Some would characterize them as hard workers, up late and back at work early; others would say the one and only quality they need is the capacity to produce a superior product; a few, though, claim that the secret to a great freelancer is passion for the project. Do they love what they do, or is it simply a job that pays the bills?
A double-edged sword in a sea of mediocre freelancers
This last concept, though absolutely accurate, is tragically flawed; a double-edged sword in a sea of mediocre freelancers. As vital to good work as passion is, it leads to the exact scenario that you’re trying to avoid: the waste of both time and money.
Passion is often highly associated with a dreamer; a visionary who sees a path, or potential in any given venture, and can’t shake it until they’ve tried. Passion also means learning as much as possible about the various ways to get where one is headed, via tool or trade. The unfortunate aspect is that, often times, in order to continue to pay the bills (as adults are often prone to do) that research or brand new, shiny trade is fed straight into the mind of the freelancer, the same hour you just paid $25 for.
The fact is that freelancers aren’t on your team; they’re their own entities, entirely autonomous. Therefore, contrary to the type of industry adaptation you’d encourage with a full-time employee, it truly is not cost effective or logical to allow this form of paid research on your own time.
A common quote passed around in the freelance world is…
Do something today that your future self will thank you for.
But when we have no stake in a freelancer’s future, we don’t have the time or money to fuel their fire today.
It can be frustrating when a freelancer learns on your time and money. This is because the client is essentially paying for the freelancer to make mistakes and learn from them. However, there are also some potential benefits to this arrangement. For example, the freelancer may be able to produce a higher quality product if they are given the opportunity to experiment and learn from their mistakes. Additionally, the client may be able to get a lower price on the project if the freelancer is not fully experienced.
Overall, whether or not it is a good thing for companies to let freelancers learn on their time and money depends on the specific situation. If the company is willing to take on some risk, then it may be a good way to save money or get a higher quality product. However, if the company is not willing to take on risk, then it may be better to hire a more experienced freelancer.
Pros & cons of letting freelancers learn on your time
Here are some additional details on the pros and cons of letting freelancers learn on your time and money:
- The freelancer may be able to produce a higher quality product if they are given the opportunity to experiment and learn from their mistakes.
- The client may be able to get a lower price on the project if the freelancer is not fully experienced.
- The client may have to pay for the freelancer to make mistakes.
- The project may take longer to complete if the freelancer is not experienced.
- The client may not be happy with the final product if the freelancer is not experienced.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to let freelancers learn on your time and money is a personal one. There are both pros and cons to consider, and the best decision will vary depending on the specific situation.