How to know if a Freelance Gig is Right for You

Questions to Ask Before Saying Yes to a Freelance Gig

We’ve perhaps hit peak gig economy, where it feels like there are more freelance gigs available than there are full-time jobs. If you’re a freelancer or planning on going freelance, chances are, you’ll find no shortage of places to apply for these types of roles. But just because freelance jobs are available right now doesn’t help with figuring out which ones are high in quality. How do you determine which gigs are truly right for you? We broke it down into four types of questions you should ask yourself before you say yes to that freelance gig.

1. Questions on Interest and Career Development:

Before you consider any freelance gig, it’s important to first ask: How would this freelance gig contribute to my career? You don’t want to bounce from gig to gig without knowing how each one benefits you. Sure, you may learn something, but think about the big picture: could this freelancing gig give you a leg up in a specific industry? Do you share similar values with the company? Is the project challenging and would make a great addition to your portfolio? Would it bring you closer to being a specialized generalist in your field? Weigh your interest, plus think about how this job will bring you closer to the future you envision for yourself.

2. Questions on Compensation and Resources: 

It’s great if the job aligns with your career goals, but you’ll also have to think about finances and resources. Is the timing for this freelancing gig right? Is the location or work setup suitable for you? Many jobs are expecting workers to return to hybrid working situations, though you can still find fully remote jobs, too. It’s important to know which experiences will align with what your life demands. And then there are questions on your financial needs: Is the rate right for you? Is there potential for longevity with this client? Do you have all the skills and software to complete this job on time and budget? If not, is it possible to bring another person on to help with a different expertise or can you gain access to the tools you need? Fun freelance gigs pop up all the time, but if they’re severely underpaying or there’s a chance you won’t have the resources needed, this job might not be worth your time.

3. Questions on Communication and Scope: 

So you’ve found a freelance gig that is looking great on paper in terms of values, resources, and is financially viable—but what about the communication and scope? Here’s where you need to ask plenty of questions upfront about the scope of the job, getting it down in writing so that you fully understand what’s expected. After you’re clear on the tasks, evaluate your experience thus far: How has communication been with the client? Are they forthcoming or avoidant in providing certain terms (like end dates or specific details)? Do you have a reliable person who is the main point of contact? If your gut is saying this job is feeling good, communication and scope-wise, you might have found a great gig—but also one that will yield a strong client relationship!

4. Questions on Contracts and Boundaries:

Bottom line: is the contract fair? Does it clearly outline how and when you will be paid? Are there boundaries in place to prevent burnout or scope creep? Do you feel empowered to speak up on anything you’d like to change about your work terms? These questions may feel basic, but they can be tough to parse through at the moment. We advise outlining your contract terms on things like the number of revisions allowed, working hours, and rates beforehand so that you go into every potential freelance gig with personal boundaries set in stone. If you’ve never created your contract, it’s simple! A quick search of your profession + “sample freelance contract” will show you what to expect and help you set up your contract.

5. Questions on Relationships and Risks:

Finally, if you haven’t already, reach out to your freelancing network. What have other freelancers said about working with this client? Are there any protections in place in the contract to mitigate any risks that your peers have flagged? What do people on Glassdoor and Linkedin have to say about working for this client? Would you feel fine working for this client at least once, knowing what you know? These are the last few questions to ask, but they could help you avoid disasters and fix issues before they become huge problems.

TLDR; the more questions you ask yourself upfront about a freelance gig, the clearer you will be on whether or not the job is right for you. It’s not in your best interest to just accept whatever comes your way—you are building a career! Speaking of, if you need help finding gigs that align with your needs, we can help. When you apply to work with us, you gain access to high-quality recruiter and client relationships that are built to last. 

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