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Don’t thank me, pay me.

I get a feed for freelance jobs in the design and video industry and every now and then some job posts come through that I just can’t believe. I read one such post today and I’m pretty shocked to say the least so I thought I would share so that the 3 of you who read this blog could be enlightened.

Hi! we are London based Internet media company. We are launching a new web series uncovering London’s Internet and Technology industry. Over the next three months we will be traveling all around London conducting interviews with startups, entrepreneurs, VC’s, journalists and pretty much everyone involved the London technology industry.

We are looking for an intelligent student or graduate videographer to join our young team as a director, setting the creative tone for the series and helping out with everything from booking interviews, filming and editing and getting the content published within the same day.

This will be a demanding role and you will be expected to be flexible with timings, for example you won’t have to be in the office at 9am every day, but you will be expected to do some evening and weekend events, filming and interviews.

This will be a full time role and you will be paid for your time Approx £800 per month.

You must have your own equipment, HD camera (Digital SLR Cannon D5 welcome) and Macbook Pro with Final Cut, plus pag light.)

You must have green screen and motion graphics experience.

You must want to go the extra mile and get stuck in, we want you to be passionate about all things video and all things Internet.

You must be web savvy and know the ins and outs of YouTube, Vimeo etc.

This will be an incredible experience to meet and work with some of the UK’s top entrepreneurs, you will be exposed to people who are doing amazing things and in return we want you to be amazing!

You will be interviewed over the next few days and ready to start next week.

To apply please send us a paragraph about yourself, a CV and a 30 second video telling us why you think you should get the job.

Are these people for real? Did they actually read what they posted? Let me put this into perspective with a little breakdown:

Here’s what these people are looking for in the person they want to hire:

  1. student or graduate videographer (meaning you are spending or have spent thousands on an education)
  2. helping out with everything from booking interviews filming and editing and getting the content published within the same day (film, edit and publish content to the web all on one day – seriously!? Oh, and you’ll see below that this includes keying and motion graphics work.)
  3. you will be expected to do some evening and weekend events filming and interviews (ok, it’s not 9-5, but come on! Film, edit and publish in one day sounds like a lot of evenings to me)
  4. You must have your own equipment Hd camera (Digital Slr Cannon D5 welcome) and Macbook Pro with Final Cut plus pag light (you must have your own equipment that you paid thousands for! Oh, and they don’t even know that it’s a Canon 5D or even how to spell Canon)
  5. You must have green screen and motion graphics experience (I don’t even know what to say)
  6. You must want to go the extra mile and get stuck in (even though they won’t be going the extra mile for you)
  7. You must be web savvy and know the ins and outs of YouTube Vimeo(Ok, this one isn’t such a big deal, but it’s still another thing on their list)
  8. we want you to be amazing! (I think that one was made clear already)

What do these awesome employers think all of this is worth? The princely sum of £800/month! For real!? Oh, and you will also get the massive bonus of “an incredible experience to meet and work with some of the UK’s top entrepreneurs, you will be exposed to people who are doing amazing things…”.

The sad thing is that these guys will probably get someone to do this job at that wage. Admittedly they may not get someone who ticks all the boxes, but they will probably get someone who can pull it off to some extent.

It’s a well known fact that freelancers (and creative industry people in general) are often asked to do work for nothing, or for crazy small sums of money, or for return favours, or recognition, or countless other crazy things. I think the real problem though is that there are those who do it. I am definitely guilty of doing such work in the past, but I don’t do it anymore. ‘Don’t thank me, pay me’ is a little motto that a friend taught me a few years back and I do well to keep it in mind. Does that mean there is no place for free work. No. I don’t think free work is out of the question, but I think exploitation should be. Free work for charities or similar bodies can be pretty rewarding and free work that leads to real paid work or quality networking that in turn leads to paid work can also be good, but it requires real discernment to pick out the right jobs.

Anyway, I guess I’m just venting since that post really irritated me. Think before you work for free (or for stupidly cheap) and remember, ‘Don’t thank me, pay me’.

5 replies
  1. Paul Mathis
    Paul Mathis says:

    Dude, couldn’t agree with you more! So many companies do not know what they are talking about, are slave drivers or have the heads so far up their asses. The sad thing is, people will apply for the job because they do not know what they are worth or they have their heads so far up their asses! They will end up working for this company, which is probably a small company, and work so hard and not move up or will not ever get a raise. They probably won’t get any benefits either.

    Good luck to the people who posted this and to the stupid ones applying for the job.

  2. Gareth Gravity
    Gareth Gravity says:

    actually in shock…want to laugh, but at the same time want to just shake my head. exploitation to the max – and they are brazen about it! i pity the poor person who decides to take this on.

  3. Alan
    Alan says:

    I’m with you. I’m just writing a mail to a guy who thanked me profucely for the work I did for him. But hasn’t paid since May!
    My love language is “Words of Encouragement”, except where payment is involved.

  4. Dale Reubin
    Dale Reubin says:

    Vultures! They either have no idea what they’ve asked for or they’re down right sharks and have no respect for the industry! I wish every freelancer/student could read this post.

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