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When to Walk Away from a Job

(July 2012) posted on Tue Jul 10, 2012

"No matter how much we want or need jobs, sometimes we have no choice but to walk away from certain work. All jobs are not created equal."


By Craig Miller

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All of us share a goal: We want to land jobs, lots of jobs. Most of us have expensive printers and we need jobs to feed them. Without ample projects, our staffs can’t earn their keep. Also, without enough jobs, there’s no profit to stuff in our jeans. We dedicate a lot of time and energy to get work in the door and, let’s face it, we all want as many jobs as we can manage.

But, no matter how much we want or need jobs, sometimes we have no choice but to walk away from certain work. All jobs are not created equal.

Some jobs are less desirable than others. I tend to rate a job’s desirability as great, good, fair, marginal, poor, terrible, or even run for your lives! We’ve had customers propose jobs to us where the phrase “walk away” isn’t emphatic enough to express the importance of escaping its wrath. But it’s a skill to know exactly when, why, and how to refuse a proposed job, reject job a you’ve already accepted, or in ome cases, physically show a customer to the door. Strategically leading jobs and customers out the door can be as important to your business’ future as enticing them in.

Why walk away?
When flirting with the idea of turning down a job, you first need to look at all of the factors of the customer’s proposal: stipulated deadlines, commitments to providing and facilitating essential information about the job, and performance and price expectations.
All of these factors should be reasonable, and most importantly, possible. It’s your responsibility to make that determination.

Is the concept realistic? Can you complete the project by the requested deadline without incurring additional expenses? Will you need to expedite shipping of media or finished product? If you understand the scope of the job and know how long all of the elements of the job will take, you should be able to answer these questions and then determine if you should indeed proceed with a particular project, or turn it away.


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