How to secure your next project as a Microsoft Dynamics freelancer (or how to extend your current one)

If you are reading this, you are very likely to be currently working on a customer/partner project. Do you feel anxious about what happens next?  Is your client going to extend your contract?  Should you look for new opportunities?  Where do you start from and how do you do it in such a way that you don’t upset anyone?

Step Number 1: Be open with your current customer! If you have few months (or even weeks) left under your current project and don’t know if it will get extended, you’ll need to have an open discussion. Clarity is important for both sides and it shows great communication skills. From your perspective, you need to know if you have a steady contract in the company or if you should look for other options. For the customer, it is important to them that they keep you if there is a chance of extension. If they don’t show commitment they risk losing you if the project goes on beyond your contract. If the client doesn’t know the answer yet, be very open with them that this leaves you with no alternative but to look for other options.  Many people shy out of such an open discussion and see it as confrontational. On the contrary, raising it will probably increase your credibility as well as make you more relaxed about the future.

Step Number 2: If you still aren’t getting a good indication of whether or not your contract will be extended, you need to decide if you are going to take a break or look for other projects. Many like the idea of a break and there is nothing wrong in spending some quality time off before you embark on your next engagement. If you aren’t rushed to start your next job straight away, you are more likely to get a good project that suits you really well, as you would be immediately available at that time. Clients are well aware of the risk of contract extension so if they have two candidates and one is immediately available, they are the person much more likely to get the contract.

Step Number 3: When you are ready to look for your next contract, do register with a good freelancer site (www.365freelance.com  is launching later this month), search for projects and contact potential clients directly.  This makes you a much more attractive option than if you go through an agency.  For a start, it shows initiative.  But most importantly, you won’t find your day rate surcharged by up to £100 per day, so you can quote a slightly higher rate and still be a far more cost effective option when compared against freelancers using an agency.

Step Number 4: Don’t jump at the first opportunity. You should have a good pipeline and a handful of options that match your requirements. Apart from the daily rate, you should consider the below criteria before deciding on which one to choose:

–          Do you like the company,

–          Do you like the team,

–          Do you like the team leader/manager,

–          Do you know anyone who works there and what is their insight,

–          Do you like the project,

–          Will it enhance your skills,

–          Will it look good on your CV,

–          Does it require a long commute,

–          Can you work from home (if you like that option),

–          What are the terms & conditions?

Step Number 5: When you disqualify a project or a company, politely say no, thank them for their time and try to stay in touch with them. You might want to reconsider them in future and they can help you with your next projects.

We are launching the 365 Freelance platform (www.365freelance.com) this month and can help you secure your next project as a Microsoft Dynamics freelancer.

 

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