£3000 to start a New Job - advice

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by roebuck86, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. roebuck86 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    #1
    Ok, so I went for an Interview today and got the job woohoo! And I start on Monday. The only problem is I need my own equipment. The role is Graphic Design, and I'm in charge of a bi-monthly magazine.

    I own a 3 year old iBook which isn't up for running doing the job. So I don't mind buying a Macbook Pro and eventually an external monitor to work from, then I have the option to take my computer home with me. So that is going to cost around £1200, but I don't mind that because I will get my own use from that.

    Now software is the killer, I will need to have Photoshop, Indesign and Illustrator. I've spotted the Design Premium pack at £1500ish which is a killer, especially seen as I need to buy this myself. So I'm expected to spend around £3000 to start a job!? It's only once I got home after the interview that I realised how expensive this all would cost. He bumped the hourly rate up by an extra pound because of this, but that doesn't cover me seen as I need the software and hardware now.

    I start on monday, and I'm not sure what to say because I won't have anything ready by then. I may have ordered my new computer but it wont of arrived (refurbished is what im looking at, more bang for buck) I have Photoshop etc installed on my iBook but they are naughty copies.

    What do I say when I see him on Monday?
     
  2. LeviG macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    #2
    Hang on, you're being employed by a company and they expect you to have your own software/hardware.

    Sorry but if I'm being employed by someone (I'm freelance now so have to buy my own software/hardware) I would expect the software/hardware to be supplied or to have a bit more than a £1 increase in wage as you just said about £3000 would equate to 3000 hours of labour or (assuming 40hr week) 75 weeks worth of work.

    Also was this stated as a requirement prior to applying for the job as if it wasn't I would say this employer is taking advantage of someone who hasn't thought this out.

    Another thing to consider is that as you're not self employed you can't claim this back as a business expense either.

    If you are forced into buying it, there is always the option of renting hardware although these do work out more expensive and also require a minimum of iirc 2yrs contract - this might need to be done through the business though.

    EDIT: just had a thought - if you're being employed on a freelance basis (ie you do your own taxes etc) then you would need your own software/hardware but it should also have been clearly stated at initial application/interview etc.
     
  3. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

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    Sep 5, 2005
    Location:
    Bath, United Kingdom
    #3
    Will you be working on/in their premises/offices?

    Surely they have to provide the equipment and software?

    This is… odd. To say the least. :confused:

    Smells like those "modelling" agencies that dupe teenage girls into paying up vast amounts of bucks for their "portfolios"…

    Exactly right.
     
  4. Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

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    Dec 6, 2006
    Location:
    A World of my Own; UK
    #4
    I have never, ever heard of a salaried, office-based job where you were expected to provide your own hardware and software!

    Sorry, but it all sounds a bit iffy to me ...

    Cheers!

    Jim
     
  5. Pring macrumors 6502

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    Sep 17, 2003
    #5
    If it's a business expense, make sure you don't pay tax on them...
     
  6. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #6
    As I said, you can't do this unless you are self employed.
     
  7. Lau Guest

    #7
    This sounds highly dodgy to me. I've never heard of anyone having to do this.

    At a mere extra pound an hour, it's going to take you the best part of a year to cover the software, and the best part of the next to cover the computer.

    arkitect's right, it sounds like one of those dodgy modelling agencies.
     
  8. wongulous macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    #8
    I have a feeling that the hourly rate they're paying you to be in-house, while more reliable, is much less than the reasonable freelance rate you would charge them as a client... but that you have to buy your own stuff is backwards. If you want to spend $3k and go freelance, then do it, but work out another payment method so that you are an independent entity and can pay your own income taxes, get your own healthcare, use your own tax writeoffs, and use this to get your business off the ground rather than being left with $3k of debt and a notch on your resume in a year.
     
