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Just a thing about freelancing

It’s very, very, like a gang. There’s the capo who has his little league of gentlemen. How the gentlemen do depends upon where the capo’s placed.

Lewis at The Register used to like my stuff so he employed me. Lewis got fired and so did I – no complaints, that’s just how the gangs work. Lewis got hired at the Telegraph, I start getting work from the T. Until a capo de capi decided he didn’t like my stuff and that then stopped. Oh well.

Two people at places I’ve done work for have just swapped jobs. One doesn’t like my stuff much and has gone from a place with a budget for freelance work to one without. The other likes my stuff more and has gone from a place without that budget to the one with.

Not that this is making hay time, it’s covers the household bills – water, ‘leccie etc – sums but still, that’s nice, no? One of my capos has just got a better place so I as one of the gentlemen……

And, really, that is how freelancing works.

6 thoughts on “Just a thing about freelancing”

  1. OT but found it amusing.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/07/09/police-federation-piglets-itv-sitcom-grossly-offensive/
    ITV have named its new comedy show about a police training school the ‘Piglets’.
    Calling the police the “the pigs’ is very much an Americanism, not much used in the UK. Except some people of tinted nature watch too much TV. Round my way it always ‘the Filth’. So rename the show the ‘Smuts’ or the ‘Grubbies’?
    Why would you want to do a comedy show about the police anyway? You’re hardly likely to match the real thing for getting laughs.

  2. It may be how freelancing works in arts subjects, but in STEM areas it’s more about building a reputation for delivering on your promises. It’s true that a head of IT who’s used me before may well use me again if he moves to a new company and they have relevant work that needs doing, and he may (hopefully) tell his mates that I’m a good guy to work with – but that all depends on the reputation.

    I’m sure freelance writers also need a good reputation for meeting deadlines etc. but quality is much more subjective.

  3. “I’m sure freelance writers also need a good reputation for meeting deadlines”

    Well, yes, initially approached to write something at 11.43, filed at 12.38, 1,000 words on subject…..

  4. @ Chris Miller
    Not *just* on delivering on promises, also getting it right.
    Anecdote alert … I remember (because it’s something I’ll never forget) that a group of American Actuaries working for a “Big 5” firm of accountants had got the book value of an insurance company wrong by more than they said it was [I spent a whole weekend in my hotel* room creating an *appropriate* table of annuity rates using local mortality rates and current interest rates instead of mainland European 1948 Mortality and 4%]
    It had a diesel generator to provide electricity when the wind didn’t blow.

  5. Coming back to the original question: mostly but not universally. A majority* of my work came from people who had encountered me previously and reckoned that I was good at my job and a moderate amount came from people who had asked one of my clients for help and they had recommended me (so a bit similar to your capo).
    [Startlingly, one of the guys who rated my competence did so on my analysis of mining stocks during my first year of covering that sector professionally – I did worry about what that implied for the other buy-side fund managers in the sector]
    *The largest single slice came from a firm after their Research Director looked at my CV and was impressed by one of my qualifications

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