It is important to choose projects wisely to ensure you are maximising your time, getting the best return for your efforts and avoiding time-consuming, unrewarding tasks.
The first thing to consider when choosing a project is the skills required. Are you confident you have the capabilities and knowledge to fulfill the requirements? It is important to take on work that will be completed to a high standard to build a positive reputation, gain referrals and avoid disputes. However, taking a step out of your comfort zone is recommended in order to stretch your abilities, strengthen your portfolio and learn new skills. Taking on challenging projects encourages personal development and delivers the opportunity to achieve proud accomplishments.
It is crucial to understand the project time-scales. This includes when the project will start, the size of the project and the deadline suggested for completion by the client. Taking the time to map out the project plan, realistic time-scales and deliverables is important to set expectations with the client before starting work. Make sure you consider current projects you’re working on and if you can fully commit to the project. This is also an opportunity to assess the long-term opportunities; it is always a good idea to work on a long-term project to gain real insight into a business, enjoy financial stability and build strong relationships.
As much as you might enjoy your job, we work to earn a living. It is important to understand payment terms and ensure that you are confident the business can pay you correctly and promptly. As an independent freelancer, you can set your own payment terms, but be aware that some companies have their own payment processes which may be hard to change (usually larger businesses). The key point is to create a contract beforehand which both yourself and the client agree to and sign before starting work.
Last but not least, make sure you are interested in the work you are doing. One of the key benefits of being a freelancer is being able to choose projects which genuinely engage and excite you. Take the time to speak with the client and gain a deep understanding of their business, future objectives and how his project fits in. If a project aligns with your goals, challenges you and allows you to develop, you should find the work enjoyable and rewarding.