What if you couldn’t freelance?

I had an interview earlier this week with a great agency. And from what I saw of the company, from the folks I met with, first impressions and the job description, I would LOVE to work there. Plus, it’s really close to home, so there’s a minimal commute. All great so far.

The only misgivings I have come from the fact that they don’t allow their employees to freelance. Now, they have a great reason – folks were burning themselves out, so when they came to work in the morning, they couldn’t give their best on the job. I 100% respect that.

Now, I wouldn’t mind not taking on new work, but in the event that I’m asked to illustrate another children’s book in the future, or considering I have very close relationships with two clients who I wouldn’t want to leave high and dry, I don’t think I could shut and lock that door.

From what was said, the rule was non-negotiable. Does that mean I forget the potential job and look elsewhere? Or would you propose an agreement, such as a hourly cap per month (my monthly work on these 2 clients would be miniscule)… what would you do?

Please reply below so we can have a discussion about this. Thanks to all my readers (if there are any) for your opinions and advice. ;) -Rob


2 Replies to “What if you couldn’t freelance?”

  1. I’m of the opinion that since I’d want to honor the employer, I would tell them if they ask or get permission ahead of time – not try to hide anything. I think not speaking up is the same thing as lying.

    Maybe if they’re okay with me just doing stuff on Saturday if need be, since it’s not about money or non-competes, then it’ll be fine. I’d wonder where they draw the line, since I create animation for the children’s church class I teach every three months. That’s not for pay but it could certainly take time out of my schedule if I’m slacking since I don’t work on Sundays.

  2. When I had a full time job. I still freelanced-even though the company was 100% against it. The main issue was that they didn’t want you to work for a competitor in the video game industry. My work was in gifts (wrapping paper, gift bags).

    I would consider discussing to them what the freelance work is that you do and your explanation of what minimum work/hours are. Is it something you could do on a Saturday morning/weekend and not have it interfere with your 9-5 gig and your ability to relax to start fresh on Monday?

    There is not an artist I know who does not do some sort of work outside of their regular jobs. Would the company take issue if you took up fine art painting and entered a group show for fun? Is their problem that you are getting extra $$$?

    Test the waters but don’t make a big deal about it. Thing is if you don’t bring it up again they won’t know really. What happens in your studio, stays in the studio. Consider your obligations…is the full time job more important or your 2 clients?

    Hope this helps some?!?

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