I'm currently working as a freelance software developer during 2 days a week (long term) for a customer close to my home. A few months ago I told them that 2 days is not enough for me and I'll be looking for another client because most companies are looking for fulltime freelancers (and also the context switch between 2 part-time jobs every week may be a bit too demanding on me.)

they counter offered me to work full time for 2 months before changing to another customer. I agreed and modified the contract to automatically return to the 2 days a week just to be sure I don't end up in a situation without any projects. They happily agreed.... And here we are now, 2 months further and I'm back on 2 days....

Now I have a good offer for a fulltime long term project (Starting part time so that I can finish my current project and then moving to full time)

The new 'job' is a government funded organization and gives me somewhat security and a full time freelancing job pays well.

But there are a few downsides:

  1. longer commute (almost 2 hours a day more) => thinking about my family time here
  2. obviously I don't know this new customer... they may be happy with me but on the other hand they may also not be happy with me or visa versa....My current customer told me that he is happy with me.
  3. The new customer is in a special situation requiring me to go through government checks => costing me 1 month of pay

If I had 3 days a week with my current customer, I might be able to find some smaller projects and even if I couldn't this would not be the end of the world because I could still live of the 3 days freelancing (not 2). To me this is also appealing because of the growth potential even though I'm not sure this is possible or to demanding on me.

I have no contract as of yet with the new customer... Would It be wise to inform my current customer now that I will be changing and telling them that the situation would have been different if they gave me 3 days a week long term?

Or

Have I communicated enough a few months ago, just carry on and inform them after my contract agreement is official?

OR

Should I just say nothing while working for the new customer part time the first month and make up my mind 1 month in? (I convinced the new customer that I may need 2 to 3 months finishing up in my current project).


UPDATE: It has taken over a week to get a response. It was a bit nerve wrecking and eventually decided to say that I just quit and will take the other offer. My current customer made clear they just couldn't respond yet because of other priorities but would like me to stay fulltime. I have accepted their offer.

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I think this is really a matter of opinion. To me it's not possible to answer without direct interaction with the various clients and knowing a bit about how they may perceive things, especially the existing client.

I would caution against possibly bothering, upsetting, or annoying an existing client if you don't already have something else firmly lined up. It sounds as though you are single-client dependent and, for me, that's never a good position to be in. And it's almost always a bad position to negotiate from unless you are prepared to lose that single client immediately.

While the "I have a better offer, you better step up or I'm taking it." tactic may work at times. You have to be prepared if it fails miserably.

  • Thanks for your response. I have, nevertheless just sent an email to my current client explaining the situation politely. If they choose to let me go, so be it. I'll find something else. Honesty is the best policy I suppose. This way, noone can say I didn't try to find the best solution. – user1841243 Sep 18 at 18:46
  • @user1841243 Why don't you wait until you have a new offer? – SmallChess Sep 19 at 0:30
  • @SmallChess because it's a good offer. Freelancing jobs usually have an end date, these 2 jobs both do not have an end date. – user1841243 Sep 19 at 5:11

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