  9. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #9
    dont take the job

    the only profession i know where workers provide own tools are mechanics
     
  10. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    Location:
    Bath, United Kingdom
    #10
    More like $5,500… (£3,000)

    To the OP.
    If you are doing the work on your own equipemnt what about IP rights?
    All very grey and murky…

    BTW, have you signed on the dotted line yet?
     
  11. a456 macrumors 6502a

    a456

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    #11
    You say you are on an hourly rate - that does sound freelance. Otherwise he's having a laugh. Companies buy multiple licenses for software, no one asks staff to supply their own. If they do take it as a bad sign.

    Edit: If he pays you an extra £1 per hour then it will take you 429 standard working days to earn back what you spend.
     
  12. jecapaga macrumors 601

    jecapaga

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    Southern California
    #12
    Not only sounds sketchy but I'd say it's illegal in the U.S.
     
  13. anim8or macrumors 65816

    anim8or

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    Aug 16, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #13
    Not to be pernickety but most labourers also supply there own tools....

    :D

    To the op;

    I understand that you say that you are on an hourly rate, does that mean you are being paid by the hour, for every hour you work, so if you work 5 hours one day then 7 the next you get 12 hours pay or that you will get x amount of hours pay at the end of every month (salary) no matter the actual hours you work.....?

    To me it just sounds like a small company that has hired you and doesn't own multiple licence copies of the software....?
     
  14. eyeon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Location:
    Montana, USA
    #14
    I was once in this exact same position, and everyone I told gave me the same reaction that you all are expressing... it bothered me, to say the least, but I took the job anyway and worked there for 2 years. It took the company a year and a half before they finally gave in and bought (actually, leased) an iMac and a Wacom tablet for me to work on in the office -- before that I was stuck on my old Powerbook G4. Their excuse was, "we're a startup company and can't afford a workstation right now..."

    So, this DOES happen, and for 2 years I just lived with it -- not an ideal situation by any means...

    If you feel that you need to upgrade your hardware/software in order to get the job done -- which if you are producing a bi-monthly magazine it would be a really good idea -- then they really shouldn't require you to pay for it... in my situation, I already had the laptop and the Creative Suite, so I guess they just took advantage of my naivety and I just used what I already had. But this situation is a bit different. I'd talk to them about your concerns.

    Good luck.
     
  15. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

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    Location:
    California
    #15
    Those are contractors though. Sounds to me like this was employment.
     
  16. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

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    Ask Apple
    #16
    Can you go dutch, and you pay for the computer and they the software?
     
  17. chameleon81 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #17
    Check your boss' software licenses if they r legit or not.

    I believe a person who asks his employees to buy their own software would never buy a legit copy of software. SO, you may carry on with your own naughty versions :)
     
  18. anim8or macrumors 65816

    anim8or

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    Scotland, UK
    #18
    To be honest here in the UK most labourers are pretty much like freelancers.... so i guess they have to have their own tools.... :D

    back on topic....
     
  19. roebuck86 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    #19
    Ok, So the company rang up to ask me a question, I asked to speak to the manager. And just quoted him the price of the software etc. He did seem quite shocked, and told me not to worry about it and they could cover the costs for the software. He does seem a nice guy, so im going to head in on monday and have a good chat with him about everything, im just unsure what angle to come at. I might find out what his concerns are about buying the hardware and software for his company.


    The job isn't freelance, its just a wage rather than a salary. But the hours are fixed, 9-5. The company is a newish company as far as I can tell, therefore don't own any graphics software / hardware. Mainly because they are just unsure about what they would need to buy.

    This was only brought up in the interview, their job advert never mentioned having your own
    equipment.

    Not yet, thats all to be done on monday
     
  20. Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Location:
    A World of my Own; UK
    #20
    If he's a publisher, or is just starting up a publishing division as part of a wider business, he should have his own hardware and software and employ someone to work on them for a salary/wage.

    You should point out to him that he is exposing his new business to significant risk if you were to leave or get hit by a hypothetical bus.

