Do you ever turn down work?

May 19, 2011 § 6 Comments

Working for yourself is a funny old thing, and probably more so if you are the main breadwinner. If someone offers you work, you do it, right? Not only because you want to deliver a great service to your clients, but also because, quite frankly, you might be in need of that money next month.

I am pretty busy writing at the moment, but I also have some University work and marking to do, not to mention the fact that I have tried to cut down on work for the past two weeks while recovering from a tonsillectomy. So when I received an email today asking me to do a small piece of work I should have said no. I didn’t.

I should have said no because the reason I work for myself and from home is so I get to spend time with my family. The only way I am going to be able to fit this work in is to do it over the weekend. So surely accepting this work is going against the reason for my current choice of career?

But on the other hand, it should only take me an hour, if I don’t do it, I probably won’t get any more work from this guy for a while and I get some pennies in my bank account.

So what would you have done? I’m not interested in anyone being judgmental (hey, I’ve said I’ll do it now, making me feel bad about it won’t achieve anything) just in how other people approach this kind of mini-conundrum.

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§ 6 Responses to Do you ever turn down work?

  • Nic says:

    I would have done the same! And felt the same about it.

  • Nicki Cawood says:

    Not as often as I should. Once over I grabbed anything and everything (those damn bills) but slowly (very slowly) I have started to pause before grabbing work and thinking “Is my time worth what I’ll be paid for this?”. This is very grown up of me isn’t it? That said, this month… it’s all grab with both hands, damn car service bills! 🙂

    • Nicki Cawood says:

      I seem to have deleted some of my reply! I did add…
      In your situation I would probably have done the same, taken in on, then felt crap about it later. The worst thing about being your own boss is not having someone else to say “Enough, down tools, off you go”. We are the hardest task-masters to ourselves! Sorry to hear you’ve been unwell chick x

  • Kerry says:

    I too would have done the same and very often do that and feel the same as you xx

  • It’s so hard, isn’t it? All the advice says you should only work with your idea clients (ie well-paying, respectful, interesting work) and consider your work-life balance but it’s not so easy when someone is standing there offering you work. I’ve definitely done it myself and not just for small pieces of work either!

    Although one job that I thought was a complete waste of time and energy ended up giving me enough useful experience that I got a full-time job off the back of it. Not that you’re aiming at that, of course, but sometimes the work you should have said ‘no’ to has a silver lining.

  • Sorry, that should have been ‘ideal clients’ !

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