Should You Take That Freelance Gig?

by Rachel Goldstein

Believe it or not, there are certain projects that you probably shouldn't accept. Turning down work is probably the hardest decision you will need to make when running your business, but sometimes turning down a gig is necessary. In this article I will explain to you the details that you need to consider when you aren't sure which route to take.

Consider the following:

1. Will I Learn From This Gig? - As a freelancer, especially one in a technical field, you are expected always to be on top of new advances in your field. Therefore, taking a gig that will help you learn about something is probably worth taking on. However, it is important to make sure that you can do the job well even though it is new waters for you.

2. Is The Money Good? - If the gig pays a lot of money, taking the money without any other benefits is probably a good idea. I am sure that you have an hourly rate, use this rate 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. Do the potential client's references check out? If you mistrust a potential client, but the pay looks good, perform a background check. An untrustworthy client could cheat you out of a lot of money, and isn't worth the collection efforts.

4. Does The Project Fit With Your Moral Code? - If a potential client offers you a gig that really disgusts you, you need to turn the job down. If you do take it, you are definitely going to regret it. In addition, you won't be able 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 taking this job on is probably a good thing. Do your best on this job and soon it will lead to new opportunities. A gig that helps your networking efforts is very worthwhile.

6. Will This Job Lead to Widespread Exposure of My Services? - There are some gigs that don't pay well, but that lead to wide exposure. For example, designing a website that you feel is going to be big some day, or writing a column for a big website. Certain gigs will lead to a great exposure of your talents and will lead to a new influx of clients.

7. Does This Job Interest You? - If you feel this job will bring you great joy and excitement, take the job on.

Take a look at all of the above considerations. Ideally, a gig will encompass all seven of these considerations, but in reality this rarely happens. If not even one or two of these is true, turn down the job.