Should I take low-paying freelance jobs? That’s a question people ask themselves all the time. And it’s a subject that’s fiercely debated.
The upper echelon of freelancers usually argue that low-paying jobs are an absolute don’t-do.
But nothing is absolute when it comes to making a living.
A lot of books, blogs and master classes advise you to calculate your value, set your rates accordingly and turn down work that doesn’t meet your standards.
This is like telling a crowd of hungry people to pass all stores and restaurants until they get to the organic spot. It’ll leave you starving.
Assessing Your Needs
Whether or not you take low-paying freelance jobs boils down to what you need and your options to get it.
Low-paying is a relative term. Anything that can have a meaningful and positive impact on your situation is not low-paying for you— if that’s your only or your best choice.
If you need a can of formula for your baby, a $20 writing job is not low paying when you don’t have any other work. That $20 job can completely change your circumstances by taking your baby from fed to unfed.
That may sound over-sensational, but it’s not. As a freelancer who has been in the game for a long time, I know first-hand about freelancing in survival mode. That’s when you’re hustling to pay for food, for rent or for a disconnection notice.
And as soon as one expense is paid, you have to scrape up funds to cover the next. I’ve been in situations where I was writing $10 articles for content mills that pay today because I had to buy food tomorrow.
Advice Isn’t One Size Fits All
Too much of the advice that’s floating around makes it sound like we’re all in the same place.
A married woman doesn’t have the same considerations as a single woman, and a single woman doesn’t have the same concerns as a single mother.
When you have the luxury to pick and choose your work, that’s one thing. But when you’re trying to make ends meet, you have to do what you have to do to take care of right now. And that may mean accepting low-paying freelance jobs.
If that’s your story, there’s no need to hang your head low or think twice about it. You have to start from where you are.
Make moves to address your situation but don’t create habits that keep you there.