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You will hear part of an interview with two graphic designers called Anita Dickinson and Joe Connolly in which they talk about going freelance. For questions 1–6, choose the answer (A, B, C or D) which fits best according to what you hear.
1. Anita admits feeling unsure about leaving her job with a big company because
A she lacked sufficient experience in her field.
B she was concerned about her financial prospects.
C she doubted her ability to work for herself.
D she was anxious about the opinion of her colleagues.
2. What does Joe say about when he first started working freelance?
A It was more complicated than he’d expected.
B He resented having less free time than before.
C It was necessary to have the right attitude to work.
D He found it easy to find clients through his website.
3. Joe confesses that having to work at home on his own is
A a relief after working in a busy office.
B a cause of loneliness for him at times.
C something that he avoids as much as possible.
D something that he thought he would dislike.
4. When asked about self-discipline, Anita claims that
A she checks her daily work output very carefully.
B she is rarely tempted away from work by social media.
C she needs certain apps to keep her focussed on work.
D she is often forced to change her working hours to fulfil contracts.
5. Anita and Joe agree that keeping up to date with trends is
A less important than being a specialist in one area.
B difficult when balanced against other demands on time.
C one of the most enjoyable sides of their work.
D not as challenging as they’d expected it to be.
6. What does Joe think is the reason for his success as a freelancer?
A He has effective negotiating skills.
B He makes sure he has good relations with clients.
C He gets plenty of personal recommendations.
D He offers his services at the right price.
Narrator: You will hear part of an interview with two graphic designers called Anita Dickinson and Joe Connolly in which they talk about going freelance. For questions 1–6, choose the answer (A, B, C or D) which fits best according to what you hear.
Interviewer: With me on ‘Work and Money’ are two successful freelancers, Anita Dickinson and Joe Connolly, who both worked as graphic designers at major companies but left to go it alone.
Interviewer: Anita, tell us about your decision to go freelance.
Woman: Basically, I’d been working in a wellpaid position for some time and I was undeniably proud of the fact that people at the company viewed the stuff I produced very favourably. No job’s secure in today’s economic climate, and I realised being employed wasn’t necessarily as safe as I’d thought. I began a transition, doing freelance work on the side, and gradually building up a client base. My only doubt was whether this’d be enough to rely on to cover the salary and perks I’d lose by going it alone. Anyway, I’ve always been an independent person and the idea of being my own boss was ultimately irresistible.
Interviewer: What about you, Joe?
Man: One of the biggest excuses for not going freelance is not knowing how to get started. Clearly, you have to feel confident you know the craft, but beyond that, I simply exploited my own skills to the full and ensured I had a website that I thought would draw in clients. OK, so there was a little more to it than that, but getting started really wasn’t all that complex, even if it took a while before business started pouring in. Fundamentally, it was about a willingness to sacrifice time, working evenings and weekends. Unfortunately, there’s no room for any reluctance on that score. Being realistic about such things made it possible for me to become a full-time freelancer.
Interviewer: Do you enjoy working alone rather than with other people?
Man: Well, I thrived in the hustle and bustle of an office setting – working in teams, bouncing ideas off others, the odd joke with a colleague. I did seriously wonder if working alone would be my cup of tea. It can certainly lead to a sense of isolation for some. Whole days with just yourself for company might become unbearable. Fortunately for me, there are frequent opportunities for human contact – meetings, and consultations about certain contracts – almost too many. Thankfully, I’ve barely experienced any problems being on my own.
Interviewer: Is self-discipline very important, Anita?
Woman: As a freelancer, you’re completely responsible for your own productivity. There’s nobody there on a daily basis monitoring the amount you get done. I’ve experimented with some of the apps available for scheduling, or setting up reminders to keep you on track, but frankly, I find them unnecessary. I know I’m accountable solely to myself – and my clients, of course. If I didn’t have that approach, I wouldn’t have opted to work for myself. Frittering away time on social networks or browsing the web hardly occurs to me. I get so absorbed in my work that I’m more likely to end up working until late at night, which isn’t great as you just end up utterly shattered the next day.
Man: Yeah, and on top of all the day-to-day work you have to keep up with business trends.
Woman: Mm … things move so fast, but I guess that keeping up is something nonfreelancers have to do too.
Man: If you’re predominantly working in one specific area of the market, which tends to happen, then inevitably, you see how things are developing and adapt naturally.
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Woman: What’s key is to have a niche and know it inside out. That way you’re often ahead of others in the same game, saving you from constant time-consuming research into upcoming trends.
Man: It’s primarily a question of, as you say, being an expert, and having a real interest in what you’re doing … in the end, easier than people think.
Woman: And of course, as a designer, you always want to do the best work you can.
Interviewer: You’ve both been very successful. Joe, what’s the secret?
Man: I’ve earned more being freelance than I ever could have with a company. Being competitive involves charging what I see as a sufficient return for the hours put in and considering what the client will regard as fair – that requires some bargaining. Sometimes, I’ve undersold myself, but it’s worked in my favour. Because my work was high quality, word-of-mouth reports about this meant more work came my way. Arguing about whether what I’m charging is reasonable isn’t a situation I’ve had to deal with.
Interviewer: Well, thank you both very much indeed, and that’s the end of the show today…
Narrator: Now listen again.
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1 B 2 C 3 D 4 B 5 A 6 C