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Clients are able to close a contract at any time. For any reason.
Freelancers are able to close a contract at any time. For any reason.
If you want out, you may close the contract now. There is no way for the other party to prevent you from doing so.
If there is no money earned on the contract, then it won't show up on your profile page. No review will appear.
If you accepted a contract and then realized this is not the right project for you, then the best thing to do now is end it before earning any money at all. But don't make a habit of doing that. Zero-pay contracts affect JSS negatively.
Thank you for your answer, Preston. The trial work was paid last week, and she has funded a new milestone. Do I have to refund? Or would the money in Escrow go back to her automatically when I close the contract?
The professional thing to do is alert the client as quickly as possible that your circumstances have changed, so she can take steps to find someone else to do her work; and complete any assignment that you already accepted. Otherwise, you are screwing over the client who hired you in good faith. You may not care about the poor feedback that would likely (and deservedly) elicit, but it's worth considering whether you want that kind of episode on your professional conscience. Only you can make that decision.
Thanks for the reply, Phyllis. She funded the milestone at around the same time I got my job offer, so it was really suddne for me as well. I also don't want to do this, but now it seems unavoidable, and I feel really bad about what I'm doing. I finished the trial task last week, and no work has been done on the new milestone yet.
This kind of thing happens to me all the time. Are you absolutely certain that you can't do both jobs? I sometimes worry that I've taken on too much work, but usually it turns out to be easily manageable; a lot of the time, projects get delayed or a client is slow to get back to you. When you turn down the second client, you should realise that you're probably also turning down all opportunities for future work from her as well, as it's unlikely that she'll give you a second chance. Personally, I'd rather just work extra hard for a week and hang onto both clients (though I realise that other people have responsibilities that would make that difficult).
Thank you for replying to me, Christine. If it's just for a week, that would be fine, but this is a long-term collaboration. I don't think I'll be able to do that for longer than a week. I was also thinking about working extra hard for this client for this week before I go, but for some reason I can't work on the platform the client wants me to work on. Also, this client needs a certain amount of content every week, but at the moment I can complete maybe half of it. She still hasn't replied.