This picture pretty much sums up my recent experience with a client.
TL;DR- Ignore Red Flags- Start Seeing Red
Back in the “dead time” (after Thanksgiving- End of January when business just seems to shut down), I was desperate for a client. One client had recently downsized the size of a projected project and really put a big hole in my budget. In order to band-aid this temporarily, I went to the internet to find an ad-hoc client. Well, as the internet usually does, it provided, but not without a catch. While prospecting this client, several red-flags were raised. However, out of fear that I wasn’t going to find anything else (which is completely unrealistic) , I took the contract. Fast forward a month and a half, I’ve had to deal with the following headaches-
- I still haven’t been paid my kick off deposit,
- Been asked to turn around unclear edits in less than 24 hours,
- Client directly editing source files on a Dropbox
- A whole host of frustration.
- Don’t take a job because you’re desperate- If you’re taking a job because you’re desperate, you’re going to set yourself up for failure, simple as that. You’re going to ignore Lesson #2; which is……
- Don’t ignore RED FLAGS- If it seems like somethings off in your gut, trust it. When I heard several things that made me really question the design process, speak up.
- If your concerns aren’t heard; don’t get on board- When I stated my concerns and was disregarded, I should have walked then. Would have saved myself considerable mental energy.
- Don’t start working until you’re paid- (at least your deposit). I know this seems pretty obvious, but something I needed to learn.
- Know where to go for help- When I hit my frustration point, I needed someone to talk to. The virtual aspect of the Independent Contractor make it hard to find someone to talk to when things are not going your way. I’ve used ONLIP‘s Slack Channel to help me figure out how to navigate my new career path.
***James Finder works part-time with A$G, assisting with social media marketing and sourcing for our recruiting division. He also runs his own educational design firm, Promethean Learning Experience Design LLC.***