Horrible Bosses vs. Working for Something You Believe In
One of the reasons I LOVE being a self-employed, work-at-home mom is that I believe in the products and services I'm selling. My brand is so important to me, and I put 100% of my efforts behind everything I do. But what if you are faced with the choice of doing work for a client or aligning yourself with a brand or company that you just don't "feel." Can you still do good work?
As a product review blogger, I run into this all the time. Just last week, I was asked to review a vitamin drink that I really wanted to like. I told the company to send samples, and I gave the product a go. I hated it. I asked my husband to try it, as well, (just in case my taste buds were a bit "off" that day.) He wasn't a fan, either. I had to contact the company and let them know -- gently -- that their product just wasn't for me or my readers. Yes, I could have reviewed the product on the blog, but the negativity I would have been forced to provide would have been horrible for the brand (and my brand, as well.)
This leads me to the subject of doing consulting or providing paid services for a brand or company that is outside of your comfort range. It can be a dilemma you face when a gambling company wants to place ads on your family-friendly blog, or when a shady foreign cash-advance place wants you to do blog posts for their company website. I believe that the choice to do paid work for companies that make you uneasy is truly a personal choice, and I admit to having done jobs in the past for the sake of feeding my kids that I would happily say "no" to now.
The truth of the matter is that you can do paid work for a brand or client that you don't "gel" with. You can even do really good work for a brand you like and who has a cruddy brand rep as your client contact. Doing paid work for a brand you abhor or who you just don't feel good about deep down inside, however, is difficult.
What can you do to avoid having to sell out when you can't yet find the ideal client? I highly recommend the following:
1. Put enough work in your freelance pipeline to get to the point that you never have to take these jobs in the first place.
2. If you do have to take a job with a less-than-stellar client, set your contract terms to be short. Think of their businesses as a month-to-month lease from a landlord to a crazy tenant. You can put up with them for a few months, but you need to leave room to kick them out if someone better comes along.
3. Look for the silver lining; It can be demoralizing to do project work for a creepy company, but maybe there are quality connections at the company that can payoff later. (I remember when my husband had to take a horrible door-to-door sales job. The work made me want to cry, but he made a genuine friend at the company that he still talks to years later.)
4. Spend your money wisely; Because it took blood, sweat, and a little of your soul to earn that cash from that icky client, you certainly don't want to aggravate the matter by blowing the check on online daily deals and unnecessary lattes. (Unless, of course, the occasional latte is what keeps you sane and from killing your spouse or kids as you frantically try to complete said freelance work.)
Spill it, ladies. Have you had to work for a horrible company or one that was simply a poor fit?
*Photo by milksss via flickr.