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jolouburn
Community Member

Closing contracts!

I don't know why but I have quite a few open contracts that were finished a long time ago. My question is:

 

If I end these now how will it affect my JSS etcetera?

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petra_r
Community Member


@Joanne B wrote:

I don't know why but I have quite a few open contracts that were finished a long time ago. My question is:

 

If I end these now how will it affect my JSS etcetera?


 If money was paid on them: No.

UNLESS you have a significant percentage of them.

 

I'd try and get as many of them closed by the clients as possible now, and then close the ones left one at a time with contracts that closed with feedback in between.

 

Try and get clients to end contracts more or less as soon as the work was done - the longer you leave it the less invested is the client.

 

 

 

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18 REPLIES 18
gilbert-phyllis
Community Member

A "pattern" of closed contracts with no client feedback can tank your JSS. If you close a contract, then it is typically difficult--if not impossible--to get the client to leave feedback, especially after more than a few weeks have passed. Therefore, do NOT close several old contracts in the interest of tidying up. Close them one at a time, at intervals, so each one is an anomaly that will be outweighed by others that carry client feedback. The optimal interval for doing so depends on the rhythm of your work.

 


@Phyllis G wrote:

A "pattern" of closed contracts with no client feedback can tank your JSS. If you close a contract, then it is typically difficult--if not impossible--to get the client to leave feedback, especially after more than a few weeks have passed. Therefore, do NOT close several old contracts in the interest of tidying up. Close them one at a time, at intervals, so each one is an anomaly that will be outweighed by others that carry client feedback. The optimal interval for doing so depends on the rhythm of your work.

 


Unfortunately, some of them are from 2015 when I worked here previously and wasn't making a living out of writing. I'll just take your advice and close one every now and again in with others.

petra_r
Community Member


@Joanne B wrote:

I don't know why but I have quite a few open contracts that were finished a long time ago. My question is:

 

If I end these now how will it affect my JSS etcetera?


 If money was paid on them: No.

UNLESS you have a significant percentage of them.

 

I'd try and get as many of them closed by the clients as possible now, and then close the ones left one at a time with contracts that closed with feedback in between.

 

Try and get clients to end contracts more or less as soon as the work was done - the longer you leave it the less invested is the client.

 

 

 

Thanks Petra.

They all have monies paid and there are seven of them. Like I said though some date back to 2015. 

I'll just close one every now and again. 

andrea_lewin
Community Member

Thanks for posting this question. I have the same situation.

 

I worked with a client and created a sample eLearning course for which I was paid. The client has not come back. Do i email the client and ask them to close the contract? Do i close the contract? If so, how do i close the contract. 

 

I am new to Upwork and prior to posting this reply, i have searched all the blogs to see if there is an answer. 

 

Thanks for taking time to reply and i appologize if you have seen this question before.

 

AJLEW


Andrea L wrote:

Thanks for posting this question. I have the same situation.

 

I worked with a client and created a sample eLearning course for which I was paid. The client has not come back. Do i email the client and ask them to close the contract? Do i close the contract? If so, how do i close the contract. 

 

I am new to Upwork and prior to posting this reply, i have searched all the blogs to see if there is an answer. 

 

Thanks for taking time to reply and i appologize if you have seen this question before.

 

AJLEW


Either the FL or client can close a contract. Whoever closes it is required to leave feedback and the other party is notified and invited to leave fb. Once both parties have left feedback, or after 14 days have passed, each can see the other's fb.

 

A closed contract without fb is not categorically bad, but if you accumulate a "pattern" of such (and nobody knows how many that requires), it can hurt your JSS. More importantly for you, just starting out, you need closed contracts with fb so you can establish a JSS. In this case, I would send the client a quick, breezy note, checking to see if she needs anything else and mentioning if she doesn't, she can close the contract and rehire you in future if needed, with one click. There are various schools of thought about whether and when it's appropriate to mention fb to clients. Generally speaking, it's best not to. In this situation, IMO a case could be made for adding something along the lines of, "As one of my first UW clients, you closing the contract will help me get a track record established on the platform." Listen to your gut.

 

Welcome, and good luck!

Hi Phyllis, i want to personally thank you for taking the time to respond to my post. 

 

I sometimes feel that the seasoned Upworkers are  very impatient with us newbies and it shows in their responses. Your reply was both respectful and professional. I will pay it forward if I ever get the opportunity to respond to a question.

 

Thanks so much!


Andrea L wrote:

Hi Phyllis, i want to personally thank you for taking the time to respond to my post. 

 

I sometimes feel that the seasoned Upworkers are  very impatient with us newbies and it shows in their responses. Your reply was both respectful and professional. I will pay it forward if I ever get the opportunity to respond to a question.

 

Thanks so much!


You're very welcome. I think some of the UW documentation is kind of opaque, and have learned a lot about the platform by reading threads here. 

(I get plenty impatient, too, mainly with new FLs who clearly haven't even tried to figure something out for themselves, and those who come ostensibly seeking advice and then argue with what is generously offered.)

ssylwira
Community Member

How about adding a functionality to the UpWork that would allow the freelancer send a suggestion to close a finished contract to the client that would require only confirming it by him?
I noticed too that some clients have problems with closing contracts, I guess it doesn't matter for them much if they close them or not, I have few contracts still open too. It would be much easier if the freelancer could take the inititive without having to explain and ask the client.

petra_r
Community Member


Bogna L wrote:

How about adding a functionality to the UpWork that would allow the freelancer send a suggestion to close a finished contract to the client that would require only confirming it by him?


How would that help or make any difference?

