Monday, February 1, 2010

Will Design For Free!

Spec Work, Is It Really Worth The Hassle?


 Imagine while checking your email, and surfing the net, you come across a job post you couldn't resist. You excel at all of the required qualifications, and know for sure that you are the ideal candidate for this freelance position. As you begin to prepare your email, and attach your recently revised resume you notice a small part of the post that reads: "...Just come up with ideas, concepts, and put something together, then we will decide whether to hire you."

It doesn't matter whether you are designing Women's wear, building websites, or a freelance writer, you will more than likely get asked to do some spec work at some point in your freelance career. Spec work is basically taking on the task of the job itself, without getting paid. Let's say it takes 12-15 hours to complete this requested spec assignment, and you rush to send it off only to find out that another applicant got the position. In the end, you lose valuable time that could have been used to enhance your own portfolio, or further your marketing efforts.

I usually don't encourage spec work, even though in some few cases, it can actually help. If you lack clientele, and a praise worthy portfolio you can go this route, but keep in mind this is not your only option to achieve your freelancing goals. If you find yourself wondering whether a potential client's request for spec work is worth it, ask yourself these questions: Is this the only way to find work, and build your portfolio? Will this really connect you with this potential client? Is the workload reasonable for you? Does the client seem genuine, and or legitimate? 

I remember a close friend of mine, also a freelancer, did some spec work for a company a few years ago. He slaved over every detail of this project, and even lost sleep because of it. He was very disappointed to hear they decided not to choose him, so be aware of the risk involved in doing spec work. Remember there are some unethical individuals who will try to take advantage of you, and use your spec work without permission. 

As a freelancer, it is so important to brand yourself, not only does this bring more clients your way, but it adds value to you as a professional. If this potential client is not willing to hire you based on you portfolio work, resume, references, your out-of-this-world creativity, and excellent communication skills, then you are better off letting that potential client go.

My next diary entry will cover the importance of branding as freelancers so stay tuned! Remember comments are both appreciated and encouraged!


 Fashionably Yours,

 Since the tender age of twelve, Schaumin Chanel Alexander has been creating fashion illustrations, and designing Womens wear apparel. Shortly after graduating college with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design & Marketing, she began freelancing her talents. SchauminChanel is the main designer and chief operator of Creative Conceptz Ltd., a company dedicated to freelance fashion design.


UmaPreve said...

Good advise.. Thanks!

SchauminChanel said...

Your Welcome, and thank you for reading.

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