But the problem with being self employed lies in that most people who do it, don’t negotiate or ask for pay the same way they would were they applying for a full-time role. Nor, from my experience, are fellow freelancers very forthcoming when it comes to sharing their rates making it all the more difficult to establish a ballpark hourly figure.
It all boils down to an attitude of fear: the fear of being harpooned out of work due to non-competitive pricing. Indeed research from Yale and the University of Texas shows that this is something women are particularly bad at and we often decide to stay quiet out of fear.
Allow me to share my experience.
In the end, I left that workplace with a chink in the armour, moved onto the next workplace and filed the former rate in my memory bank, under a very big rock, which was hidden from view, by a tree.
It wasn’t until years later, and married with two children, that the issue again raised it’s ugly head.
I had to do something about it.
It was a change that required a real mental shift. To me, freelance had been casual and noncommittal – a hobby, yet what I actually needed to remind myself was that I was self-employed and that was serious.
Viewing myself as self-employed as opposed to foot-loose, fancy and free(-lance) gave me a renewed perspective on the rate that I demanded and it breathed a new level of confidence into not only my work but my business relationships.
Sending out that first appropriately valued quote was a lump-in-the-throat, nerve-racking moment. But, it was incredibly self-assuring and dignifying when the client accepted.