I hear that phrase all the time, “Well, your time is valuable.” Actually, mine isn’t. Or, more precisely, it isn’t to anybody else but me. So, if I am putting a price on a writing job and charging by the hour, I need to determine what my time is worth (plus my skills for doing that job) and charge accordingly. I can’t expect someone else to know, care or even agree to the value of my time.
And therein lies the back-and-forth we get into with trying to get what we are worth for the time we spend working. And if you don’t have the price of your time and effort figured out before you start the job, you could be in for a rough time accounting for your payment at the end of it.
It’s the off-work hours’ time where I get my dander up the most about my time, or more precisely, my time being wasted.
Let me give you an example…
I recently was approached by a very good friend to write job for a company she worked for. A very big company. In addition to good pay for what would have amounted to consistent writing work (something a freelancer is always looking for), putting this company on my resume would have gone far in bolstering my reputation in the mainstream space (as a writer for erotica and mainstream content, I am ever aware of increasing my credentials in the non-adult space, since I have plenty in the adult space). So, over the course of a month, my buddy and I went back and forth, I filled out the necessary paperwork, and then got to work.
In the middle of writing my first article for my new employer, I had a question about payment, something I needed to have answered in order to do the job. It might rate as a minor consideration for some, but for me, it is a big deal in my little world and I needed to get an answer to my question.
Now the company has no idea who I am other than I am a new freelancer who will be writing for them, and I was discreet enough not to mention my personal finances to anybody. Through my friend’s urging, I simply went through the proper channels to call and email the company bookkeeper about my question…which I did not even ask on voice mail or in email. And let me just add that in the correspondence I received from the company, that bookkeeper’s name, phone number, and email address were listed with her welcome to contact her for any questions that might arise.
Something did arise, and there I was getting in touch.
That was a week ago as I write this, and nobody has contacted me. My friend has as much contacted the company for me as she needed attention on another matter. And nobody has gotten back to her either. I needed and wanted this job. But if you can’t get the basics right, if you have no care to follow up, and if you don’t see the value in my time, not even time I am working for you, but the small amount of time we need to spend going back and forth on something, then do I really have the time (or energy) to work for you?
Maybe, it’s because they are a huge company, and I am really nobody in their corporate hierarchy? Maybe they just have terrible communications skills? Maybe…I have no idea why nobody got back to me. But I come to say this all the time; in a world where we can communicate faster, better, and on-the-go like never before, we are communicating worse.
So, if you do not have the time for me, in the most basics of the job I am trying to do for you, I fear how you won’t have time for me when more serious stuff arises; questions on style, deadlines, content of what I am writing, etc.
I told my friend not to consider me for the job any further.