It’s 4.53pm on the day before a public holiday. I get a call from the HR person at a prospective client. They want two things from me: an exploratory meeting with some of their senior managers on the public holiday, and a copy of my CV. I point out that it’s a public holiday, and I’m told in response that the work needs to begin really urgently.
As a wag on Twitter once said, “Thank you for putting your red flag right where I can see it.” Why? Because this tells me a few things about this client.
1. They don’t respect my private time.
2. Their lack of planning is about to become my problem.
3. Everything is going to be super urgent, with impossible deadlines.
4. They need me badly enough to stomp over my boundaries for a meeting, but they can’t be bothered to do some basic research – check out my website and LinkedIn profile for starters, or use that handy tool called Google, which will tell them much more about me than a CV ever could.
There was a time when I was so locked into that common freelancer #scarcity mindset that I would have bent over backwards for a meeting like this. Now I know better – these clients are never worth it.