I recently interviewed for a freelance job, that sounded like it would last about 4 weeks longer than I expected, and really didn't sound like a good fit for me. However, I'm currently unemployed and would prefer full-time work.

What I'm trying to think about is whether or not it makes sense to not take this knowing that I may not like it, except for getting paid, because I would still be searching for full-time offers and I wouldn't want to put off a good FT offer for this job. My thought is if I got a full-time offer, I would give 2 weeks notice like I would do for any company.

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    If it's contract work for a specific time period, you may be in violation of the contract by not completing it. You'd have to review the contract. Personally, I'd NEVER take on a job KNOWING I could not complete it. – Scott Jan 6 '16 at 18:20
  • Sure, knowing. But in this example, it's not knowing - it's being aware of the possibility. – user70848 Jan 8 '16 at 16:52

You should not refuse a contract based on subjective views.

really didn't sound like a good fit for me

Sometimes, technically it's not really interesting but wait:

  • It could evolve:

If the job you done is ok, the client can ask for more and maybe offers you interesting job to do then.

  • You could always learn new things

Try to do it the most professional way while trying to learn something new is a great way of thinking and it's motivational.

  • You build your reputation up or down with each job

Even if your client has no other job for you, he could recommend you to his contacts or if you just quit with a job not complete, then he could also warn his contacts.

  • You could meet new persons and make new contacts.

In my personal experience, I've met great people while working on not so fantastic jobs - technically speaking. Your network contact is almost as important as your skills (if not more).

The objective questions you should ask yourself are:

  • Could I do it in time ?

  • Is the price I'm paid is ok ?

  • Is there another task I'm involved I should do instead because it's more ?

Time can be converted to money but not the other way around. Try to not waste it by refusing something to finally do nothing instead.

And as SOIA commented, you need carefully review your contract before accepting it.


Isn't there a saying in English that says something like not to cut off your nose to spite your face? You have not said either if you have been offered the contract so you might well be counting your chickens before they have hatched.

I fell into freelancing in 1994 - I was out of work - a recruiter called and suggested I express an interest in a project that went for 9months. It paid well, it was near three hours from home and brought on unexpected new (and enjoyable experience). It's 2016 and I'm still freelancing/contracting, 23 clients and five countries later!

My experience is it's easier to get a job when you are in a job. It keeps your skills current, it gets you into routine (getting up and out in the morning), it pays the bills and creates new relationships. There is more to doing the job, than doing the job. Few folk are lucky to do a job they really enjoy - you just need to adjust your mindset. I have learned if I think I will be unhappy, I get expensive. If I think I might be happy, I become less expensive.

Apply for all work - contract or fulltime - I would not tell an employer that you could cut the contract short by leaving to go elsewhere as interviewing candidates can be exhaustive, and if you tell a prospective employer you would jump ship if you got a better offer, they are likely to be offended, and unlikely to seriously consider you for anything.

If you do get offered an ideal job while in the middle of a contract, then tell your future employer that you have a one or two month exit clause before you can start. Tell them you could just cut and run - and you will if need be - but you would prefer not to rock boats. Your future employer will respect your honesty and your ethics and if they are sensible it will also show them you are responsible and unlikely to jump ship and leave them if you get an even better offer.

And... who knows... the contract you think you'll enjoy less could be the most interesting! I know of a few cases where this has proved true.

Best of luck!

  • The phrase, Don't cut off your nose to spite your face, is meant to describe an action done in revenge or anger for something, or someone, that also hurts you in the process. FYI – user70848 Mar 31 '16 at 16:23

Why not tell the client as it is?

That you are seeking full-time contracts and therefore can only accept the contract if you are allowed to leave with a week's notice or finish it evenings/weekends? Depending on the work, that may or may not be possible.

If they ask you directly whether anything is in the pipeline or you have been at any interviews, you should answer truthfully. It will probably make a huge difference to the client whether you are waiting for a response to an interview or are still awaiting first contact.

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