Counting the Cost (or How to Determine the Value of a Writing Job)

Gauging the value of a writing job requires looking at several different points. And some days each answer will have more importance than the next. In the end, you have to determine what is important in your freelance writing career to understand the value of a particular job.

Some Questions to Ask in Determining the Value of a Job

    1. Are you gaining new experience that will advance your freelance writing career? There can be much more to a job than just a paycheck.

    2. Are you developing new relationships with clients that will provide future contacts or long term jobs? Word of mouth is still the greatest advertisement on earth. A satisfied client may think of you when a new project opens up or may pass your name on to other business connections.

    3. Is the amount you are making the hourly wage that you have determined in your business plan (because you HAVE a business plan, right?)? Never undervalue your work. Earn what you need to earn to get where you want to be – and always be looking and working towards that next step up.

    4. Would the time spent on the writing job be better invested in another area? Time comes in a limited portion. Be sure you are spending yours to the best of your ability.

    5. Will you actually invest the time elsewhere, or will it just be tossed aside? There is no reason to stop doing something if you are not going to be doing something else in its place. The job may not be ideal, but at least it gets you writing.

    6. Do you have somewhere to go? It is always a better plan to go to something instead of leaving something. Step out of the job when you have a place to step to.

There are jobs that I do because I have to make a living. Some days, I HATE doing those jobs. This was one of those days.

When I come up against these walls of struggle, I think about walking away. The excuses of what I could be doing begin to mount up until I start believing them. Instead of making the decision in the heat of the moment, I turn away for a day or a week (or a few hours) and think about these questions. The day the answers that lean towards leaving outweigh the ones that encourage me to stay is the day that I choose to move on.

Until then, I will be here typing away.

Tell us how you gauge the value of a job.

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