Freelancers

At a FT CD interview the CD (a would-be peer) was super put off by my long history of freelancing and couldn’t wrap her head around how I’d be able to manage and lead teams, despite my decades...

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...of experience making and pitching. I explained that I have led teams intermittently. She’s been at the same agency for 15+ years. Likely we have different strengths. She seemed very suspicious about what value I could bring. I feel long-term freelancers have an innate hustle, ambition to do good work and interpersonal skills (we have to swallow way more shit or we don’t get asked back) than long time staffers don’t. Super generalizations here, but just wanted to get your thoughts.

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In addition to all of the positive characteristics common in long-term freelancers as you mentioned above, she has obviously been working in a bubble for a very long time and is out-of-touch with how the industry has changed. Especially since a good number of freelancers aren’t freelance by choice, but b/c agencies no longer want to invest in FT.

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Smart. I didn’t even think of that.

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The ad industry has a major hang up about long-term freelance. There’s no rationale for their absurd freak outs if you’ve freelanced more than 5 years. As a freelancer you acquire so much versatility in your work, skills, communication skills, project management, time management, adaptability, range of brand experience, problem solving, and discipline! Sad, that they can’t see the benefits of hiring a freelancer for temp or especially perm position. Dumbasses.

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Preach.

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I managed a large teams for two years as a freelancer. Non AOR clients sometimes call for that. But it’s hard for folks who haven’t seen it to get it.

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Freelancers don't get lots of management opps but they do exist. I'm freelancing now and have asked to lead projects and help manage teams for exactly this reason and to grow as a mentor. If you think you have the skillset but freelance hasn't allowed you to lead as much, just bs and say you lead teams on x y and z. You must have had some longer terms gigs ya?

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I have led teams but only for a few weeks here and there. I taught workshops for college kids too. Forgot to mention that at the interview. Thanks for your reply✌🏼

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Sounds like she was looking for excuses to keep the project to herself.

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+1 also agree

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