Don’t be scared to say ‘No’

Turning down work
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In a few weeks, I will be celebrating my 6 month anniversary of being a freelancer. I can’t quite believe it, it has been a rollercoaster of hard work, stress, joy and love.

You might not know but I am a very cautious person. I’m a saver, not a spender and I don’t take risks. Becoming a freelancer goes against all my better judgement, but the ‘risk’ of being self-employed is worth it.

I still class myself as a ‘newbie’. Even though I have over 10 years-experience in marketing and content writing, in terms of doing this freelance, I only have six months experience. I’m competing in a market with freelancers who have been doing this for years. Over this time, they have built up a network of clients, referrals and a reputation. It can be tough to persuade potential clients to invest in you instead of someone who is more established.

To gain experience in differing areas I have taken jobs that are lower paid and in topic areas that I don’t have as much knowledge. Whilst, it is not the way to make a living, it has enabled me to build up a portfolio and made me realise that there are things I don’t enjoy writing.

For instance, I was asked to write a CV and LinkedIn profile for somebody. I completed the work to a high standard and the client was very happy with it, but it was a struggle.

That made me realise it is better to stick to areas that I enjoy, and because I like doing it, the work I produce is very good.

A couple of weeks ago, an opportunity came along to work with an agency in a sector I know well. I jumped in with both feet and agreed to do the work, without fully investigating what was involved. The next day with a full brief and details, the realisation set in. My level of experience at this time was not up to the level that was required to do the work, well.

I could have pushed on through and delivered the work, but I felt that it would not have been to a standard that I would be proud to give to the client. I turned It down. I gave up the chance to work with a great agency, client and project.

I was disappointed not to do the work, but I have no regrets about turning it down. I am 100% sure I made the right decision.

This has made me realise that not every job is the right one for you, and turning down work is sometimes the right thing to do! You may have a moment of panic because no-one likes to say ‘No’ to work, but sometimes better things can come from turning opportunities down.


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