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The freelancer’s dilemma


Many months back we posted a ‘true cost of agency workers’ article on the site. About how full-time (general) staff’s salary is actually about half what it really costs a company to employ them.

We still get the occasional response to that post – our posts attract all sorts of oddballs. Which we don’t mind.

If you missed it, we took a vote some weeks’ back and picked one of the oddballest ones. And published it with our comments. After all, the freelance oddball who wrote to us asked us to do this. And anonymity was, accordingly, preserved.

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Rated daily

Now, by popular consent – and never ones to turn down a challenge – our fearless crew here at VnN, re-publish the letter together with our comments. And, to spice things up a little, the comments from our readers, too.

But first, the original letter:

Dear Ed

I’m appalled. I’ve just been for my third ‘interview’ (they’ve really been nothing more than informal chats) with an agency looking to appoint an experienced and successful freelance new biz person. Me!

At least that’s what I thought as we’ve had good chats and we seem to get on well enough. They tell me they have a great product and their fab clients love them muchly. And so they want to grow. They see me as helping them to do that. And I’d like to make it happen.

So far so good.

Now for the not-so-good. They have offered me less than I have asked for as my day-rate. As requested, I gave them a range of £x (the lowest amount) to £y (the top of the range) and they’ve come back with £x minus £z. Which means I don’t even get to £w. If you get my drift?

Unfortunately, I have to admit this grates. But what do I do? If I turn them down, then I’ll end up with zip. If I accept their lower-than-my-stated £x threshold rate, I’ll be continuously hacked-off that they’re getting me on the cheap. So I won’t do a great job and it’ll all, most likely, end in tears.

Agencies are always hacked off when their (new) clients try to screw them down. And that sours the whole relationship before it even starts. What should I do?

Yours confused…

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