Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Taking Time Off As A Freelancer: 4 Tips For Informing Clients

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Freelancing has countless upsides, but as with anything in life, there are downsides to contend with too. Of these downsides, the lack of vacation or sick days is perhaps the most significant. If you want to take an extended vacation, or need to take time off to recuperate from an illness or injury, then there’s no one to cover for you - which can make telling your clients that you’re taking time off incredibly worrisome.

However, sometimes, an extended break is just what you need, so finding a way to inform your clients of your need to take time away from work is helpful for any freelancer. While the response you receive will always somewhat depend on the individual client, following the tips below should help to ensure that the process is as smooth as it can possibly be…

#1 - Give as much notice as you can

If you’re taking time off for a vacation, then try to inform your clients that you will be taking time off the moment the flights are booked; the sooner, the better. However, in some instances, you may not have much notice yourself; a sudden illness or needing time off to recover from an injury and start a claim with the likes of Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz tend to be more spontaneous. In these instances, just do your best; ask a friend or family member to email a client on your behalf as soon as you become aware that you’re going to need time away from work.

#2 - Keep it light on details

It’s always a good idea to explain why you are taking time off, but keep the specific details as short as possible. For example, if you’re taking time off for an illness, just “dealing with a medical issue” will suffice. Clients do not need to know the ins-and-outs of your circumstances, so keep most of the details to yourself; if you are asked for more information, then provide it if you are comfortable doing so, or else just say it’s a “personal, sensitive matter.”

#3 - Be cautious when giving guarantees

This point mainly applies to instances when you cannot plan your time off in advance. You will naturally want to tell your clients when you will be back at work, but be cautious in this regard. It is usually preferable to overestimate the amount of time you will need rather than underestimate and then request an extension.

#4 - Stick to your decision

If you have requested time off, then it’s fair to say that you have a valid reason for doing so - so try to keep this in mind if your client tries to persuade you to work as normal instead. While most clients will be understanding, a small minority may attempt to clip a few days off your time off, or ask you to do some work while you are away. If this happens, be firm; you are entitled to need a break for whatever reason, so reply that it is impossible, but that you look forward to catching up with any work you have missed when you return.

In conclusion The tips above should allow you to tell your clients that you’re taking a period of time off work, so you can enjoy the chance to relax while also preserving your working relationships for the future.

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