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Graphic Design...there's so much to learn
Tuesday, 21 August 2007
Beware of wolves in sheeps clothing baaad
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: Looking for work

As a freelancer you are constantly getting your information out there. Do you pause to think that it may be problematic for you? Probably not; I didn't. More often than not people are out to get what they want without paying for it. I really dislike thinking that everyone is out for themselves but I don't want to be taken advantage of either. So what do you do when you answer a vague ad in the newspaper for a job offer and you ask a few questions on the phone and your curiosity is piqued. You change your schedual to accomodate the new prospect, prepare your portfollio and research the company as best as you can before the interview. Once there you immediatly realized that you have been dupped just short of a scam, you cut your losses and head home. I was so angry that I wasted 3hrs for nothing, reschedualed my day and left my resume with refrences there. This is the risk we take for the possibility of work. Could I have avoided this pit fall, more than likely. I turned up no research on the company and found that it was at someone's home, don't get me wrong she was a very nice lady but it could of been much worst. Talk about under false pretenses.  Not to say all companies that work out of thier homes are shisters but it's more likely that they are.

Everytime we send out our resume or c.v we are taking chances. We give out links to our websites, personal telephone numbers, e-mail addresses. Nothing is private today, information can be taken, images stolen our niche capitalized on, our references prayed upon, and our business image sullied. Nothing you can do but disable the right click, and prepare yourself  just in case. For example some people looking for freelancers want you to do a test or trial I always prepare a pdf secure file so that they can view it but can't use it or manipulate it without a password. You never really know what kind of individual you are going to be dealing with.

Very recently we took on a storyboarding project on a volunteer basis with the knowledge that it could turn into a full time paid venture. The individual that we were dealing with seemed quite personable, knowledgable and reasonable. The project seemed like it was really working out and this person almost seemed like a friend.  It all ended when I was out of town on a Saturday with my family and I was unreachable. This sent this person into a tantrum, he left all kinds of messages on our cell phones, house phone, e-mail and a couple of not so kind messages out of frustration. To my surprise I was actually shocked that this was happening. As the professional that I am the sign would of been ready on time. This was a volunteer job!  I could understand if I were a brain surgeon on call and there was someone waiting on the table with thier brain exposed and I didn't call back. What bothers me the most is that this person burned his bridge when it wasn't necessary(I can't wrap my brain around that, it's just bad business). Unfortunately there were few good people on the other side that we would of like to keep in contact with.

We take personal and professional risks everytime we reply to a job posting.  I think I'm doing pretty good with only 6 wolves in sheeps clothing for 15 years in the industry. It's the cost of doing business I guess. Does it change how I work yes and no. I ask way more questions now, keep business personable but not personal, always protect my work, take a deposit up front and I always keep in the back of my mind that it may not work out. What still stays the same is my passion for design, good business practices and I chalk it all up to learning experiences.

Posted by eclipsgraphics at 9:51 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 1 April 2008 10:18 AM EDT

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