An assistant editor for a well-known national in-flight magazine emailed a while back asking if I’d be interested in writing a business column.
Not long ago, I would have said yes almost immediately, despite the fact that the fee they were offering was much lower than my usual rate. I countered with a higher number and they came up slightly. Even then, it was less than my going rate for reported pieces. That’s not taking into account potential PITA factors such as what working with that particular editor would have been like, whether the columns would have been edited by committee – usually not a good thing – or how long it would take the publisher to pay.
In the end, I said thanks, but no thanks.
Turning down that particular opportunity was the right thing to do. Here’s why:
1. My career is in a different place than it was a few years ago when I was a SAHM returning to work after taking time off to raise my family. I was still re-establishing myself. Now I don’t have to take low-paying assignments to prove myself, even with name publications.
2. By accepting low-paying work, I would have make myself less available for work that paid closer to or more than my normal rate.
3. I’m ready to dream bigger. Times are changing. Technically, the recession is over. But with the so-called jobless recovery, a lingering European debt crisis that’s scaring businesses everywhere, continuing changes in the newspaper and magazine business, and a presidential election that looks like it could go either way, it’s more important than ever to be the master of my own destiny. For me, that means focusing on more of my own projects, and not taking on work just because it’s offered.
What about you: how are you dreaming bigger?