In remote work possessing experience usually means a better portfolio and a wider network of contacts. More experience backed up by completed jobs enables you to take on more ambitious projects. Having a broad network of contacts and being recommended by your current customers to others can lead, in turn, to an increase in the number of queries about offers and cooperation proposals.
How to select the right jobs among the ones proposed to you or published in the web, and which you want to apply for? Failed and unsuccessful jobs, or the ones cancelled by customers, normally mean losses for the freelancer: lower remuneration and wasted time, which often leads to disputes with customers.
It’s not easy to refuse future customers – the freelancer’s work is very specific because prosperity periods in the number of jobs alternate with weaker periods when there’s less work. Saying “No” to an employer seems to be clearly against your best interests, because who normally refuses a potential bank transfer?
There’s also an optimistic conviction that even a project that we don’t like from the start might lead to a profitable job and a fruitful business relationship in the future.
A few things exist, however, that are worth considering before you make a decision about a cooperation. It will help you avoid any misunderstandings and unpleasant surprises freelancers are exposed to.
How to recognize good jobs? 4 issues that you must consider
1. Does your customer’s idea seem workable?
The first thing you should do before you accept a job is… to assess if your customer isn’t out of touch with reality. Perhaps, based on your own experience, you’ve already noticed that the best projects are commissioned by down-to-earth people even if they lack technical know-how or an idea of what exactly your work is.
There’s obviously nothing wrong with ambitious projects but you must distinguish them from the ones that are unworkable. Perhaps it’s an extremely profitable project in its early phase that isn’t making money now but that will certainly make millions in the future? Or maybe it’s a game that will win the hearts of smartphone users and you will obviously have a share in its profits?
If your employer treats their idea (and you) seriously, they should possess enough accumulated funds to honestly reward you for the time and effort you’ve put in building their future success. Offering you to jump in at the deep end and risk your time (being your most valuable asset) to make someone else’s dreams come true is not very fair.
Force yourself and start asking hard questions, for example, about the project financing, before it becomes profitable, or ask how the project you will work on is going to make money in the future.
If the project appears to be completely unworkable for you, simply don’t accept the offer. In that case it’s not so much a matter of losing an opportunity to earn on the job as of saving yourself frustration.
2. What scope of work is necessary?
Don’t ignore the scope of work that will be required and don’t indulge your customer’s every whim just because you are a freelancer.
Meanwhile, it’s not worth confusing remote work in the creative industry with work in a shop with ready-made ideas. Even if you have experience in various areas, like wedding or product photography, front- and backend, raster graphics and DTP, there is probably one area, field or specialization in which you feel really confident. Just hold on to it!
If you don’t like the brief itself, assume that the project isn’t for you. An exception to this principle might be either a critical financial situation or when you feel that an effort put in completing a job might help you push your career forward. The results of your work will always be better if you enjoy what you do and not when you toil away.
3. How engaging will the project be for you?
How do you enjoy working: having constantly new projects or being absorbed in one activity that will be lasting a few months and providing you with regular income credited to your account? Before you accept a job, assess how engaging it can be for you and to what extent it corresponds to your model of work and the working time available.
Take into account your customer’s expectations as well. Does your employer also expect you to maintain or manage a website you are obliged to code, or to moderate comments on a blog for which you write texts? Before you accept a job, make sure how long your cooperation is going to be and if it really suits you.
4. What is the situation of your customer?
The contract of a specific work is binding for both parties even when it has been concluded orally and it gives grounds for seeking redress. Then it’s better to save yourself unnecessary stress and to check an employer before the final agreement about the nature of the commissioned jobs has been reached.
Browse industry forums or social media groups, or search for an employer’s name on Quora to find out what kind of reputation your potential customer has. Besides, ask the customer for a TIN or VAT ID and check him/her in a business database appropriate for your country.
Have you found your customer in one of the freelance jobs websites, such as useme.eu? Professional websites enable you to check the statistics of an employer: the number of concluded deals, if the payments for them have been made on time or if any deal has been cancelled on an employer’s part.
All these data can help you assess credibility of your customer. Remember that if there’s something that raises your doubts or provokes anxiety, you can make use of the remuneration protection system for freelancers in useme.eu.
How can you know that a job is good? 4 tips for freelancers – summary
Despite any appearances, the rate alone offered by an employer is not the only criterion worth considering while assessing a job. The rate can be beneficial… until you get to know the full scope of work.
It might also turn out that a job concerns a field in which you don’t feel confident or in which work gives you no satisfaction.
Additionally, it’s not worth taking up a job if you know that it’s going to take you disproportionately much time due to another range of necessary qualifications.
Be particularly cautious about offers from those employers who immediately declare a lack of funds for your remuneration or who aren’t very realistic. Remember that as a freelancer you don’t need to take on every job that someone offers you. A great advantage of remote work is freedom of selecting jobs and sometimes it’s worth making use of it.