Experiences of a trying-to-be freelancer

Selling and marketing our skills is something we hope we have to do on very few occasions in our lives. The rare few who know how to do it without appearing ridiculous in the process are lucky – the rest of us just play the avoidance game, trying to minimize those embarrassing occasions when we do have blow our own trumpet. Not convinced? Sit down to write your resume and you will know what I am talking about.Or, better still, try to get a date at a bar 🙂

Anyway, now imagine to have to do this quite frequently in your lives. Welcome to “blow your own trumpet or starve to death”club, otherwise known as the Freelancers club. ( I am talking about your average freelancer here, not the one in a million genius).

For one, as a freelancer, I have to “bid” for a project. What?  Nobody is coming running to me with projects – not to the smart, intelligent me? Oh no, they aren’t. Because there are quite a few smart, intelligent other folks out there – talented folks, who have been doing freelancing work for donkeys years, who will also “bid” – and of course, it will be sealed bidding.

So now I have a choice: Underbid, cutting down the competition, or showcase my “pedigree” to indicate how great I will be at the work. Underbid feels cheap, and showcasing myself makes me uneasy. No way out – got to do it, I guess.

Then there is the feeling, simultaneously liberating and scary, that no big name of a company is behind me this time. When I called myself “TheSmartScribe” it was just me, and my head, that I was offering – no honking machinery of support. A relief that I don’t have to spend a ridiculous amount of time in meetings, and in dreary dull reviews. A need to say out loud that world class company’s name who I am (was) associated with, so the brand name rubs off on me.  I worked for a company that people think hire smart techies, they hired me, so I am a smart techie, so now you;ve got to look at me. That kind of stuff.

Anyway, its fun to go through all this. Why am I doing it? Firstly, to get practice in my writing, and secondly, to keep both sides of the brain working. And last, but not least, to pay for ridiculously expensive flight tickets ( why did they do that just when I was moving back, waaah..).


6 thoughts on “Experiences of a trying-to-be freelancer

  1. Jennifer November 17, 2008 / 5:19 pm

    I totally understand this! I am trying to follow the freelancer’s path, too, and find it extremely challenging and not at all like the normal me. Sell myself? Say great things about why I should be paid to write an article for a magazine? Crazy!

    Good luck, I hope you’ll keep us all posted on your successes!!

  2. BD November 18, 2008 / 12:58 am

    I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, seriously!!!

    >> Or, better still, try to get a date at a bar
    Does appa know about this? You dont try to get a date in a bar, you try to pick up. If you already managed to start a conversation, you are already in that date 🙂

  3. Gol Singh November 18, 2008 / 5:06 am

    Doesn’t this problem confront all newbies – freelancers or conventional job-seekers? Just look at the resumes of new grads, with inflated descriptions of every inconsequential school project.

  4. kopili November 22, 2008 / 10:37 am

    Yes, confronts everybody – except that when you have a job you usually stay put for a while ( unless of course you are my little sis, in which case you change jobs every month). But as a freelancer you have to keep getting new projects – once you start building a reputation it probably gets better.

  5. lostonthestreet November 22, 2008 / 11:47 am

    YEAH THANKS A LOT SIS!!!! it takes a lot of hard work to change jobs/teams let me tell you…

  6. the mad momma November 28, 2008 / 12:24 pm

    LOL! welcome to my side of the world. wait till you have to beg for payment that is rightfully yours…

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