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Salon Just hanging around...
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Time for a change?

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  #11  
Old 04-10-2017, 12:08 AM
klev klev is offline
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Re: Time for a change?

I'm not sure this conversation makes a lot of sense. My impression is that you're understandably angry about this. The problem is that the kind of work you mention (working for a few dollars an hour) is very much of a temporary solution. I'm not there, and I can't advise you on that. I'm saying over the long term, that isn't a viable business model. Just talking about branching out from fashion to something else isn't meaningful.

Your long term concern should be on whether you have a viable business plan going forward. $8 an hour isn't part of a viable business model, because it means that your margins will be low and their margins will be low. That kind of nonsense isn't even close to a reliable source of income.
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  #12  
Old 04-10-2017, 07:44 AM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: Time for a change?

And this is exactly why I feel like moving. I can't wait for random cheap clients to appear. Viable long term or not, I need steady income now.
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  #13  
Old 04-10-2017, 12:15 PM
Shoku Shoku is offline
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Re: Time for a change?

San Diego is another area that is not growing. There are shops that hire by season (Upper Deck), and a few very good independent retouchers who work with Photographers on an as-needed basis.

We had 12 retouchers in-house back in 2004 (not 2007 - checked my stats) and now have 3.

Like a photographer, independent retouchers need to promote the benefits they bring to the media. You need to determine your basic rate, back it up with quality samples showing before and after images, and then market your stuff to firms that require your ability. So before you do anything you need to research possible employers and find out what they need. That may be a time consuming process but it will be worth it in the end. And never say, I can't do that. Any good retoucher can figure out how to fix a car or a silk gown, you just need to dive in and do it. Which is why you might want to expand your portfolio to include subject matter you may not have worked on in the past. The more diversified you are the more offers you may get.

Last edited by Shoku; 04-10-2017 at 05:42 PM.
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  #14  
Old 04-10-2017, 12:17 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: Time for a change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skoobey View Post
And this is exactly why I feel like moving. I can't wait for random cheap clients to appear. Viable long term or not, I need steady income now.
Yeah I get that. I would probably suggest considering other areas as well, because as I mentioned, there isn't a lot of industry growth in this work. In your situation, my concern would be the state of the local economy. I offered one example of this. As I recall, you're in an EU country. Wouldn't it be easiest to go to another country within the EU?
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  #15  
Old 04-10-2017, 12:28 PM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: Time for a change?

No, I am not in a EU country. If I were, I'd go get a job at a local H&M or McDonalds, get my 1500 salary and forget about studying and working this hard. Or I would be a retoucher... Do you know of any communist EU countries? lol People that are lucky enough to live in normal country just can't understand the "there is no job that will cover minimum cost of living". Average job = 250. Absolute minimum cost of living = 500 (no car, McDonalds, buying clothes and other conveniences). People get by because 2-3 generations live together, but living alone is a real commodity where I come from.

I get what you are saying that this isn't the field with a big growth, if any, but it never was a mass market job. I just want to get paid as much as a regular Joe if I can't be paid as much as someone that is American or EU, or Australian or Canadian, or Chineese, or Korean, or Japaneese, or New Zeelander, or Turkish, or Russian etc.

Relocating is mandatory. I am left with no options. It's not that I hate my country, there are bad and good people everywhere. I'm more interested if I can be hired at all in the developed world? I could prequalify yet again and become a truck driver or a flight attendant or something if working as a retoucher I can't make minimum wage.

Last edited by skoobey; 04-10-2017 at 12:40 PM.
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  #16  
Old 04-10-2017, 10:57 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: Time for a change?

That sounds terrible man, but living alone is also less common than you might realize in parts of the US. It's really common to have roommates in places like Los Angeles or NYC. I used the case of LA before. If you don't drive and therefore need to be within a bus line commute of some shop that handles retouching, you would probably spend about $1000 + some portion of utilities with 1 - 2 roommates. To qualify for that, you would need a salary > $36k / year and enough for a deposit. If you're a freelancer, you need to make a lot more and have a stable income history for the past 3 - 6 months.

