent but they weren't looking for the high level of detail and the position they were looking to fill required fast turnaround. But, since they were impressed with my abilities they asked if I would be interested in completing freelance work for them until they can afford to bring me in fulltime. Since I could use the work, I let them know that I would be happy to move forward designing for them as a freelancer and I provided them with my hourly rates (between $XX-YY per hour).

    After not hearing back for almost a month, I recently received an email with a request to complete a logo for the company. After a few emails back and forth about the concept I would be designing for, In order to gauge the rate I would charge, I asked what their timeline expectations were. Their response made my eye twitch...

    "ASAP, Iím eager to get things rolling, feel free to show me early ideas/comps so we can have a rapid feedback loop"

    Granted we have yet to discuss the rate at which I am charging, I am inclined to charge top dollar for multiple reasons besides the fact that they are requiring fast turn around and attentiveness. There is also no contract or work request in place, which rubs me the wrong way. So, my questions is...How do I navigate around this situation gracefully so that I don't ruin my chances of becoming a full time employee, all while protecting myself and getting what I deserve?

    So there it is...like I said, any and all advice would be appreciated. Thanks!


  • #2
    I'll suggest getting the arrangement for payment and expectations in order before starting anything. For example, establishing a pay rate, getting a contract signed and those sorts of things are, well, sort of important. If you don't, you could easily be setting yourself up for a mess.

    The way to approach that is in a direct, friendly, matter-of-fact way that makes it seem like what you're asking is just part of the standard, routine stuff that happens before starting any freelance job. For example, something with the tone of, "This is fantastic. I'm really exciting about the chance working with you. First, though, let's get some details out of the way so I can move ahead as quickly as possible....."

    If they hesitate, balk or otherwise seem reluctant, you'll need to play it by ear while keeping it upbeat and friendly without backing away from that contractual agreement that ensures you'll be paid for the work you do. If they're not willing to engage you in good faith on a totally reasonable and expected request, it'll send a strong signal that you're not dealing with straight shooters and that you've saved yourself from a whole lot of frustration and headaches.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Biomadd View Post
      How do I navigate around this situation gracefully...?
      Grace is in the eye of the beholder, and you can't control their perception of your actions, so the best thing to do is act like a professional. Go back at them quickly, with authority, and with a thorough, competent contract specific to their logo job. Have your shit together and exude confidence.

      Your position as a prospective employee does seem to weaken your position as a vendor, but you shouldn't let them detect your awareness of that. There are too many people in business who will take advantage of you in that situation, so if you give them that leverage and it gets used against you, it will be your own fault. Stick to your standards and go at it as though you couldn't care less whether they hire you.
      I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.

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      • #4
        ^^^^ Yes!

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        • #5
          Hi Biomadd and welcome to GDF.

          We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.
          Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

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