Majority of freelancers are already familiar with the fact that they may have to constantly look for projects to help them pay the bills and maintain a productive status quo in their careers. Turning down work may be a rare practice, particularly for newbie freelancers who are still trying to establish authority and networks in their respective fields.
However, freelancers who are already veterans in their own right may find themselves not really wanting to do a certain project, yet they grudgingly accept it because they are so caught up with the freelancing mentality of getting their hands to whatever project is offered to them.
If the above scenario sounds familiar to you, you may have to set guidelines as to when you should be turning down work and decide not to take the job. When should you and how to turn down a freelance project?
While money could not really buy you happiness, let’s be real. You wouldn’t want to take a very low-paying project unless you have other reasons to do the project such as a very dear friend asks you to do so or you fully support the cause of the organization behind the project.
You don’t have time for it anymore
As a freelancer, you are already way too familiar with all-nighters and working on weekends. However, you may be also familiar that working long hours could actually negatively impact your work, resulting to poor quality. If a project is offered and you can’t seem to allot a certain amount of time for it, consider turning it down in the first place. That is before you start missing deadlines and worst, have an upset client sending you tons of follow-up emails.
The project does not conform to your work ethics and values
If you’re a vegan and your client just asked you to research, develop, and write recipes for a meat-loving online audience, you’d probably have second thoughts about the job. If you’re stuck in similar situations, you can politely decline and suggest another writer you know instead.
The project is way too far out of your league
Say a client wants you to write about petrochemical plants. Yet, you don’t even have an idea what those plants are for and what the industry is all about. If you think you can’t nail it, you might want to suggest someone else in your network whom you think will do great with the task at hand.
Ultimately, it’s all about knowing when to say no (and when to accept, too!) to a project. Have you turned down projects before? Why? Tell us about it in the comments below!