Friday, 1 June 2012

Don't undervalue yourself

I never cease to be amazed.

I occasionally peruse (that's "look through" to you, madam) the freelance work job sites, the ones where you can identify a job you think could fill a few spare hours and a few spare holes in what the banks have left behind of your finance.

Several have sprung up over the years, but they all share one thing in common.

Those looking for professional writers seems to be totally clueless in terms of offering a reasonable budget for the job.

I can understand a company in the far east expecting a professional/qualified writer for 80p an hour, because they can otherwise, worst case scenario, find someone locally at 40p an hour who's (sic) English is'nt (sic) quite up to scratch.

However, the number of local, UK businesses and other enterprises, who post jobs for writers at rates  under the minimum wage (and on top of that, a further commission from that below-minimum-wage rate usually has to be paid to the hosting site if you accept the job as a freelance) is staggering.

I noticed last week that a gentleman from Cheshunt, claiming the usual twaddle that they wanted a native English speaker with excellent grammar, because "they were leaders in the field" - [a tractor pulling a plough - that's a leader in a field (see my blog on "leaders")], set the following extra criteria for their potential job bidder:- 10 x 1,000 word articles, must be original; subjects given but research needed; Copyscape checked to ensure originality; copyright handed over; up to two free re-writes to be allowed for each article; preference for a degree-educated writer. And there was a two-day deadline for completion.

So not too demanding, eh!

And the budget?

Well, bearing in mind that when it's warm, and solicitors can actually manage to take their hands out of their clients' pockets for a wee while, they will charge upwards of £300 an hour just for phone calls, photocopying and travel time, as do the likes of the parasitic insolvency con-sultants who line their pockets handsomely first, well before the clients of the poor souls who go out of business (especially remembering back to the collapse Farepak, the Christmas Hamper Company. Oh, and Woolies as well, the liquidators shafted everyone on that one as well, didn't they?).

Yet Mr precise-job of Cheshunt, was offering, wait for it. £5 an hour. For a professional writer, Potentially two days work for £80, less the commission to the freelance web site (£72). So £36 a day for a professional, degree-educated writer!

And Mr precise-job of Cheshunt was deadly serious! I posted, as a clarification, in genuinely pleasant and pointy-out, inoffensive FYI language (I keep my offensive language solely for the dysfunctional HR industry), the official minimum wage details as copied and posted from the YouGov site;  I also added the recommended freelance writer rates from the link on the NUJ site.

His response. Rather than a "thank you for pointing this out", was a curt "well don't bid for the job then".

With slavery having been eradicated, I had no intention of bidding. So much for his self-congratulatory sentiments as a "leader in his field".

Yes, a leader of slave-driving, scroungers.

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