Quitting a project is not easy. You do not simply wake up one fine morning and decide to quit work unless there are preceding events that have led you to make such a decision. There are so many things to consider before you even think of quitting.
In the freelance community, your decision to quit must have substance and whatever substance you have should be understandable to the client. You will have to quit your work in such a manner that does not upset the whole work arrangement, affect the client’s and yours’ business, and preserves inter-personal harmony.
If you are wondering how you can end your association with a client, then we ask you to continue reading this article. We have 10 tips for every one of you to keep in mind which can be quite helpful in handling such decisions.
1. Think Through
Without a doubt, this is the first thing you should do. Whether you are in the early stages of decision-making or have already decided to quit, take a while and think whether you actually want to quit the job.
In order to make a fully informed decision, it is best that you consult your family, friends, colleagues, and others you think are in the position to understand you and your circumstances better.
2. Stay Honourable Until The End
Every freelancer has his own share of experiences—some are good and some are awful. But, what matters is how you handle them.
It is natural to dislike your rude, bossy client who officially harassed you into taking up loads of work without paying extra. Of course, you can have other reasons to not want to continue working on a project, but the point is that you must remain a dignified worker until the very end.
We advise that you keep yourself out of gossiping. Do not speak ill of your boss to colleagues or of colleagues to your boss. It is best you leave the project respectfully and not out of spite which certainly makes you look petty.
3. Start The Countdown
You should consider giving yourself enough time before quitting. For example, if you are resigning on the 2nd day of the following month, give yourself at least a month before you do that.
Mark your calendar and keep a track on the number of days left before you quit. Having a countdown will make you finish off pending assignments and may give you ample time to mentally prepare yourself for the change.
4. Communicate And Discuss Issues With The Client
Even if you are hell-bent on quitting, you should give your client a reasonable opportunity to address your issues. It does not matter whether you are quitting; you must not leave your client in confusion.
Dedicate a particular time of any day for a discussion with the client, convey your issues, involve him in coming up with effective solutions, and reconsider your decision (if acceptable to you!). In case you decide to quit anyway, you will leave without any misunderstanding or doubts about your and your client’s mind.
5. Do Not Forget About Confidential Information
At the beginning of the project, freelancers are usually asked to sign a few documents—one of them relating to confidentiality.
A confidentiality agreement, as the name suggests, requires parties to maintain a certain degree of confidence throughout and after employment. Any breach of the said agreement can invite a lawsuit and thus, you must give it due consideration.
If you are planning to quit or already have, you must still observe the terms of such agreement until it expires. Do not toy around with the secret information you have been entrusted with. It can cost you more than you ever imagined.
6. Plan Out In Advance
Once you quit, a lot of things will change. You should chalk out plans to manage your life after quitting because things may become complicated.
Figure out when you will quit, what happens after you quit, how you will manage your life afterward, what resources you have, any job opportunity for you to take, and others. Make a realistic plan to save time and resources.
7. Organize Your Office Stuff
Since you are leaving, you must ensure that the one who takes your place has a head-start.
It is necessary that you complete your assignments, arrange your files, communicate your decision to your boss and colleagues, write notes addressed to anyone who comes after you, and other things you might think of.
If you do not keep these things in mind, you will act responsibly—which is the last thing you would want to present of yourself.
8. Stay Connected
Networking is an integral part of freelancing without which you cannot exploit opportunities as good as you should. Therefore, staying connected with your former clients can help you a great deal.
Even though you are no longer working with them, you should consider maintaining contacts with them. You do not need to talk lengthily but ensure them that you remember them. You can do this by, for example, sending them pleasantries or wishing them on certain occasions such as the New Year.
9. Seek Feedback
Your goal as a freelancer should be to keep improving, and you need people’s feedback on your performance. Ask your client how he evaluates your performance, what you can do to improve your performance, what aspects you performed good, and other things.
Use this feedback in improving your skills and shaping your career. Whether it a negative or positive feedback, take it very seriously because it will take you a long way.
10. Do Not Look Back
Be confident in your decision. We understand that leaving a project is not easy, especially for freelancers whose sources of income are spread out. However, sometimes we have to take hard decisions, and when you do, you must stick to them.
Learn from your experience and root for the future ahead.
It is a tough decision to quit a job, but you can make it less difficult for yourself by sticking to a few basics which have been mentioned in this article. Apply these tips when you are quitting or about to quit, and you will notice that things are not as difficult as you thought they would be.
Our list of these 10 tips is your gateway to a bearable exit. However, our readers are free to add more substance to it. You can comment your thoughts or share the article—whatever you deem fit to further the discourse and involve a larger community.