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Subject:RE: Asking The Billing Rate? From:"Andrea C. Carrero" <andrea -at- wordtex -dot- com> To:"TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Tue, 4 Oct 2005 18:35:43 -0400
It is absolutely permissible to ask the rate! Who's to tell you that it's
not? I gauge the professionalism of an agency (which I try not to work with
in the first place) by asking that question. If they're not willing to tell
you what they are charging the client and therefore how much markup they
have on your rate, then what else could they be trying to hide? Remember,
their goal is to make money for themselves. They have no interest in you or
worrying about what you want or need. You need to look out for yourself--ask
I firmly believe that if more tech writers started asking this question, the
hourly rates received for work performed will go up. It's not asking tough
questions like this that allow an agency to make you believe that $45 an
hour is like having a full-time job in which you make more than $93K. (And
this could be the case if you have benefits, etc. being covered by another
Remember, too, that in most cases an agency doesn't have an "exclusive"
arrangement with the employer--even if they tell you they do.
My opinion: Ask, ask, ask! All they can do is tell you they can't say. And
you can tell them you'll research it and get back to them with your rate.
Then call around to other agencies and see what they're offering for the
same job. Also, if you're going to work the agency route for jobs, establish
a relationship with one or two recruiters who can refer to you on a regular
basis. Business is all about relationships.
That's more than you asked for but I hope it helps!
Word Technologies Inc.
Business/corporate communication and technical documentation
solutions--where individual performance contributes to team success
[ACC] Tony wrote: "But how "permissible" is it to ask for
the billing rate?"
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