Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Rejecting work

I turned down a job today. It was something that would have been very time-consuming, doing something that I dislike(cold-calling for short interviews with local shops) for little reward. But I still felt absolutely awful about saying no, firstly because it is in my nature to say yes and secondly that I felt bad for the person who needed that job done.

I have accepted so many small jobs in the past that literally gave me a sinking feeling even as I said yes, so this time I recognised that feeling and allowed it to speak first. The only problem with this is that I said an outright ‘no’ without properly exploring the pay (I suspect this would have been minimal, but there is always room for negotiation), which in hindsight was a bit stupid. And I didn’t give the true reason for saying no, I said something inane such as I wasn’t local to the area, which is doubly stupid as with the Internet you don’t need to be, so that just made me sound unprofessional.

The true reason was I hate cold-calling, and generally need a lot of money to be even vaguely interested, which there wouldn’t have been. But rather than talk money, I avoided it and instead said something that made me sound like a bit of a div. AGH!

I find it really hard selling my talents and abilities, and find talking money very difficult – all of which is a really silly thing for a freelancer. I wonder why – maybe it is a confidence issue, such as ‘am I really worth that amount’? But if you know you are a good worker and will get the job done well, then surely it is just self-belief? I have never been good at self-promotion, either. And writing a book these days is all about marketing yourself and your idea to people – I find I am fine and dandy via email, but cannot speak like a grown up on the phone. I cannot imagine the day I turn from the phone, punch the air and happily commend myself for sealing a good deal. Maybe I need to dress the part and invest in shoulder pads.

1 comment:

Alice ~ writer, traveller, boater said...

you're not alone... I can express myself on the page, but not on the phone at all. I avoid it completely! But I agree, writing and having a book to get out there, you simply have to be able to sell yourself vocally these days. I suspect I will never make a million ;-)