Before you say yes to a freelance job, consider the WHY behind your acceptance.
Not too long ago, I was offered gig. I quoted my price, and the blog owner came back with a counter-offer that was less than half my rate. I countered his counter in a way that split the difference. He accepted the new rate, and mentioned that if things go well, we can talk about raising the rate to something even closer to my requested rate in a couple of months.
Sometimes, I sign on to a job like that, and show flexibility in my rates, because it makes sense for me at the time. If it's not working out after a couple of months, we can go our separate ways, and no harm is done.
But why would I take on more work at a time when I'm feeling a little frustrated, battling burn out, and working on my book?
Sadly, the answer is very straightforward: CASH FLOW.
Summer is coming on, and I know that I will be doing a little more in terms of travel and having fun. It also means that my husband has fewer classes to teach at the university. Since he's an adjunct, and not a full-time professor, we can't just take his salary and have it paid over 12 months (which is what we'll do when he does get a full-time job). So, our cash flow is very irregular during the summer. We'll be making less as a household, and limited by the unpredictable pay schedule that comes with being an adjunct.
This gig's trial period will provide some extra cash during the time we need it most to smooth our finances. Do I need the money? No. But I like the idea of having something somewhat stable to make up for the irregularity of my husband's pay during the summer months.
So I took the freelance job, even though it's not strictly what I want to be doing right now.
What Makes You Take on a Freelance Job?
It makes sense to consider your motives when accepting a freelance job. Think about the why behind your decision. Some of the reasons to accept a gig include:
- Money: When you need the money, it's hard to say no. If you really need the money, it's especially hard to say no. In the beginning of my freelance career, I took on a number of jobs because the bills had to be paid. I don't have to do that any more, but money still plays a role in which jobs I choose to accept, especially when it comes to timing.
- Beef Up Your Credentials: Another reason to take a freelance job is to beef up your credentials in a certain area. A few months ago, I accepted a gig for a little lower pay than normal because the blog focuses on a subject that I want to get more involved with. If you are interested in beefing up your credentials, and getting “out there” a little more, it can make sense to accept a gig.
- It's Interesting: Perhaps the job seems interesting to you. If that's the case, money might not be as big a deal. It can make sense to work on something you find worthwhile and fascinating.
- You Like Who You're Working With: Sometimes, it's all about who you're working with. If you want to work with someone specific, and the opportunity arises, you can consider the trade-offs.
- It's Easy: At times, I take on a job because I know it will be easy.
Think about your motivations. When you get right down it, there is a good chance that the reason for accepting a freelance job just aren't compelling enough to go through with it. Often, the first impulse is to say yes — no matter what.
Take a step back. Think about your goals and motivations. Then make your decision based on that information, rather than just settling because “it's something.”
What do you think? What are your reasons for accepting (or rejecting) a freelance job?