Get Paid for Your Work – Negotiating a Freelance Contract

Associate, Dallas, TX
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Marketing Research Analyst, Boston, MA
M&A Analyst, Los Angeles, CA

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During a time of unemployment, some individuals make finding a full-time job into their main pursuit. After putting in long hours and hard work, something ultimately comes through and the task is done. Then there are those people who work for themselves. While freelancing allows great latitude and more control over what you do and the time you spend doing it, it also confines you within the realm of constantly seeking out work and renegotiating your terms of employment. There is more job security, as you control your own destiny, so to speak, being your own boss and in charge of seeking out new projects. And yet, there is less security, for there is no way of telling how long that lag between the end of a project and the beginning of a new one will be. Read on for a list of negotiating tips, so that you can ensure you get the most out of your freelancing experience.

Write it Down

First and foremost, whenever you negotiate a contract with an employer, be absolutely sure to put all terms down in writing. If you instead opt to commit to something verbally, you run the risk of having an employer change the terms on you, or conveniently remembering them in a different way. Write it down, and should troubles arise, you can take your documents to a third party and settle the problem accordingly.

Agree to a Price Upfront

When you discuss project details with an employer, it’s important to discuss compensation at the outset. Don’t wait until you’re halfway through the job to bring it up – by that point you might already be too embroiled in the work to easily get out of it if an employer refuses to compensate you properly. And never, under any circumstances, hand over work without first agreeing on the value of your efforts. If you turn over your work without first setting a price, you turn over all power.

Set a Date

Negotiate a date on which you will be paid in full – and write this down in the original contract. That way, you hold an employer accountable, and if they fail to hold up their end of the bargain, you can pursue the next necessary course of action. If you don’t set a date, you give the employer the opportunity to continue pushing off payment later and later, which keeps you in a state of limbo and prolongs an already unhealthy business relationship.

Procure a Retainer Fee

After you have set a price and a pay date, require that your employer pay you a retainer fee. This is an amount of money that an employer pays you upfront in order to secure your services. Even once you draw up a contract with an employer, you can still run into a tricky situation at the end of your business relationship: your employer may claim that you did not live up to the terms of your end of the bargain, or may lack the finances to pay out to you in the end. A retainer fee ensures that you do see at least some of the money for your work, regardless of your employer’s funds or their opinion on the quality of your work.

Understand the Time Commitment

It’s important to have as thorough understanding of the project as possible, at least to a point where you know how much time you will be spending on it. Why? Several reasons. Some people may wish to negotiate pay based on an hourly rate. If you originally underestimate how much time a project will take you, it may be difficult to go back and convince your employer of the time that the work actually took, and of how much you truly deserve to be paid. It’s also imperative to know how much time you need to devote to the project so that you manage your time well. Getting the work in on time is built into your part of the contract, and failure to do so may delay or nullify payment. Finally, understanding time constraints can be helpful so that you can convey this information to the employer. If you establish exactly how long you will be spending on a project with an employer beforehand, you can avoid having them demand superfluous work or hours from you throughout the process.

Understand the Project

A nice segue from the discussion on time commitment, you must understand the project you are undertaking, and so should your employer. If you are asked to complete one thing, make sure that this is the thing that you deliver in the end. This will help keep you on track, as well as lessen the likelihood that an employer will claim that you did not provide the work you were supposed to, thus ensuring that you don’t run into unnecessary issues when it comes to getting your paycheck.

Freelancing can be tricky – more often than not, you don’t have someone else advocating on your behalf, and there are many uncertainties that you run into working for a new employer every few days, weeks, or months. But freelancing can also be a lot of fun. Who doesn’t like being their own boss and changing the scenery every now and then? Just follow these simple guidelines and enjoy the ride!

Until next time,
The Doostang Team

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Doostang Success — Job Offer after Just 15 Days

Anton

Villanova University, 2010
Trader – Capital Asset Exchange and Trading

“After being disappointed with the employers on my university website, a friend recommended I try out Doostang.  I was very open minded about my job search and submitted my resume to as many companies as I could.

Only halfway into my one-month membership I got invited by a firm to come to their office in San Francisco all the way from Philadelphia.  After a stressful and trying interview they offered me a job on the spot.

I had spent over 4 months interviewing with companies on my campus and it only took 15 days on Doostang.  What can I say, thank you Doostang!”


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Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Jr. Analyst – Prominent European Event-Driven Equity Hedge Fund, New York, NY

Events & Media Associate – Innovative Leader in Pain Relief Industry, Chicago, IL

Private Equity Associate – Preferred Capital Partner, Dallas, TX

Consultant – Integrated Consulting & Research Firm, San Francisco, CA

Investment Banking Analyst (FIG, M&A) – Premier Boutique Investment Bank, New York, NY

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Doostang Success — 2 Jobs at Private Equity Firms

Daniel

Columbia University 2006
Associate – Windjammer Capital Investors

“After several months of searching for a new job using various recruiters, I decided to give Doostang a shot. I was initially skeptical of purchasing the Premium membership, but I soon found that it gave me access to a lot of job openings that recruiters were not able to offer me.

