In this economy, nearly every professional organization is asking its workers to work longer and harder for less remuneration.
The phenomenon applies to payroll employees, who are forced to take pay cuts and unpaid days off (requiring them to then work twice as hard to catch up), as well as to freelancers, who are given "take it or leave it" ultimatums when offered a fraction of their normal rates for assignments that require even more time and labor than before.
Unfortunately, given the increasingly unpredictable nature of paychecks these days, most people no longer have the option of saying "no" to unattractive offers.
We hear lots of outrageous stories about stock photographs that once sold for hundreds of dollars now going for pennies, and shooters who once commanded respectable fees now being asked to turn in edited pieces on spec.
Please share your stories with us. How bad is it out there? What's the worst assignment you've been offered recently? Under what circumstances would you be willing to agree to a rate below your customary fee? How much are you willing to sacrifice to land an assignment -- and what kind of assignments are you willing to accept under sub-par financial conditions?
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