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If a client changes the job description once I'm hired, should I ask for a higher rate of pay?

Active Member
Natasha D Member Since: Apr 26, 2021
1 of 5

Hi all,

I am new to Upwork and have recently been hired by a client for the first time. The job posting was for an editor and the client asked me to edit one document first to see if I was a good fit. He then said I did a great job and has now asked me to write the content. He also expects me to edit my own work as I write. Since the client is asking me to do something different from the original job description, is it fair for me to ask for a higher rate of pay? Can I do this when I am already hired for the job? I don't want to lose the client since this is a good opportunity for me, but I feel that a higher rate of pay is warranted given the new job description. Any advice you can provide would be much appreciated! Thanks!

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 5

With an hourly contract, I DO NOT change my rate if asked to do something different. That is my choice. Other freelancers may handle things differently, which is fine.


If I am hired with an hourly contract, then my time is my time. So I don't change my rate if the client changes what he asks me to do. I will straight up tell the client that I am not the right person for certain tasks if they are outside of my expertise. I will tell clients that they'll end up spending more. If they ask me to do that rather than hire somebody else to do that. But if the client really wants me to do something, and I'm not going to say no, then I'll do it at the same hourly rate.


As for fixed-price contracts:


You will regret it if you let a client abuse the intended way that a fixed-contract works.


Don't let this slide. I have seen too many freelancers really end up having trouble with contracts when they "train" a client the wrong way by letting a client get away with anything.


So don't even think about "changing rates." Just don't do it. You don't let a client ask for ANYTHING that isn't part of the original written task description.


If the client asks for anything that is not explicitly written in the agreement, then you say:


"Yes, that I can do that. Would you like to release the current escrow payment now and create a new hourly contract to pay for that? Or would you like to release the current escrow payment and create a new fixed-price contract for $95 for me to do that?"


That's it. There are only three options: hourly contract, fixed-peice milestone/contract at the price you specify, or the new work doesn't get done.


This is my opinion, as a long-time Upwork freelancer and client (not an employee). Remember: It is a violation of Upwork TOS for a client to ask a freelancer to work for free.


A client is violating Upwork ToS if she asks you to do something that isn't in the agreement, and does t offer to pay you for that additional work.

Active Member
Natasha D Member Since: Apr 26, 2021
3 of 5

Thank you. This information is very helpful!

Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
4 of 5

Natasha, you might get more useful input if you post on the Writers & Translators page (look at the More tab on this page and find Job Skills Discussions/Writers & Translators).


Meanwhile... You were hired to edit, not write. Those are two distinct tasks requiring different (but related) skill sets. A case can be made for charging different rates for different kinds of work. On the other hand, we all make choices all the time about which hills to die on and as you are just starting out, being persnickety about your rate with this client might not serve you best. That being said, it is crucial to be extremely specific and extremely thorough in setting the requirements and expectations on a freelance project and that's especially true on every milestone of a fixed-price project. It's really the best protection you have for getting paid, and the best protection a client has for getting what they pay for. So, if this is a fixed-price project then each milestone can be for any type/scope of work, just be sure it's clearly spelled out with deliverables nailed down, e.g., how many rounds of revisions are included in the fee. If this is an hourly project, then you simply need to agree about the scope of the assigned task, when it will be completed, and an estimate of the hours it will require (along with what to do if you run out of hours in a week -- will the client increase the hours permitted or wait until the following week for you to finish).


Active Member
Natasha D Member Since: Apr 26, 2021
5 of 5

Thank you Phyllis. This is very helpful and I will also take a look at the Writers & Translators page.