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Archive for the ‘getting hired’ Category

Make Sure You Get Paid

In freelance, freelance copywriter, getting hired on September 3, 2012 at 2:48 am


For a long time, I used to get a project from a new client, give them my quote, work on the project and then wait for payment. Sometimes I would request a retainer fee, which was 50% of the full payment, and/or have the client sign a written quote before I started. Unfortunately, I was pretty slack about that and trusted clients (even those I had no connection to) to pay me for my time.

I learned the hard way, why people need to do things like require a retainer fee to protect themselves from getting jipped. On Tuesday, May 8th, I received a call from Carolina Puig from CPL Graphic Design Solutions requesting that I do a proofreading project. She needed the project to be proofread and revised by that Thursday. I agreed, quoted her and got to work. On May 10th, I sent her the revised document via email and we discussed parts of it on the phone.

On Friday, May 11th, I received the following email from the client at 4:39PM:

“STOP the project!!!!!! please. Client want to do this by themselves!

PLease let me know what I have to do now.
Thank you so much.”

Ummm…really? Because I already finished it for them yesterday so I’m not sure what they are going to “do.”
I wrote back and told her that she can either pay me via check or paypal – whichever was best for her. She asked for a formal invoice and I sent one. Then…I never heard back.

I followed up on May 29th with the following email:
“Just wanted to confirm you received the invoice I sent a couple of weeks ago.
Thank you!”

No response. I sent another on June 3rd:
“Just wanted to follow up because I haven’t heard back from you. Please confirm receipt of my invoice.
Thank you.”

On June 10th:
“Just following up. Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or concerns about my invoice.
Thank you.”

On July 2nd:
“I have not heard back from you regarding payment for the proofreading project that I worked on back in early May. Could you please let me know when I can expect payment?
Thank you.”

And finally on July 9th:

“I have tried and tried to contact you and it’s become evident that you have no intention to pay me for my time.

I just thought it would be fair of me to give you the heads up and let you know I will be writing a blog on my experience working with CPL Graphic Design to forewarn other freelancers or industry professionals of your lack of professionalism and respect of others time.
Thanks.”

It’s not even about the money because the amount I charged was nominal – which actually makes it worse to me. Its not like its a large sum of money that the client didn’t have. There was just a total lack of respect for my time. I feel I was taken advantage of and manipulated into working for free. It’s not all her fault. I allowed this to happen by not taking the appropriate measures. I may not have gained any cash from this job, but I did learn a valuable lesson.
Don’t leave it up to the good will of your clients to pay you. Protect yourself and require a signed contract and/or retainer fee.

Free Online Portfolio for Creatives

In finding a job, getting hired, online portfolio, portfolio, samples of work on October 29, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I’m sure you’ve seen a creative portfolio online. Lots of photographers, make-up artists and Advertising agencies have an online portfolio. If you’re an architect, copywriter, graphic designer, painter or anything else that may require that you ever submit samples of your work before being considered for a job, an online portfolio is something you’ll want. It makes sending samples of work much easier being that its a URL  you can paste into an email instead of manually adding attachments. Also, if you are responding to a job posting on craigslist, the craigslist reply-to email addresses don’t allow much attachment space. Having a nicely presented online portfolio with screen shot images of your final product (i.e. in my case, text on a webpage) speaks volumes more than individually attached word documents. Of course, it also saves you time by not having to search through your samples and pick and choose which three samples are the best to send. So with all the benefits to having an online portfolio, why would anyone not have one

  1. Maybe you don’t have a clue how to create a website
  2. Maybe you don’t want to be bothered with the fees/costs associated with a website

Look and you shall find. There are several free platforms out there that host free online portfolios. And…they are easy-to-use for pretty much anyone. If you have ever created your own Facebook or Myspace profile, congratulations! You will be able to figure out how to upload images and organize your free online portfolio. Now, like I said, there are several out there, but there are a couple that I particularly like the way they are organized and laid out. Those two are:

Cargo Collective

  • Must send an email to activate your account
  • Customized URL
  • Privacy Settings
  • Free account allows up to 12 different projects (project folders may include several different images associated with that project)   

 

Coroflot:

  • Customized URL
  • Privacy Settings
  • Easy to register for an account
  • May have an online resume as part of your profile
  • Traffic tracking

Employment a Requirement for Hiring?

In finding a job, getting hired on September 8, 2010 at 1:54 am

CC by Caro Wallis

My last blog post was about my frustration with the vicious cycle of employers not giving the chance to gain experience because you don’t have experience. To make matters worse, an article on Yahoo! claims that recently, a popular requirement to get hired by a lot of employers out there is that you need to be currently employed. Throw them a bone, people! It just so happens that my boss is one of these employers who are turned off by an applicant who is unemployed. She’s explained before that she thinks they’ve just been out of the loop too long and have lost their motivation and work sense. Maybe there’s some truth to what she’s saying…but it seems like self-defeat for our economy.

A Vicious Cycle: Trying to Gain Experience

In Advertising Agency, finding a job, gaining experience, getting hired, Miami Advertising on August 31, 2010 at 11:16 pm

CC by isazappy

When I was first trying to get my break on the creative side of the advertising industry, I quickly learned that people would only consider hiring someone with experience. And I understand why. You can’t trust me to execute creative work that will get results or impress the client if I have absolutely no experience.

But how is one supposed to gain experience if no one will hire them?
It’s a vicious cycle. I took the first job I could get, which was a position as an Account Executive. I was told I could eventually make a switch over to the creative side whenever there was an opening or as I learned the ropes along the way. DO NOT fall for that.

I don’t think they were deliberately lying to me. I just don’t think they thought it through. The longer I was an Account Executive, the deeper my roots were being grounded there. Aside from the fact that I was learning the system and getting better at my role, I also had my own clients. It is only natural that my bosses would not want to end that relationship that i built with my clients and have them switched over to a whole new Account Executive who they did not know. I finally had to resign when I saw that a job in the Creative Department was not in my future there.

How I Finally Started Gaining Experience
I applied to every job posting on all the job search engines and sent out a personalized email to every Advertising agency in Miami. I got nothing. Finally, as I started to reach the end of my list of Advertising agencies to contact, I decided to take a different approach. I needed to offer myself as an intern. I would not specify whether I wanted a paid or unpaid internship (let people offer money if they wanted to). I simply said that I lacked experience and hoped to gain some by interning at their agency. Within a week I had to decide between two different job offers. Both were paid but one paid slightly less and was further than the other. I started working as an Intern Junior Copywriter and after 1 month, I was hired as a full-time employee.

Did you have to find a way around the obstacle of needing experience for your type of work?