Neil Gaiman: Be Friendly, On Time, and Do Good Work


“You get work however you get work. But you keep work, because your work is good, you’re easy to get along with, and you deliver the work on time. And you don’t even need all three.”

– Neil Gaiman


Neil Gaiman is a famous author who has some really valuable advice on freelance work. He says there are just three things you need to do in order to be successful; be friendly, be on time and do good work. Lets take a closer look at them.

 1. Be Friendly


Be friendly – this comes back to the point of networking we’re always going on about. If you’re friendly, and you’re pleasant, people can’t help but want to be around you. Being professional is important, but you don’t want to come off as a robot. It’s important to be personable and strike that fine balance between being efficient in your work, but also casual and fun to be around when the situation is appropriate.

 2. Be On Time


In Neil Gaiman’s speech, he means this in terms of writing deadlines – he’s speaking of getting your work in on time, not coming into work on time. But the basic moral is the same – do your best to be on time, and not keep anybody waiting. Gaiman says that it’s okay if you’re late sometimes if you do good work and they’re fond of you, but between you and me, I wouldn’t risk it. A big part of liking someone comes from trust, and if they can’t trust you to be on time, what can they trust you with? Do your best to get to work on time, and get work in on time to prove you’re reliable.

 3. Do Good Work


Do your best. This seems obvious, but honestly it is so hard to keep in mind when you’re working day in and day out. It’s hard to do your best, to put in your best effort, to prove you’re worth the money they pay you. It really is. But you need to remind yourself to do your best every day. Make sure the work you put in is the very best you can do. The work doesn’t even have to be amazing – but your effort needs to be 100%. People see that, they recognize it and respect it.


Even if you think your best isn’t as good as your peers, remember that Neil Gaiman is one of the most successful authors in the world, and he says, “You don’t have to be as good as everyone else if you’re on time, and it’s always a pleasure to see you.


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