One of my favorite films is Devil Wears Prada, because that kind of highly intense workplace always seemed so unreal.
I’d watch that film, and feel instantly relieved that as a professional project manager, I had never taken the big creative agency route in my career. I was relieved because this meant I avoided those obligatory 70 hour weeks, being shouted at by the boss and losing touch with friends and family in the process.
But I’ve changed my tune of late. The last two weeks I’ve been working on a really cool video project for The Freelance Collective that involved finding and managing a team of talented freelancers over three states. My job was to head out into the heart of Sydney to meet creative freelancers working in large co-op working spaces, and also manage a video shoot at award-winning advertising agency M&C Saatchi in Sydney.
While I had a talented freelance videographer by my side, I was project managing and directing the video content, interviewing the director of social content at M&C Saatchi. I was nervous – I mean sick to the stomach nervous.
As I approached the overwhelming front desk, I had this vision of Meryl Streep bellowing at me, and asking why I was wearing daggy clothes and having a bad hair day.
But when we arrived, it was a totally different scenario – a cool and very talented staffer quickly admitted she was nervous about being on camera!
This couldn’t be right could it! She worked at one of the largest agencies in Australia – surely she shouldn’t be nervous! She should be full of confidence and attitude!! We had a great shoot and lots of laughs.
She told me that M&C Saatchi worked with many freelancers, and that they have a limited team of project managers. To my surprise, the big boys need to leverage freelance talent all the time.
This lovely staffer told me they’re always looking for people to help them get organised, source creative talent and manage a project from beginning to end – especially when they have projects come in with a quick turnaround time. This is when they reach out to freelancers, as it’s the only way to manage so many jobs at once.
It was a light-bulb moment for me – the big boys – they need freelancers, and they’re always hunting for great freelancers to work with! It made me so proud to be part of The Freelance Collective, and extremely relieved that I’ve got my profile listed on the site so I can be found when agencies like M&C Saatchi need to reach out to someone with my skills. It doesn’t matter what sort of freelancer you are – big advertising agencies, publishers, brands, entrepreneurs and ASX-listed companies rely on quality freelance talent.
Up until this week I would never have dreamed about contacting a large award- winning agency to pitch for work. Because my perception was that they would have a team of people with my skills on hand, so surely the big boys just don’t need freelancers. But I was very wrong.
The moral of the story? Don’t let your perceptions stop you from working with the people you aspire to. And to get your profile up on The Freelance Collective so these amazing clients can tap you on the shoulder when they’re rushed off their feet with work.
- When to say ‘no’ to a client. And how to do it without burning bridges. - February 22, 2016
- Why freelancers shouldn’t be afraid to play with the big boys - October 19, 2015
- Why freelancers love Sydney’s co-working spaces - October 8, 2015