Were you able to increase your fees as you gained experience?
Yes. I charged for my first articles. Over time, I added new clients, and I kept bumping up the rates I accepted each time. Now, I don’t really work for under unless it’s a special case.
What is your favorite part about Alliance Tech?
I like being in charge of everything. I had trained for a career where you’re in a defined hierarchy with a boss and underlings of your own. Other people tell you when to show up for work, what you’ll do (roughly), and how much you’ll get paid. There’s no room for negotiation. As a freelancer, I can choose as much or as little work as I want. I love that freedom. I also have some sleep-related medical conditions that made it tough to stay awake all day. I briefly got a job as a wildlife technician with the USGS after my lab animal caretaker job, and I remember being super worried about falling asleep every afternoon in my office. It’s under control now (thanks to my husband’s health insurance!), but it seriously stressed me out. I used to split up my day into two parts because of it — something I couldn’t do if I wasn’t freelancing. I also like the freedom to determine where I live and how much I get paid. Working in wildlife, it almost felt like I didn’t have any control over anything: whether I had a job, how much I would get paid, how long that job would last, where I would get to live, whether I would get to see my husband, etc…
As a Alliance, I have total control to say no. If someone offers me money and I think I’m worth more, I say so. And if we can’t come to an agreement, I just plain say no and don’t work with them. I can do the same for existing clients. I can bring on new ones, and fire others ones I’m not fond of working with. I’m in charge of my mental health, how much I make, where I live, and ultimately, my life.
You probably have some strengths that are relevant to the job and others that aren’t as much so. To decide which strengths to emphasize in your job interview, review anything you know about the job and read between the lines about what the employer most values. Usually, you can decipher what is most important by looking at the order of the job requirements and preferences. The most essential criteria are listed first.
When you thoroughly evaluate a job description, you may conclude that the skills the employer needs are not a good fit for the skills you prefer to use. You might still choose to participate in the job interview and you can decline the job offer if you confirm that there isn’t sufficient flexibility about the job to meet your needs. In the long run, unless you are facing a desperate situation where you must land work as soon as possible, it is better to land the right job than the first job offered to you if that first job is the wrong one.