I have been a member of Doostang for over 2 years, and during that time landed 2 separate jobs at private equity firms.

Searching for a job can be a stressful process, and Doostang enabled me to land interview after interview, which kept my spirits high. I knew that sooner or later I would land the ideal position that I wanted.

The beauty of Doostang is that you are able to apply for jobs that traditional recruiters may decide not to show you, because they pick and choose whom they show the openings to.

I was pleased to see many top quality job openings on Doostang that I soon interviewed for.

Doostang is a great tool to have when searching for a new job. From a strategy perspective, I chose to maintain contact with select traditional recruiters as well as browsing the Doostang website every few days to review new job postings. The website is very well organized, with effective filters that allow you to focus on the industries you are interested in.

Now that I have landed my ideal job, I no longer need the Doostang membership. However it is one of the first websites I recommend to my friends and colleagues who are searching for new jobs. I would certainly use Doostang again if I ever needed to search for another job.”



Did you get a job through Doostang? Share your Doostang success story and get a $500 Signing Bonus from Doostang!

Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Hedge Fund Analyst – Hedge Fund of Funds Investment Firm, Los Angeles, CA

Vice President of Sales & Marketing – Leading Special Care Provider, Philadelphia, PA

Associate/Sr. Associate – Top-Tier Global Bank, Dallas, TX

Junior Analyst – Leading Sustainability Consulting Firm, Stamford, CT

Investment Banking Analyst – Publicly Traded Investment Bank, San Francisco, CA

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Doostang News January 17: 3 Networking Opportunities You May be Forgetting

Analyst, New York, NY
Consultant, Chicago, IL
Analyst, San Francisco, CA
Paralegal, New York, NY
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When asked about their networking strategies, many people will talk about attending happy hours or industry-specific mixers in order to make contacts.  Or they’ll mention that they’ve reached out to family, friends, and old classmates to help them track down job leads.  But there are a few important networking opportunities that job seekers often miss, either because they feel these might be too awkward to use, or because they simply don’t think of these in the first place.  Here are 3 opportunities for networking that every job seeker should consider:

The Company Website

Nothing like going straight to the source.  As many well know, the best way to secure a job is to know someone on the inside.  You may have sent out hundreds of resumes in response to online postings, but heard nothing.  Indeed, this isn’t all that unusual, as many of these positions have already been filled, or the hiring manager might have received thousands of responses.  Instead, try tracking down a few names and email addresses on the company website, and establish a rapport with someone.  Try to ask a specific question about the job you’re interested in, and ask that person to refer you to the individual in charge of hiring for that position – that is, the person who will be making the decision regarding the job, not the HR department.  If there isn’t a position to be filled at the moment, at least you’ll be among the first to know when one opens up.

Professional Networking Sites

Don’t be afraid to hit up your LinkedIn network.  Conduct a search based on companies you are interested in, and reach out to people who come up.  People place their profiles on these websites to network, so don’t hesitate to do just that.  Browse through your connections’ contacts as well, and see if there is anyone you can talk to.  The worst someone can do is ignore you or tell you they’re not interested in speaking, in which case you’ve lost nothing.  Follow the advice from above, and start engaging people from your extended network in conversations.

The Guy on the Street

You never know whom you might meet when you start a conversation with a friendly stranger – and you never know whom they might know.  Disregard what your mother told you and talk to everyone!  The guy serving you coffee, the lady cutting your hair, people in line at the post office – the individuals around you every day, especially the ones in the service industry who interact with a lot of people already, know others who just might help you land your next job.  Don’t be a pest, but don’t hesitate to bring up your job search if the moment is right.

It’s important to continually remind yourself of the importance of networking when trying to secure your next job.  Bear in mind, too, that when you start networking in new and creative ways, you’re bound to see some great results!

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

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Doostang New Jobs This Week: Jan 10 – 16


Doostang has thousands of highly sought after positions at companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Summit Partners, Time Warner, Facebook, and more. Looking to get ahead in your job search? Be the first to apply to these exceptional NEW jobs just posted on Doostang.


Equity Research Associate, New York, NY – Full-Service Investment Banking Firm seeks Equity Research Associate.


Legal Assistant/Paralegal, Los Angeles, CA – Premier Patent Law Firm seeks Paralegal.


Buyside Equity Research Analyst, Dallas, TX – Prominent Long/Short Directional Hedge Fund seeks Buyside Equity Research Analyst.


Commercial Real Estate Associate, New York, NY – Top Tier Investment Real Estate Brokerage Firm seeks  Commercial Real Estate Associate.


Equity Analyst, Chicago, IL – Rapidly-Growing Investment Advisory Firm seeks Equity Analyst.


Director of Business Development, London, UK – Media & Financial Information Company seeks Director of Business Development.


Portfolio Strategy Associate, New York, NY – Private Investment Management Firm seeks Portfolio Strategy Associate.

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