Taking a Job For Less Than Your Rate

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Times are tough and it is even tougher trying to find jobs if you are a self-employed consultant, no matter what the field. Wages and fees for projects just keep going down.

I have many friends who consult, write and design various projects for a complex mix of vendors. No one I know can get the wages they did just a few years ago. It is indeed a big conundrum. It is the same for employees.
A friend recently considered going along with a proposed ongoing assignment because it would get her some more credit working in an area where she needed credentials. On the surface, that sounds ok, if you are not forced into making a long-term commitment.

Self-employed people have to dedicate a good portion of their time to finding new clients. Marketing is always a part of the mix. It's even more so when the economy slows. If you hand over a big slice of your time to a job that only pays pocket change, you may lose out on the right job that comes along and the time to find the clients that will be the right fit. (Lest you think that I exaggerate about pocket change, I'm not. Some writing projects are headed just that way.)

Lately, it also seems as if the trend is the cheaper the pay, the more they want. If you are approached with such a project you might try negotiating how much you are comfortable doing in a week. Don't agree to more work than you want just to land this job. If they like you, they will be willing to listen to a negotiation.

Additionally consider asking for quick payment with such
gigs. Back, when accepting such projects, I would ask those in charge for payment to FedEx me the checks. Nowadays, we have paypal to make and receive speedy payments.

There are a couple of other things to consider when taking low-paying jobs. It is very easy to allow this to effect your feeling of self-wroth. You're reduced to working for a ridiculous amount of money. Keep in mind that this is temporary. Also, if this is a situation where you are working for a start-up or a company that hasn't built a reputation yet, you might want to take on this project only for the money. You don't want to add a company to your resume that down plays your other accomplishments.

Do not, despite bad economic times, allow yourself to fall into a trap of continually selling your services for a discounted rate. After once or twice to the same vendor, you can let them know that your rate had been discounted and it is now time to up to a fairer rate. If they are not willing to play along, it is time to move on.
It's not easy. I know, as I have been marketing for private clients for 30 years. You have to trust that your accomplishments and your reputation will bring in the right clients that will keep you on the profit side of your business If you are continually finding jobs/projects below your acceptable rate, then you might need to find new locations to network.

Social networking is an outlet you might not have considered. Check out Linkedin, Facebook, Marzar and ecademy.com.

Laura Bell is Freelance Writer and owner of www.bellbusinessreport.com. The Bell Business Report offers common sense business advice and how-to info for running your business. It takes the everyday headlines apart, dealing with business news, and shows you how to put that information to work for you.

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