Your “job” has more red flags


Your “job” has more red flags flying around it than Disney World! Do not, under any circumstances, agree to do this work for a firm fee. There are far to many variables to do this successfully: editing material you didn’t shoot and have never seen before; the French and English translation subtitles; cleaning up the audio; color correction if necessary. The list goes on and on. Keep in mind that a 20 minute finished piece might require only four or five hours to complete or could take a week or more; it all depends on how much tinkering you have to do to make it look good and you can’t predict that.

Far better to estimate how long you think this will take — as Paulears suggests, perhaps two or three working days — make it absolutely clear that this is an estimate only, that it may take longer or less — and give them your per-hour charge. If I were a student with a bit of experience I would charge at least $25 per hour. Where I live that would be only $10 an hour over minimum wage and as an experienced student I believe I’m worth more than minimum. An experienced free lance professional editor here can make $75 to $100 an hour or more, to put this in perspective.

The fact that this is a non-profit company is irrelevant, unless you want to do the job for charity. Non-profits pay their administrative and public relations costs just like any other business. You might choose to do your work pro bono because you believe in the work the non-profit is doing, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that because it’s non-profit the organization can’t pay for work done.

Part of being, or becoming, a professional is being willing to turn down a job that doesn’t meet your requirements. If this non-profit chooses not to meet your terms walk away from it, knowing that you’ve taken the first step on the road toward professionalism.

Good luck.

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