When is it OK to say no to a job offer?

This is an issue that is mostly bothering new people who have entered the freelance world and feel that they should accept almost any offer that comes their way. What a lot of them forget is that experience is gained through work, some more challenging projects can’t be done without it and you have none. Think about the job offer before you make a move, take a moment to sit back and imagine yourself working on that project. If everything is telling you that you aren’t fit for it, then it’s better to say no then to get bad feedback before even starting your freelance career.

Do you have the required skills?

Skills are a serious thing often thrown around as simple keywords to get more clients. Before you start adding a bunch of them to your portfolio be sure that you own them. Saying that you are good at drawing just because you know Photoshop isn’t really a good thing to do. Rank your skills by how good you are at them. They can all be divided into three groups – beginner, intermediate and expert. Being honest with yourself will help you be more honest with clients in the future and prevent false expectations on both sides.

Do you have enough free time?

Some projects will require part-time work while others will need a full 8-hour commitment. If you can’t provide enough hours during the week it is always better to say no than to try and make some compromise with your client. That just doesn’t work in the long run. You could make it through the first month by not working as much as you should but once it starts affecting the whole project be sure that you will be replaced. With the rapid growth of the freelance market, you should always have in mind that there are people just like you, standing in line and waiting to jump in. The competitive space doesn’t allow slacking.

Does the job sound interesting enough?

At first, job descriptions don’t really matter as long as it is within your skill set but once you get a hang of freelancing things might change. A project that looked awesome in the past is now just a boring job that looks like a waste of time to you. This mostly happens when you work with the same client or clients for a longer period of time. If their tasks are repetitive the job itself becomes boring. Getting an offer with a similar request will make your brain say “oh, not this again…”. Once you start losing interest in a project you should be on the lookout for something new and exciting. Accepting jobs that look boring can result in low quality work, struggling to complete your tasks and eventually it will lead to breaking the deadline. Just say no and move on.


It is important to know when to say no to a job proposal. Try to diversify your work as much as possible, look for new projects that are within your skill set but are very different from what you were working on so far. If you manage to make your work fun and exciting no task will be too hard and always be ready to say no. Sometimes it’s better to spend time looking for new clients than to spend that same time working on something that you don’t like.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *