Stop Letting Prospective Employers Give You “Test Assignments”

Heather Larson
2 min readMay 20, 2022

I started writing freelance in 2006.

Since then, I’ve…

• Gained a ton of career experience

• Obtained my undergrad at BU

• Spent a ton of time on continuing education

• …and watched the media industry change

Here is the ONE thing I’ll be doing differently from now on.

I won’t be taking “tests.”

In 2006, I thought this was a good idea.

It wasn’t.

I know now this leads to low-paying jobs & a ton of dysfunction.

If you’re a freelancer, do this 👇

Instead of saying “yes” to “test assignments” negotiate from the get go!

Here’s what you ask:

• Do you pay for this test assignment?

• How much?

• Do you publish it?

• Do I retain the rights or do you?

The people you want to work for?

They will not only have answers — they will also have answers you ✨ LIKE ✨

They absolutely should:

• Pay you

• and well

• and in a timely matter — whether you get the gig or not.

That’s professional.

I’ve been asking around.

Most freelancers tell me they don’t accept “test assignments.”

It’s insulting to be offered this and no freelancer has the time.

I probably would have landed better jobs if I had just avoided test assignments to begin with.

But 2006 Me was a different person and the world was a different place.

Taking work I’m passionate about is what matters now.

Good pay and respect are BIG parts of that!

TL;DR: I won’t be accepting test assignments anymore unless pay & other expectations are agreed upon from the start.

• Don’t take “test assignments”

• Negotiate instead

• Good people PAY

• Freelancers have respect

• Passion + Pay = Possible!

If you like to read about personal development for content creators, especially freelancers, follow @WriterHeatherL

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Heather Larson

Hi 👋 I’m Heather Larson! I’m data-driven content writer coming from traditional media. I’m a veteran broadcaster, radio personality, and journalist.