A conversation with a distant boss/client proved that honesty is the best policy.


Yesterday, I had a telephonic discussion with my boss for whom I work on Upwork. I have been working with him for a year but this was the first time that we talked over WhatsApp.

Actually, he was there to pay me for the milestones I had worked, but then he saw that I haven’t  been working that regularly.

He first inquired me on the WhatsApp group about the deficiencies he found, but then he felt that things on text messages can go wrong so he chose to call me.

The initial phase of conversation was bit rough, he was furious and expressed displeasure over my lack of professional conduct.

During this time, I remained silent and respectfully listened to him. Once he was done, I then shared my point of view. I told him that it was not entirely my fault but due to some constraints, I couldn’t perform my job well. But yes, I had to be more proactive and had to take you on board, that I didn’t and I accept my mistake.

He then realized that I was not lying and that there was some weight in my arguments.

I told him that I want to work with him full time and that my intentions are crystal clear. By looking at my open-mindedness, he then opened himself up, too. He told me that he sees me as a regular part of his team. And that in future, he is thinking a bigger role for me. But for this, he said, I will have to be more punctual and professional.

He gave me free-hand for performing my jobs, he said no eye will watch you, and that if you are the real man, you will work diligently on your own. But yes, I will check time to time and I expect that things will be done according to what I have told you.

Another good thing that I liked about him is his flexibility towards imperfection. “I perfectly understand that it takes time to become master at something. And that he sees things in a bigger perspective.

It came as a relief to me that he is keeping a provision of at least five years, that it may probably take that much time before his app (on which I am working) become something known and profitable.

I have learned following things during my this conversation with my boss.

  1. Always inform your boss if there is some problem. The best platform is to do it on Upwork, Freelancer.com. But if there is a group on WhatsApp, WeChat, then make sure you are leaving a message there. (This will help you to defend yourself in future if you are asked about that problem. You can then show them a screenshot.)
  2. After having the discussion on phone, make a MOM of that talk and then post it on either Upwork or in the group where you normally report your daily activities.
  3. Don’t stop your work by assuming that your boss (client) is no more interested or by fearing that he might not pay you. Keep doing it till he has asked you to, and then when you have done all the work, leave a message. However, keep doing the work. He might be busy to respond but eventually, he will come back to you. He will be pleased to know that you didn’t stop your work and its quite possible that he may give you a bonus too.
  4. Never take unfair advantage of their ideas, property, time or money. I told him that I could do this work on Youtube by creating my own channel but I didn’t find it ethical that I steal your idea, take money from you and use it for my own cause. He was delighted by knowing that, I am the guardian of his assets, ideas, and trust.

So these are the four basic points which can make or break you as a freelancer. Stick to these best practices and you will never have to worry about losing your client, job, or reputation.

Image credit: Aclion.com





Author: Waqar Ahmed

Waqar Ahmed is a professional freelancer since last five years, primarily working at Upwork. He writes about motivation, technology, personal growth, and about everything that he learns time to time. When he's free, he reads books, watches documentaries on YouTube or learning something new at Udemy!

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