| Uh oh, I found my current job
posted on Craigslist!
Recently, I was cruising Craigslist for freelance gigs (a great idea if you don’t watch too many Law & Order episodes), when I came across an advertisement that sounded perfect, perhaps a bit too perfect. I quickly ran down the list of requirements:
- good writer? check!
- deadline oriented? check!
- update blogs and social media? check!
- work remotely? check!
- agency experience? check!
- part time, limited hours to start? check!!
- flexible work; perfect for mom reentering the workforce? Hey! That’s me!
Then it got weird. The call-to-action that followed, the request for salary requirements and letter of interest, sounded very familiar. Too familiar. I am perfect for this job, because it is my job!
Panicking, I decided to confront my boss, and ask about the posting (via email of course, I am still quite chicken with confrontation). I wrote immediately, heart pounding, confused because he had just emailed me days earlier, URTB (you are the best), quite pleased with a job I completed fast and accurately.
This is a good guy. He called right away and admitted, yes, the Craigslist posting I discovered is, in fact, his advertisement. And while he is very satisfied with my work thus far (9 months!), he placed the ad looking for a “real writer,” not the virtual assistant position that he considered me to hold. Someone with “real experience” writing blogs, marketing campaigns, and press releases.
Ouch. A real blow to the ego.
“But that’s me!” I tried to convince him and prove this is what I do, and do quite well for many other clients (without of course, disclosing confidential, proprietary information…big fat no-no in this business). But while kind, he remained persistent in his pursuit for a real writer.
I took this position at a lower wage in exchange for the valuable, contemporary experience I was promised as a ‘return-to-work mom.’ It was a tradeoff: I’d work for a cut-rate, and he’d teach me, for example, dreamweaver, HTML, social media marketing, ecommerce, google analytics – the many facets of the technology revolution that exploded while I was busy with other volcanic eruptions; mainly, projectile vomiting, temper tantrums, schools, sports, sick kids, and much later, teenage wasteland.
Hence, the very reasonable fee I requested when hired. But I blew it. I priced myself right out of the job I wanted.
Moms considering reentry into the workforce need to be confident and precise in what we expect in a job, as precise as the employer is with us. And both employee and employer need to deliver.
So I’m still the best virtual assistant I can be, but am also that ‘real writer’ so elusive to this boss, but hired by others to create the content needed to reach their markets. Same person, different reputation. Note to self: won’t do that again.