I buy groceries with the help of my toddler. He likes naming and counting food. I like getting the job done. Win-win. Today in line, a young woman offered me her nannying services while in line. Total stranger. Hit me up for a job.
We can learn things from this experience.
On the plus side:
- She observed the first rule of freelance job hunting: tell everybody what you do, and ask them to pay you for doing it.
- She opened the conversation by demonstrating knowledge of her field. In this case, she engaged me about parenting and her experience with children.
- She asked me for work in a straightforward, almost abrupt, manner.
- She told me about her experience level, and offered to provide references.
- Her entire communication was professional, yet approachable and friendly.
An overall excellent pitch. Now for the bad news.
She was dressed in a ratty sweatshirt and very (very) tight camo pants. I know it was Sunday morning at the grocery store, and she apologized for the outfit. But if you’re in the game of asking for work every time you leave the house — be dressed for work every time you leave the house.
She smelled like cigarette smoke. I don’t consider this the sin many people seem to think it is these days, but is a deal-breaker for anybody who wants to spend time with my kid — and it’s a common deal-breaker in my part of the country. That’s simple market research. If a certain behavior will keep you from getting good clients…discontinue that behavior.
As it turns out, I already have an excellent nanny. I took her information and plan to pass it on to some parents I know who are smokers themselves.
What can this tell us about job hunting as freelancers? Comments below, please….