“People get hired because somehow they get hired. In my case, I did something which these days would be easy to check and would get me into a lot of trouble, and when I started out in those pre-internet days seemed like a sensible career strategy: when I was asked by editors who I’d written for, I lied. I listed a handful of magazines that sounded likely, and I sounded confident, and I got jobs. I then made it a point of honor to have written something for each of the magazines I’d written to get the first job, so that I hadn’t actually lied, I’d just been chronologically challenged.
But you get work however you get work, but people keep working, in a freelance world—and more and more of today’s world is freelance—because their work is good, and because they’re easy to get along with, and because they deliver the work on time. And you don’t even need all three. Two out of three is fine. People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time. People will forgive the lateness of your work if it’s good and they like you. And you don’t have to be as good if your work is on time and it’s always a pleasure to hear from you.”
-Neil Gaiman, from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia 2012 Commencement address