    Most importantly of all, he needs to invest in a substantial and legal font library. Even if all your fonts are legal (I'll be honest, I don't know of a single designer who doesn't swipe the odd font when someone else supplies a job with a font they like) then they aren't licensed to him and they may not necessarily be licensed for commercial use at all.

    Then, if you leave (or get hit by that bus!), he would not only have to find a new designer (with their own kit) but also identify all the fonts you have used and get licenses for them.

    So, I'd sell it to him that way. A short-term saving on equipment and software now is potentially setting him up for any number of headaches in the future.

    If he asks why you're considering the possibility of leaving before you've even started, explain that when you work in production (particularly print production), it's part of your job to run through as many worst-case scenarios as you can think of.

    On the plus side, I've worked on several magazines and I have to say, they've been among my favourite jobs, so I hope you can iron out these initial difficulties and have a fantastic time.

    Last thing: by "bi-monthly" do you mean "twice monthly" or "alternate monthly" (since the meaning of the term seems to have become confused in recent years)?

    If it's alternate monthly, then unless you have additional duties such as some kind of editorial (subbing), or the publication is well over 100 pages, then I would be concerned about there not being enough work to keep you employed full-time.

    Make sure that your contract is not a "zero hour" contract. It should specify that your working hours are (say) 9-5 Mon-Fri with 30 mins for lunch, totalling 37.5 hours per week. It is then the employer's job to ensure that you have enough work to occupy your contracted hours.

    If your contract is a zero-hour one (ie - it specifies that you work for the employer but does not specify the working hours) then you can be sent home on no pay when there is no work, but be expected to sit by the phone and wait for a call to tell you to come back in when the work starts coming in again.

    Cheers!

    Jim
     
  21. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    #21
    I would say that the person you spoke to probably hasn't had a great deal of experience in this area and is probably learning a bit himself as they go along. I would say have a chat with them and see what solution they can come up with as because as you're not freelance you wouldn't be able to claim any money back and as such you are going to be taxed (and national insurance) on your 'business' expenditure where any freelancer/business wouldn't be (or atleast on a portion of it - complicated to explain).

    Now iirc adobe software can be installed on 2 machines iirc (although officially only one used at a time iirc) so if they have a machine with it already in house you could possibly get away with it that on a temp basis.

    As to hardware I would suggest maybe leasing the software as if the company is new it wouldn't be an all out payment and would probably allow you to get a higher spec machine than if you were to buy it - you also get a new/upto date machine if you want after the initial lease etc. I would suggest buying a central storage device though if you did this.

    Another detail is that it wasn't mentioned in the job app so its not a fair thing to throw at you at this stage.

    And I would agree, ensure your contract is a set weekly hours etc as in my view if you're on a 0 hour contract you might as well be freelancing for the company.
     
  22. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #22
    Working for a company where they expect you to supply your own software and hardware... I'd tell them to go screw themselves because unless you're running your own business it's an unreasonable request.
     
  23. covisio macrumors 6502

    covisio

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #23
    Question: Do you really want to work for somebody that offers you a job then asks you to stump up for your own equipment?
    This is an unfair and unreasonable request. I am UK-based and I have never, ever heard of such an arrangement. He's either taking the p**s or very naive.
     
  24. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #24
    Just to echo everyone else - I donut like that. You shouldn't have to pay for your own computer, software maybe (if it's specialist). But the computer should be provided by the company and taking it home is just a benefit of that.
     
  25. dazzer21 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    #25
    Won't they employ you on a freelance basis? You can charge them more per hour (which they should not think twice about covering, should the price be right, especially if they think about the extra hassles that dealing with PAYE etc and other such things). The trade off is that you are responsible for your own affairs but if you consider what's being stopped before you even receive your play slip whilst employed, that extra quid an hour is next to nothing. If you're only working rigid hours (9-5) then you have no real way of making up your hours outside of those hours (at home if you get a MBP!) to pay for your new kit sooner.
     

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