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When and How: Refusing a Job Offer

How To October 06, 2018

No freelancer was born with permanent clients and high rates — we all had to start somewhere. It usually meant doing some ridiculous jobs that paid well or some decent gigs for mere peanuts, just for the sake of your portfolio. But the time flies and you suddenly find yourself at a point where there are more projects than you could complete at once. Or you do have the time, but the project is just not worth it. Here are some scenarios where turning down the job offer is inevitable.

You already have too many projects at hand
It’s always tempting to get a bit of extra cash, but sometimes doing so will mean you can let down your clients. There are two obvious red flags, which signal that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew: if the overall quality of your work is decreasing because you have too many gigs, and when you have to work in your free time.

The payment is underwhelming
Working for low rates is okay when you have just started out and only do it for the experience. When you are an established professional there is no shame in setting up fair prices. There will be clients unwilling to pay more, but they can always those eager to work for their budget. That’s why you shouldn’t feel guilty about passing jobs up.

You don’t enjoy the work at all
You know you found a perfect job when everything you do doesn’t feel like working and only makes you more inspired. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes the job is tedious, or the client is obnoxious and annoying, and the list goes on. Some projects do make you roll your eyes — so please don’t accept them. The end result would probably make you wish to forget about working on it, so just skip this part.

Now, you might be ready to pass the opportunity and just don’t know which way to put it. We can come to your assistance because we know how hard it can be to say “no”. Also, you can be rejecting a client who brought you so many gigs in the past, so you really don’t want to lose this professional connection. Try following our words of advice.

Don’t be rude. Show that you are grateful for the opportunity. Thank the client for thinking about you when he was choosing who to contact about the job.

Explain why you can’t accept it in a few words. You don’t really have to write an enormous letter full of excuses and reasons, but sharing why you didn’t accept the offer and giving sound reasons would be nice. No one likes to be rejected and left in the dark without reasons for a rejection.

Find someone appropriate for the job. Being a freelancer usually means networking with fellow remote professionals, so it would be beneficial for all sides involved if you offered someone who you can trust with the job. Your friend would get some work, a client would get his work done and you wouldn’t feel so guilty after all.

State that you are interested in future offers. It’s important to stay connected no matter what, making sure that you still remain the contact can mean more offers from the same client.

We hope that these simple steps can help you overcome your fear of rejecting new gigs and leave your professional network and relationships as unscathed as ever.