Re: Contracting

Subject: Re: Contracting
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 10:10:42 -0800

Quoting Sylvia Burleigh <Sylvia -dot- Burleigh -at- ncmail -dot- net>:

> My question is why do they have me sit through an interview with my
> portfolio, just to tell me this. Sure the paragraph above proves I
> can do the job, but do I have to go through this period of "proving"
> myself each time.

Almost everyone thinks they can write, and almost as many have dreams of a life
as a writer (dreams that, strangely enough, rarely have anything to do with
sitting down in front of a keyboard and working long hours). So, in one
respect, you're only getting what every writer has to endure.

However, as someone who primarily contracts, I've learned that contractors are
especially likely to have to prove themselves. That used to bother me. However,
after a while, I realized that it was inevitable. Most of the time, my clients
don't know me, so I'm constantly in the position of someone who has just
started a new job. Even though I've impressed the client enough to get the
contract, he or she still isn't altogether sure whether I'll work out.

When I was starting out, I was also worried about whether I COULD prove myself.
Now, I know that I can, so comments like the ones you mention don't bother me.
I just stay polite and make a joke of them. If someone said that I add no
value, I'd just smile and say, "That's right. I'm here to perfect my Quake game
at your expense." If someone tells me that they could easily do the job, I'd
keep smiling and say, "Great! That means I don't have to get up in the morning."
The slight aggression, pleasantly phrased, makes people back off, and gives me
immediate breathing room, and I know that in a few weeks they'll have a
different view of me.

In other words, dealing with people's expectations and comments is just one of
those things you have to deal with. Don't become obsessive about them, and
don't let thoughtless comments distract you from the job. In the end, they're
not important.

Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604-421.7177


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Contracting: From: Sylvia Burleigh

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