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April 26th, 2012 #1
Freelance Contracts: What To Do When Getting Horribly Shafted?
I am an art student who is about to graduate this May.
Someone I trusted introduced me to a start-up company that offered me my very first freelance contract. I hate to say that I made the typical, dumb rookie mistake. I read and then signed the contract with stars in my eyes instead of waiting longer to review it with someone who knows this stuff far better then I do.
Unfortunately, I realised not very long after that I'm seriously getting hosed in terms of payment. (As in, I could make more money working minimum wage at a retail store, kind of hosed.)
I decided to suck it up, deal with the consequences of my mistake, but the lack of organisation on the part of the company is just giving me more work then I bargained for and less time to do it in which is making the lack of real pay all the more aggravating. I know I should probably just deal with it because its an awful idea to burn bridges at the very literal start of my freelance career, but is there at all a point at which it is okay for me to consider backing off from the whole thing? Or am I sort of screwed and should just take this as a lesson not to be an idiot in the future?
Hide this ad by registering as a memberApril 26th, 2012 #2
You signed a contract. The contract exists to protect you AND your employer. Unless they are somehow in breach of contract, you are stuck and subject to any legal repercussions stated therein in whichever jurisdiction that applies. The fact that you read the contract first and went on to sign it means that you have no-one to blame but yourself. Just do your best, like it was for high pay, and chalk it up as a life lesson on freelancing.
April 26th, 2012 #3
Augh. I figured that was probably the answer. Thank you, I'll just buy myself a nice pint of cookie dough ice cream and truck through it.
April 26th, 2012 #4
Ha.. OMG I'm in the EXACT situation as you.. except no contracts been written up, a business plan is moving forward and I have a deadline by Tuesday. I'm going to my higher connections in the field for advice.. tricky situation..
April 26th, 2012 #5
You didn't sign a contract? o_O Did they make you sign anything?
April 26th, 2012 #6
Hmm. If the amount of work and time was stated in the contract you already signed and agreed to, there may not be a way to bow out gracefully...
But if they're now asking for more work/less time than what was specified in the contract, you could use that as an excuse to renegotiate, or to back out entirely, and as long as you explain your reasons for doing so it won't look too flaky. (They won't be happy no matter what, though.)
I guess it depends on whether you hope to work with these people again, and whether they know people you might want to work with. If you want to stay on their good side, you might just have to do the job. But if these are people you never want to deal with again and they have no connections, you might be better off trying to get out of it.
I got into a similar-ish situation as a new graduate, where I started a job with a client that was supposed to be a tiny design job, and they kept adding and changing things to the point where I was making negative profit, and I eventually had to stop the job, explaining that it was way over the original budget. But in that case the extra requests weren't in the contract, and it was a super-flaky client I wanted nothing to do with ever again anyway...
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April 26th, 2012 #7
Yeah everythings pretty verbal/e mail about this project at this point. the thing is this individual has a lot of power from a BIG company.. media giant.. so I'm contemplating between opting out for my own reputation and sake or sticking to it with risks of having my work stolen.. its not good
I am also a recent graduate. I finished college within 3 years and didnt have the opportunity for an internship/industry experience. so everythings 100x harder either way. gotta learn it all on my own.. plus I didnt go to an art school.. ALL self taught.. gonna be going through a lot of trials and tribulations being independent.
April 26th, 2012 #8
Interesting! I will keep that in mind and watch things carefully then.
April 26th, 2012 #9
I almost thought this thread was in reference to this cause.
Not to Worry, I'm sure Noah or someone will probably post it sooner or later as it's own thread.
April 26th, 2012 #10
@Odayga: Before you do any real work, get a real contract. If they refuse to sign a contract, that's a BAD SIGN and you should not accept the job.
Nobody ever has a good reason to refuse a contract, but there are many bad reasons. Usually if they don't want to sign a contract, it means they don't want to pay you.
Or if you do opt for no contract for whatever bizarre reason, insist on payment in full, up front. And don't start work until the check clears.
April 26th, 2012 #11
Great thanks! I'll get on sending them an e mail right now : )
April 26th, 2012 #12
April 26th, 2012 #13