It’s a funny old market for freelancers at the moment. Some people saying how eerily quiet it has gone despite bites about work, others have lots of meetings but still no definitive offers.
But the common theme at the moment is a feeling of
indecisiveness. From commissioner, employer and employee. And people are
How is it best to handle these periods?
If you have several meetings, and are being chased to make a
decision – be honest. Transparency, in our opinion, is the best policy. Be
enthusiastic about the role, if you are honestly keen on it, but explain you
are committed to another meeting and will let them know by a set date. Then
stick to it. Everyone knows where they are. If you haven’t had a decision from
the other role by then, honour your original deal and either say yay or nay.
Often, it flushes out an answer from all parties anyway.
If it’s bites you’re getting, but no meetings, ask for feedback. Often, Talent Managers or PMs are collecting CVs and interest over a few days before presenting a shortlist. It may be that your CV hasn’t actually gone to the Exec yet, or it has and you haven’t been selected for interview yet. Either way, it’s good to know – so be polite but ask for an update. Also perhaps, how you could improve your CV or highlight better your relevant experience.
It’s the worst feeling when it seems like you keep getting
down to the final stages, but someone else pips you to the post. It pains us to
admit it, but more often than not the successful candidate has had some experience
with the channel/company before, or simply more
experience in that particular type of programming. The industry is incredibly
risk averse – even though you don’t deem yourself as a risky option of course. It’s
tough but it’s their loss, so be gracious, find out how you could improve and
stay in close touch with your interviewee – the next gig could be round the
corner, and you’re already through the door.
And – easy to say – but don’t panic and start thinking about
leaving telly! It happens to the best in the industry, so do your
networking/email purge in the mornings (7.30/8am is optimum time in our opinion
– for reading on the commute, and before a full day’s inbox), then get out and
enjoy that rare time off. (see 175 Fantastic Free
Things to do in London if you’re nervous about the pennies 😊)
You know you won’t see your family or friends for another 6 months the moment
you accept the next contract…
When you meet someone you really like, that everyone agrees
on – give them an idea of when you’ll be deciding by, and stick to it. Try to
bring meetings with other freelancers forwards. Keep your Plan A in the loop –
don’t go silent on them or they will assume it didn’t go their way and take
something else. And in busy periods, when freelancers are telling you they have
other meetings, don’t beat around the bush – offer as quickly as possible or
you’re likely to lose your best option. Gut instinct is usually right.
If freelancers don’t seem committed to your project and want
to hedge their bets and go for chats elsewhere, don’t hold it against them. Clearly
they’re in demand which is a good thing – it doesn’t mean they like your
project less, they just want to know what’s on the table. You can’t afford to
have an ego about it if it really is them you want to hire – make a clear
offer, give them a deadline, and hope your role and company still comes out on
Doing the right thing
For us the key is communication. If everyone is honest and open, and keeps the other parties in the loop, you know where you stand. No one likes to be in the dark, and it can harbour resentment and nervousness – so be direct, polite and keep on smiling. That’s what we remember about people, anyway.
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*Talented People is an Equal Opportunity company and welcomes applicants from all backgrounds and circumstances*