With retouching work specifically, there is no $10/hr work that you would actually want to do. It might seem appealing from where you are now, but that kind of work is indicative of something done on low margins that may not be there a year or two later. The stuff you refer to is unstable regardless of where you live.

In your situation, I would be more concerned with the destination market than the exact line of work. Unless you have the work, experience, and a business plan that would (realistically) allow you to find work fast, it's not a worthy concern.
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  #17  
Old 04-11-2017, 09:30 AM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Red face Re: Time for a change?

I understand what you are saying, dollar does'n stretch as far in a big city as it does here. I also get that I'd need to be renting weekly or stay with friends or someone that trusts me with no credit history. I just wonder if I can be hired at all? I mean for 3600 you've got to be some sort of a magician or be just a regular mid-level retoucher? Do you know what is the realistic amount I should ask for?
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  #18  
Old 04-11-2017, 11:30 AM
klev klev is offline
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Re: Time for a change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skoobey View Post
Do you know what is the realistic amount I should ask for?
No. I would normally say to check glassdoor and similar sites to get an idea of what they pay out. You have zero chance of receiving an offer for a retouching position while living in a foreign country. It simply won't happen due to visa processing and the inherent risk in a new hire. Even if it leaves a position unfilled , they won't hire someone internationally.
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  #19  
Old 04-11-2017, 12:58 PM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: Time for a change?

I know that is not true. Many of my friends have found jobs and moved(in fact more of them have moved then that have stayed). I know that you are not hiring people from abroad(or at all), but if I wanted to I can apply for a flight attendant or a trucker job and get hired within weeks. I was wondering if I can work in a related field, but I guess it is up to me to find out. You've told me as much as you know, and it is good to hear from someone that is located elsewhere. From what I've seen salary ranges from 35k for cutouts and erasing knees and elbows for e-commerce to 120k for senior commercial retouchers, and that is no news to me, as I held quite a good salary for a while.
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  #20  
Old 04-11-2017, 02:18 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: Time for a change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skoobey View Post
I know that is not true. Many of my friends have found jobs and moved(in fact more of them have moved then that have stayed). I know that you are not hiring people from abroad(or at all), but if I wanted to I can apply for a flight attendant or a trucker job and get hired within weeks.
I can talk specifically about the US. In the US, you would need a class of immigration visa that comes with work authorization. This usually means employer sponsorship, which is expensive and takes a certain amount of time. My remark was that no one is going to hire a retoucher under those terms. You certainly aren't scaring anyone away with your salary requirements.

Most of these places are smaller non-corporate shops, not huge ad agencies. They generally don't even have the resources or attention span for this type of thing. As I mentioned, most would leave the position open rather than deal with sponsorship issues. In fact they won't even cover relocation expenses within the US. There are sometimes certain exemptions and things, but none that I can think of apply to your situation.


Quote:
Originally Posted by skoobey View Post
I know that is not true. Many of my friends have found jobs and moved(in fact more of them have moved then that have stayed). I know that you are not hiring people from abroad(or at all), but if I wanted to I can apply for a flight attendant or a trucker job and get hired within weeks.
Those are quite different. You're talking about much larger (regional to international) companies in most cases with large numbers of workers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by skoobey View Post
You've told me as much as you know, and it is good to hear from someone that is located elsewhere.
Well yeah, I can't do anything more than that. I haven't provided an inaccurate depiction of the US (especially California) though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skoobey View Post
and that is no news to me, as I held quite a good salary for a while.
I'm not surprised.

120k is unlikely in California unless you're freelance with strong clientele. It could happen in NYC or similar on salary, but I mentioned the typical issue. The market can support a certain number of people at that rate, which is most likely lower than it was 10-15 years ago.

If you look at the archives, you'll see people discuss California and that the numbers tend to be significantly lower than NYC or similar. The cost of living was also lower at one point. In the last 10 or so years, it has greatly outpaced salary growth.
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