Can you afford to take that editing job?

Can you afford to take that editing job?

October 10, 2019 By Erin Brenner
Photo by Damian Zaleski on Unsplash

Whether you’re considering a new editing job or just a new client project, pay rate is probably one of the first things you look at.

You also likely consider what the work entails, what the company is like, and how well you get along with the people you’d be working with.

But what about the less-obvious aspects of a new job or client? What other details should you consider before making a commitment?

Let’s look at a few.


An employee position is a big commitment. It will (likely) represent all of your income and all of your work time. It’s worth thinking through some details to ensure that the whole package works.

Some items to think about:

Look at other benefits, too. What does your paid-time off look like? Can you flex your hours or work from home? Will the job connect you with people who can take you to the next level?

Sometimes an increase in salary can get eaten up by increased ancillary costs. Consider how the job works with the rest of your life.


New clients can be less of a risk for freelance editors because they represent less of your income and work time. Still, a bad fit could seriously damage your business, such as when a new client demands too much of your time and pays you less than other clients. In that case, you could actually lose money.

Here are some things to consider, in addition to pay rate and the work required:

That said, if the wolf is at the door, can you afford not to take the work? That’s a fair consideration, too, for both employees and freelancers. If taking the gig keeps money flowing in when otherwise there would not be any, you may have to take the job … for now. Don’t stop looking, though, so you can improve your situation as soon as possible.

It’s great to be wanted. But when a prospective employer or client interviews you, you are interviewing them as well. Know what kinds of things make a difference in your work life. Be willing to ask for a time to think about it. Run your numbers and various scenarios—good and bad.

Say no if the job doesn’t work for you. And if you take it and later you realize it won’t work out, start looking for your escape route.

Header Photo by Damian Zaleski on Unsplash

This article was originally posted on the Copyediting website August 24, 2018.

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