We all have been there. You know, that terrible work situation when you didn’t have a clue how to proceed.
You start to question: Should you just drop the project? Why don't employers like your work? Should you contact support and ask for help?
You feel lost and probably frustrated, as you are investing your time in the project. We feel for you, but not to worry! Here are a few common toxic freelancing situations and tips on how to cope with them:
You're already running out of funds for the month
You have bills to pay: electricity, water, rent, phone, etc. It's only the second week and your budget will not likely reach the month's end. In your estimation, you'd be able to complete the current Milestone in three weeks time, which means you will only get paid until then. Another thing, it's the only project you're working on this month.
What should you do so this won't happen again? Cut the wants and keep track of the needs. Budget wisely. As a freelancer whose earnings depend on the number and frequency of projects coming your way, it's essential to have budget appropriated for all your monthly recurring expenses.
Related Article: Freelancers and Finances: How to Make Your Money Work for You
Internet is down hours away from your deadline
Just like with any other service provider, you can't rely on the Internet 100 percent. A storm, power outage, and many other factors could make the Internet go down, ruining your chances of a good review.
Before freaking out, ask yourself the following questions: Is this something that can be easily fixed? Is there a coworking space nearby? Is there a cafe with Wi-Fi nearby?
We suggest heading out right away to a place where there are power supply and stable Internet connection. Whether it is getting support to fix the issue, or grabbing your computer and going to a cafe nearby, you and your ongoing project will be just fine.
Employers changed the requirements after awarding you the project
Have you ever encountered employers who changed project requirements after awarding? They've decided to add more stuff without changing the budget.
This one is very tricky. Why? Because it's a matter of negotiating or putting your foot down. At this point, you need to analyze the whole picture. Would these changes affect your workload? Can you actually deliver on time and without compromising the project’s quality? Would it be a wiser decision to drop the project altogether?
By analyzing all the potential outcomes, you could decide whether to negotiate, ignore, or drop the project.
Related Article: Things That Badly Affect Your Freelancing Success
Your team members backed out, leaving you alone with the project
Maybe someone got sick, or maybe they landed a bigger project, and suddenly, you find yourself alone with a ton of work left to do. S.O.S! You need to find additional help because dropping the project is a big no-no.
First of all, stop panicking. Some of us have already been there. It's frustrating, but you will survive. You need to figure out what you can do on your own, and what you need help with. Once you've done that go ahead and start looking for other freelancers who have great profiles, and invite them to the project.
You can't get the right software needed for the job
You agreed to do a job without having the right tools because you were confident that you would find them easily, but you didn't.
One thing that could happen is not being able to deliver on time, and another thing is not being able to deliver at all. That would be terrible for your reputation. Freaking out is understandable. But you will only get a 5-minute pity party.
It your 5 minutes of panic over? Well, you have two options. You can either find another type of software that would deliver the same results, or ask for an extended deadline after explaining the situation to your employer.
Related Article: 25 Tools Every Software Developer Should Master
Employers don’t really know what they want and keep changing their minds
I’ve heard this one a couple of times. You’ve drafted several versions of the design, but your employer did not like them that much even though you followed the instructions.
If this happens with your other employers, there is probably nothing wrong with your designs. It’s just that maybe, your employers are unsure of what they really want.
To avoid these situations, take the time to create a form that the employers would have to fill out with complete requirements, just to have everything documented. This might help you if they often change their minds and have to be reminded of what you've agreed on the first time.
Related Article: How to Achieve Better Communication With Your Employer
Dealing with these kinds of challenges could cause stress and other negative feelings. However, the way you react towards these situations will reflect the type of professional that you truly are. Remember not to feel discouraged and continue doing what you love most!