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Bill Cavanaugh also concurs that people rarely sign contracts or work orders. The work
orders were sent from the studio to network so they could check against the invoice. This
happens less and less because of emails where people are acknowledging the time and
work put into a job. Bill suggests that you should always hang on to the emails in case
there is a dispute with work direction, time, or monies.
This refrain of waiting for the money has been a common theme for many of the freelancers
and it is a major consideration if they want to remain self-employed. It is imperative that
media companies recognize that the delay of payment or they will be hiring inexperience
second-tier workers instead of seasoned professionals who treat themselves like a
business.
It Is A Relational Business; Personal Relationships Are
Tested
Partnerships are so important. The bottom line is that freelance is not an end to
itself. It’s where you live. It’s like having a one-bedroom apartment. It doesn’t
mean you sleep alone. It’s still a team sport. You still need company. By nature,
we’re social people, notes Ohio Knitting Mills entrepreneur Steven Tatar.
Although social and relational skills are critical to securing professional gigs, the dramatic
irony is that freelancers’ relational skills are often tested on the home front. Independent
media contractors have unpredictable schedules where they head into a black hole for
extended periods of time and resurface after a few weeks. Your friends have to
understand what you do for a living or they will be disappointed. This disappointment is
what Kate Farrell, a successful media producer, experienced as a freelancer when she
missed important family engagements:
The sports freelance life was not conducive to many of the women I knew unless
they were already married. I sacrificed a lot for the jobs in terms of relationship. I
missed the birth of my friend’s daughter I was supposed to be in the deliver room.
I missed my niece’s graduation because I was interviewing Aretha Franklin. I was
supposed to interview Aretha on Saturday for the daytime Emmy’s and she didn’t
show up. I had a hotel room all set up and lit and the crew and I just waited
around. She arrived and said ‘honey I thought it was tomorrow.’ It was a mix up
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