This Job, Not That Job

What I’m listening to: Good Grief by Bastille

I love when my friends give me great ideas for a blog post. This one comes to us via Paula Hendrickson, who said “You’ll hate it so much, you’ll love it.”

Yes, it’s that bad. Here is this month’s candidate for worst job ever. I’ve masked some of the details, though I’m not sure why:

Freelance Political Writer 

National Association of XXX  (telecommute)

Write For National Association of XXX (NAX) The NAX is the fastest growing grassroots movement in the country. Our organization is comprised of proud Americans from across the nation who share NAX ideals, values and traditions.

NAX is looking to hire freelance writers who are willing to work hard, follow instructions and meet early morning deadlines.

Sound like something you’d be interested in? Great!

We’re looking to hire bloggers who can quickly cover the news on a daily basis for a conservative audience. We write conservative content … not liberal, moderate, or anything else.

HOW IT WILL WORK:
Here are the details for our writers:
We pick the topics for you.
You just have to write articles with 300-600 words of original content to explain the news story.
We pay a starting price  $25 per article, and $10 per image that goes along with each article. Articles should take between 30 minutes to an hour to do — the longer you spend writing for us daily, the faster and easier each article becomes.

There are lots of growth opportunities here. If you can write a lot of articles quickly, we’ll find work for you to do, so this is perfect for dedicated writers.


Okay, on the surface, this sounds like a worthwhile gig because it’s coming from an association (it’s actually a fairly well-known one). However, let’s see just how bad this one is:

We pick the topics for you.

Okay, that sounds easy enough.

You just have to write articles with 300-600 words of original content to explain the news story.

Wait. What news story? Didn’t they just say they’re choosing topics? That’s not a news story unless… wait. They’re calling what you turn in a news story? How’s that? With no reporting or interviewing or facts? Red flag #1.

We pay a starting price  $25 per article, and $10 per image that goes along with each article.

Uh, wait. Now we have to provide photos, too? First, a news story that’s not really news and now pictures? From where? Red flag #2.

Articles should take between 30 minutes to an hour to do — the longer you spend writing for us daily, the faster and easier each article becomes.

And the faster you’ll have to be in order to earn any kind of living at this. Let’s see, an hour per at $25 per article…. Gee, by the end of an eight-hour day, you’ll have $400! No wait, you’ll have $480, and you’ll be exhausted. Red flag #3.

There are lots of growth opportunities here. If you can write a lot of articles quickly, we’ll find work for you to do, so this is perfect for dedicated writers.

Okay, back the Truck. Up. They’re equating “growth opportunities” with “we’ll find work for you to do.” That’s not “growth.” That’s serfdom! There are no growth opportunities beyond watching that work pile grow and the pay stay at the same abysmal rate. Red flag #4.

Do yourself a favor — don’t go there. Don’t write for people who think growth opportunities involve piling it on you and not paying you enough. And the “news” articles? Please. It’s another political website that’s unconcerned with facts and more concerned with pushing their political agenda instead of serving up actual news. And don’t be altruistic — you couldn’t possibly afford to find credible sources and crank out the amount of work you’d need to do in order to survive on those rates.

So we’re done with that.

Instead of accepting garbage, do a tiny bit more legwork and find a better gig, such as this one:

Part Time Writer Needed

Publishing Company looking for a part time writer for B2B publications. Job includes writing two articles per month. Applicant must have prior experience in writing and copy editing.

compensation: 500 per month
telecommuting okay

Let’s see…. two articles per month versus eight per day….

I know which one I’d take.

Writers, bring your worst. What are some of the worst job listings you’ve seen?

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Comments

  • Keri Engel July 27, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Hey Lori! Another great post. I realized yesterday that I hadn’t been getting RSS updates since you switched to WordPress (congrats, btw – looks great!), so I’ve just resubscribed. I missed your posts!

    For me, it’s always a red flag when any client/prospect tells you how much time a project should take me. First of all, they have no idea how I work. It usually means they value quantity over quality, and also makes me suspicious that they’ll try to treat me as an employee instead of an independent contractor.

    Reply
    • lwidmer July 27, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      Sorry about that, Keri! I tried to move it all easily, but that didn’t happen apparently. Feedburner isn’t the problem — I am.

      That’s a great observation, too. The minute they start saying how easy it is or how little time it takes, it’s a clear sign they don’t understand the value of a writer’s skills. I think you’re correct — it’s quantity over quality at that point.

      Reply
  • Paula Hendrickson July 27, 2016 at 11:22 am

    I knew you’d love/hate this one, Lori.

    Keri is right: it’s a giant red flag any time clients state how much time a project should take. They’ll blame you for not being able to knock out enough copy to break even. Even if they seriously think it will only take an hour per “news” story, the $25 is insulting.

    Of course no where in that listing do they mention wanting talented, experienced, or even good writers. Speed and quantity are what they want.

    Reply
    • Paula Hendrickson July 27, 2016 at 11:24 am

      Argh. Why can’t I ever post a comment without a glaring typo? It should be “any time” not just “any.” But you knew that.

      Reply
      • lwidmer July 27, 2016 at 12:59 pm

        Fixed it for you, Paula. 🙂

        Reply
    • lwidmer July 27, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      Red flag there too, Paula! They didn’t mention talent or skill, which I didn’t even see because I was so focused on the “news” garbage.

      Reply
  • Cathy Miller July 27, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Right on, Keri. And don’t forget how much easier they say it will be, too. Because news topics don’t require any research or anything. Oh wait. I forgot. This IS only news we’re talking about. 😉

    Reply
    • lwidmer July 27, 2016 at 1:00 pm

      Smacks a bit of a pseudo-news site, doesn’t it Cathy? There are way too many of those around for me to be sympathetic to any “need” they may have for content.

      Reply