If you are new to freelancing, you’re probably already struggling to learn new phrases and concepts. Words like “invoice” and “kill fee” probably meant nothing to you until you dived right in to the nutty world of self-employment. Now here comes a jerk like me suggesting you learn even MORE new phrases. But it goes without saying that the freelancer lexicon needs a bit of an update–industry jargon 2.0, you might say. Here is a handy list of new phrases we should all be adding to our vocabularies. Take with one grain of salt and use as directed.
10. The device pictured above should no longer be referred to as a phone. It should be called a LEASH.
9. Sleep is not a word freelancers should be using. Replace immediately with the word nap.
8. Sick is a word to be used only when you need to justify a three day weekend. If you need to take a vacation, you should be telling people you have a two-week onsite project.
7. You did NOT just spend $1500 on a new laptop. You took a strategic tactical tax deduction. You also took a strategic tax deduction (STAD for short) on that Playstation 3 you just purchased, but only if you write a review on it for your monetized blog.
6. A magazine that goes bankrupt before paying you is a deadbeat dad. A high-paying magazine that gave you regular assigments that goes bankrupt is called a deadbeat sugar daddy.
5. An editor who won’t return your e-mails is a zombie. When you terminate the relationship with an editor who won’t return your e-mails, you George Romero‘d him. (Romero is the guy who brought zombie lore–including the requirement to shoot a zombie in the head to kill it–to pop culture.)
4. Deadlines should be reclassified. In the military, a deadline is called a suspense. While this seems to be bad usage, it does make sense, as you’ll be keeping the editor in suspense until you actually turn in your work. Will you or won’t you? Maybe we should start using this goofy term instead.
3. Freelance opportunities are often called markets, but are really meal tickets. A magazine that regularly publishes freelancers in our current economy should be known as Daddy Warbucks.
2. Starbucks should simply be rebranded as the Alternate Conference Room.
1. Time-wasting blog entries like this should be called brain candy. In our current economy, freelance blogs themselves could be considered like lifeboats, as in, “You’re a survivor, too?” But then again, most freelancers I know are doing better than the cubicle zombies I know, so maybe there’s a better analogy. Feel free to suggest your own freelancer jargon 2.0 in the comments section.