Never been freelance before, I applied for a full time job that didn't quite fit my experience but because I said I was flexible in my cover letter they want to see me to discuss freelancing for them. Any tips? Especially how to prepare for it, how to negotiate and talk about pay (do I work out what I want beforehand? I have no idea how much they may suggest) and also the biggy is how do I say "yes, that sounds fine depending on finding childcare". I want to sound professional but if I don't find flexible childcare then it's going to be difficult to deliver the hours / work they would like. Should just say "yes" and worry about childcare afterwards or should I try to negotiate to a more childcare-friendly arrangement from the outset? Any advice v welcome.
Hi MrsJamin, I've not seen you on mnet for a while. This all sounds good! Do you know what the 'rates' are in the industry / role you work in? Also think about how long the contract is for.
I'd also be honest and say that you will sort childcare once you've found out from them what they are after and you've got more specifics on their hours / days requirements. I wouldn't say 'depending' on childcare to them, I'd just say that you need to source childcare (as thought it won't be a problem to find, but something you need to do once you know a bit more from them). That gives you a bit of scope to hear what they have to say, then to look into it a bit and if the two don't match, to go back and ask for flexibility if you need it.
I love working freelance though. Is the role the type of role where you would need to be 'accessible' at certain times, or could you do the work as / when you want to?
Hi sheepneedssleep, thanks v much for your advice, I hadn't thought about the influence that length of contract would have on my rate. That thread is interesting, I think I need to work out my base rate and as long as they suggest that or higher then I'll accept their suggestion. I've no idea as yet about how flexible the work is regarding when and where it is- it could be while days on specific dates or hopefully work I can do from home when I can do it. I like the way you have put the childcare thing, I will remember that. Do you find freelancing works alongside being a mother? My worry is that I won't find childcare which will be as flexible as I need unless I pull in favours from friends if the work is really erratic.
The good bits: I can say no if I'm really busy or want to have a bit of a quieter life for a while, like in the lead up to Christmas (if I worked for an agency, it is always busy), if the kids are ill, I can rearrange work, it's more money, if I am busy, I catch up weekends / evenings.
The bad bits: very difficult to 'switch off' and I always work more hours than I think I will, when it's busy it's busy and there's no one to help out (I have a very hands on DH luckily if I need to work as soon as kids are bed!), it's stressful during quieter periods, as well as busier periods!
I have a childminder (ds2) and nursery (ds1) who are both great and kids are in for 2 days and I put them in for more days as and when I need them. My mum / sister also help out. DH keeps saying I need to put them in 3 days, as I've been very busy recently, but then there's even more pressure when it is quieter.
But when the kids are in school, I know I'll be able to do nativity plays etc, which is nice to know.