 


Bogna L wrote:

 I have few contracts still open too. It would be much easier if the freelancer could take the inititive without having to explain and ask the client.


The freelancer is free to take the initiative to close the contract?

 

If you have several, just close one every once in a while. Not all at once as that doesn't look pretty, just one at a time and starting with the ones that are the most idle.

At the very least, Bogna, freelancers should also be allowed to "pause" inactive hourly projects with either the client or freelancer allowed to unpause them.

 

I really don't care if a client leaves an inactive contract open, but at some point these types of contracts accumulate and potential clients can get the wrong impression about how busy a freelancer is with their current contracts.

 

I have closed as many as four inactive contracts in a single day (where the client wasn't responding to messages from me for months on end) and I did not see any effect on my JSS.

 

There is no good reason Upwork should penalize a freelancer's JSS for closing dead projects, but it is what it is.

 

 


Will L wrote:

At the very least, Bogna, freelancers should also be allowed to "pause" inactive hourly projects with either the client or freelancer allowed to unpause them.


Inactive paused open contracts are as inactive as inactive unpaused open contracts. So there is no upside to this. 

 

Yes, Petra, you are right to say, “Inactive paused open contracts are as inactive as inactive unpaused open contracts.” But that’s not really relevant to what I said.

 

Potential new clients think they can see how busy I already am with other clients’ work by the count of the number of supposedly “active” projects I am working on.

 

But if a current client with an inactive projects refuses to either pause or close their contract for a long period of time and continually tells me, sometimes time and again, that they are about to re-start work on the project, my only choice is to leave the contract open and wait for them or to eventually close their project myself (which I have done with some regularity with no apparent adverse effect on my JSS).

 

If I and the client both leave the project as-is, it looks like I’m busier than I am - maybe even much busier than I am if I have a relatively large number of such inactive “active” projects, which can have a negative effect on my ability to land new projects.

 

When I periodically close three or four inactive projects I see an uptick in invitations from new clients. And I expect my success rate on jobs I make proposals on also goes up, though I have no way of tracking that.

 

So, I’d like to be able to pause inactive projects rather than close them. This has no negative effect on the clients for those inactive projects as long as they can re-start their project when they are actually ready to actively work on their project again.


Will L wrote:

Potential new clients think they can see how busy I already am with other clients’ work by the count of the number of supposedly “active” projects I am working on.

 

If I and the client both leave the project as-is, it looks like I’m busier than I am - maybe even much busier than I am if I have a relatively large number of such inactive “active” projects, which can have a negative effect on my ability to land new projects.

 

So, I’d like to be able to pause inactive projects rather than close them.


But paused contracts show exactly the same on your profile as unpaused contracts and have exactly the same effect on the metrics (none unless totally excessive).

 

Pausing a contract doesn't remove them from your "jobs in progress" list. I understand what you're trying to achieve, but pausing contracts doesn't achieve that.

 

People looking at your profile can see the paused contracts and the unpaused ones, there is nothing to hint at any contract being paused.

 

In other words: You'd look just as "busy" with the idle contracts paused as you do when they are not.

 

That's very interesting information, Petra, and thank you for providing it.

 

When I look at my list of jobs the paused ones and ones on hold are clearly marked. If potential clients do not see that same information, Upwork is not providing information that may be very important to smart clients (and I don't want to work for the other ones).

 

We see a lot of claims on this board that many job postings are never fulfilled. That likely reflects different reasons (no actual hires, hires outside Upwork, etc.), but I'd expect there are also probably clients who can't find just the right freelancer they need OR they see freelancer profiles that look perfect but those freelancers appear to be too busy to  be able to take on a new project.

 

If I were a client with a new project that I thought would require any significant number of hours of work per week by the freelancer, I wouldn't even bother contacting any freelancer who appeared to already be fully engaged on other projects.

 

Upwork is losing money by not clearly outlining freelancers' current workload and not allowing freelancers to better present their availability by marking inactive projects as "paused." And every nickel counts for Upwork.


Will L wrote:

When I look at my list of jobs the paused ones and ones on hold are clearly marked.


If you look at your profile, they're not.

 

I periodically let my "jobs in progress" go well above what I think they should be (15 or less) but I've never seen a difference in my hiring rate when they are too high (they are at the moment) as opposed to when they are low. That said, I've never paid any attention to it.

 

I've seen super successful freelancers with mindboggling numbers of surely mostly inactive contracts...

 

I think the vast majority of clients pay no attention to it at all. They have to specifically click on something to see them anyway. I doubt that many bother, they want to see feedback so stay on the tab with the completed contracts.

 

completed jobs.png

I get about 2 - 4 invitations per day from potential new clients, a minority of which include in their initial message to me something along the lines of "...I don't know if you have time to work on my project, but...

So, there are no doubt at least some potential clients I hear from who are concerned with how busy I already am with existing clients' projects. Whether they take notice of my current jobs count as shown on my profile, I have no way of knowing.

 

And I also have no idea how many clients see how "busy" I am and don't even bother contacting me at all because Upwork is telling them I am currently "working on" more (and maybe alot more) projects than are actually active at any point in time.

 

But it isn't in my (or Upwork's!) best interest for any potential client not to contact me because they falsely assume I am too busy with other work to handle their project.


Will L wrote:

But it isn't in my (or Upwork's!) best interest for any potential client not to contact me because they falsely assume I am too busy with other work to handle their project.


I don't disagree with you, maybe "jobs in progress" should only show and count contracts that are not paused.

 

Alas, that isn't how Upwork currently works.

 

I now feel real bad about having mine creep up like that again.... I really need to weed them out yet again....

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