Martin K wrote:
The client hired me to work on a new topic which i'm not familiar with and there is a learning curve to it. When I accepted the project, I didn't really know how much work will be required. .....The thing is: the more I dig into the topic, the more I realize than I don't know much and I will need more time to learn the engineering concept.
.....The client is aware of that and I came to realize that I need more time getting used to the software.
..... However, I think that I should be paid for this learning and understanding time which is part of the work.
..... But since it was my first contract and I needed smething under the belt, I just did it.
I now would like to increase the price of the other milestones and the rest of the contract. What would be the procedure or best practice to do that? It's not like I am NOT honoring my contract. .....
Can I ask to switch to an hourly contract in the middle of a fixed-term contract after I already submitter one milestone? I really don't feel like putting all the hard work and get underpaid.
It is EXACTLY like not honoring your contract and there is no "best practice" for that.
At some point, every freelancer underestimates the time and effort required to complete a project to the agreed-upon specifications. As long as the scope of the project has not changed, a professional eats the difference. Ideally, your investment in the learning curves with the subject matter and the software will pay off for you going forward. In any case, it was your choice to accept the project and it's your professional obligation to abide by the terms of the contract.
Trying to raise your fee and/or change to an hourly contract in the middle of the project will be, from the client's perspective, a bait-and-switch. As Wes said, that will set you up for near-certain bad feedback which can be catastrophic when your UW job history is young.
Take your medicine and finish the job. We've all been there and we've all learned from it.