I work part-time as a freelance designer in a marketing agency and recently asked my boss for more hours. He said he'll help me with more projects but all he's done is assign more work to me without extending my hours, and he said he's not willing to pay me overtime. Now I'm scared to lower my workload because he will just say I am lazy and don't want to work. How do I get out of this?

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Unfortunately this is a common experience among designers. I recommend you not to do more work than you had before, since he took advantage of your request to do exactly the opposite of what you requested.

Mr or Miss, I suggest you start looking for another place to work. This is unstandable

You are not lazy, it is important to set boundaries to avoid being taken advantage of. Don't be afraid to assert your work, because no one else will do it for you.

This is NOT OKAY. I don't think this is a place where you want to keep working at. Your boss will probably not become a more reasonable person out of the blue and this can be a sign of further disrespect toward you in the future

Clearly you're not lazy since you were the one asking for more hours so don't let them make you feel that way if it comes to it. Talk to you boss and stand your ground. The work you do is valuable and you should get compensated appropriately for it

You probably have more leverage here than you think. If your boss is trying to squeeze every last bit of labor out of you in this way, it's because you are a valuable worker. This means that you can find another employer out there who will also recognize your value but won't exploit you

Technically as a freelancer, your only "boss" is yourself. You can choose which clients to work for and which ones aren't worth the trouble. So it doesn't even matter if he thinks you are lazy; you are a contractor, not his employee. Keep copies of all of your communication with him, and try to communicate in writing as much as possible (email is fine) so that you will have a record you can show people if it comes down to protecting your good name. Some clients are completely unreasonable but there are still good ones out there who will take his reviews of your work with a grain (or maybe a pound) of salt

Are you freelancing through a specific company or website? A lot of sites have protections in place against this sort of thing, because it sounds like extortion, "do what I say for free or I will ruin you." Upwork is the only site I have used extensively but I know they have a conflict resolution team who will work with you in these types of cases to get everything sorted out. You don't owe the guy any free work, that's absurd

Consider charging by the project rather than by the hour. I've taken on some freelance projects here and there and found that this is a better way to operate because they know how much they will pay upfront. Of course, if they want tons of revisions or something, then you might have to put a cap on that, but the beauty of freelancing is that nobody owns you!

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(I’m new here, so apologies if this sort of thing is uncouth, or if this is the wrong place to post).


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