Maybe it's just me, but it seems that I'm encountering more and more "clients" who want to take work and not pay for it. I especially find this in the field of Editing, or with quick ghostwriting assignments. I've worked for a handful of people now (from very specific countries, I might add), who ask you to do "just a few pages" of work for them as part of the job application process, then either decline your application AFTER you've done the work or else never communicate with you again. But they've GOT your work. (with no payment for me, the poor freelancer)
Or, they'll ask me to "take a look" at the document to be edited and when I say I'm done with the editing, set up the contract so I can have guaranteed payment...I never hear from them again.
I know it's partially my fault, because I do constantly forget to insist on a contract first. I'm assuming the clients who ask for our work will be honest and up front. But this is the real world and that isn't always true.
So. Just a warning, I guess, for all of us. Be careful who you're working for and protect yourself. Insist on the contract being set up first before submitting ANYTHING new to the client. **edited for Community Guidelines**
I've been a victim of couple of such job posts in the past. Once I translated a 1000 word document, which was purportedly a test of my translation skills. It took me 4 hours and cost me 4 hours of my hourly fees as I put my other long term job on hold, to pass this exam (she wanted to 'shortlist' candidates as soon as possible).
Once I submitted the bid, there was absolutely no follow.... no oDesk messages (then it was known as oDesk), no Skype calls or any contract notification. The next morning the job post was conveniently closed!!
Then I came to know that she is doing third party outsourcing, imagine my anger and frustration. But we, the freelancers have no where to go
Since then, I DON'T undertake snippets of work as a test. If you want to check out my skills, pay me a fraction for teh so called "test" or else I just let it go And it's been working like a charm for me.
Try it, you won't regret it...
I'm glad you learned your lesson. Thank you for sharing your experience. You seem pretty clear in your resolution to never do something like that again, and never doing free work seems to be paying off for you now. Good.
Don't do free work!
Four hours of translation work as a "test"!
Ha ha. That kind of thing is NEVER going to pay off!