freelancing

Answers to all your questions about life as a freelancer — contracts, tricky clients, getting paid, and more.

I don’t want to keep helping my old boss for free

A reader writes: I recently left a research/assistant position with a consultant in the nonprofit sector after working there for about a year. My new position (which I started this week) is full-time but they have a four-day work week. I mentioned this to my boss when I told her that I would be leaving, […]

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my client constantly pesters me and micromanages my every move

A reader writes: I work as a contractor for a lice-removal company (I’m a recruiter). My tasks aren’t particularly time-sensitive — think mass mailings, follow-up texts, and phone calls. This is my second job; I work as a secretary for a local university as well. I have two questions about the company I contract with. […]

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how to respond to a rude firing as a freelancer

A reader writes: As a freelancer with many different clients, occasionally some of them don’t work out. However, I’ve found that some employers can be what I consider rude when letting me go after the work I turned in was not what they wanted. One was very cordial up until the point when she wrote, […]

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the 5 skills you need to work for yourself

Thinking about going into business for yourself? If you have a talent or skill or product idea that you think people would pay for, you might be tempted to strike out on your own and see if you can turn it into a business. After all, what’s better than working for yourself, having no boss, […]

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a client paid half my fee and then disappeared before giving me any work

A reader writes: I occasionally offer consulting/advisory per my highly specialized knowledge for nonprofits. One particular one ended—well, not sure “ended” is the right word, exactly—in a most unusual way that I was at a loss to understand. I was asked to do, let’s say, international research on teapots among (and only among) a specific […]

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my client is calling me 7 times a day

A reader writes: I work as a consultant for a few small nonprofits (that is, I’m not an employee and I work remotely). For a variety of reasons, I prefer to conduct most business via email. In the first place, for the work I do, I like having a written record of discussions, decisions, etc. […]

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how to fire your oldest client

A reader writes: I’m a web copywriter, and my oldest client (I’ve been with her for 6+ years) is like a family member to me. A family member who drives me nuts, is incredibly high maintenance, and likes to take all the credit for my successes, but also one who I admire and appreciate. After […]

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I’m worried a client isn’t going to pay me

A reader writes: In October, I started a job working as a freelance journalist for a local newspaper. The managing editor would communicate with me via email, sending me leads for stories. I would go to events, interview people, and take pictures. She was very nice and always responded to my emails within minutes. According […]

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8 tips for starting your own business and not failing horribly

If you’re thinking/fantasizing/wondering about ditching your job and going to work for yourself, here are eight tips to make it go as smoothly as possible. 1. Try it on the side first. Rather than ditching your job and then setting up shop for yourself and just hoping that the clients come, try out your business idea […]

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