Believe it or not, there are certain projects you probably shouldn’t accept.
To turn down work is probably the hardest business decision you’ll need to make as a freelancer, but sometimes turning down a gig is necessary. Why? Let’s look at what you should consider when you aren’t sure whether to jump at a job or run a mile…
1. Will You Learn From This Gig?
As a freelancer, especially one in a technical field, you’re expected to always be on top of new advances in your field. Therefore, a gig that will help you learn about something new — technology, process, or theory – is probably worth taking on. However, it’s important to make sure that you can do the job well even when it means you’ll be on a steep learning curve.
2. Is The Money Good?
If the gig pays a well, taking the money without any other benefits might not be such a bad idea. I’m sure you have an hourly rate — use this figure as a gauge to decide whether to take a job or not.
3. Do You Trust The Client?
If a potential client gives you the heebie-jeebies then your instincts are probably telling you something. If you mistrust a potential client, but the pay looks good, perform a background check. Do the potential client’s references check out? An untrustworthy client could cheat you out of a lot of money, and often the time and hassle of collection efforts negate the value of working on the job in the first place. Beware!
4. Does The Project Fit With Your Moral Code?
If a potential client offers you a gig that really disgusts you, you should turn the job down. If you do take the job, you’re definitely going to regret it. In addition, if you’re not proud of the work you’ve done, you mightn’t want to add this project to your portfolio… it just isn’t worth it.
5. Will This Gig Help Build Your Contact List?
If taking this gig gets you in good with a few other contacts, then it’s probably a good thing. Do your best on this job and soon it may lead to new opportunities. A gig that helps your networking efforts is very worthwhile.
6. Will This Job Lead to Widespread Exposure of Your Services?
There are some gigs that don’t pay well, but that generate considerable exposure for your work. For example, designing a Website that you feel is going to be big some day, or writing a column for a popular site. Certain gigs will lead to a great exposure of your talents and a new influx of clients. Watch out for these opportunities!
7. Does This Job Interest You?
If you feel this job will be fun and exciting, go for it!
It’s a good idea to take all these considerations into account each time you’re offered a job. Ideally, you’ll answer a resounding ‘Yes!’ to each of the questions listed here, but in reality this rarely happens. If you can’t answer positively to even one or two of these points, seriously consider turning down the job.