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How do I say no without burning a bridge?
I was offered a really great project that I can do from home. The one downside is that they want me to start two weeks after my due date! I will be worried that I might give birth late - or I simply can't handle starting a new project with a newborn at home that needs my full attention. I don't want to lose this client entirely, but I think that might happen if I say no. Any tips on how to approach this?
Just wanted to post an update: I took everyone's advice and was honest. The company totally understood and they are letting me start work on another project in January. So I got myself all stressed and worried for nothing.
I would just be honest. If the person is understanding, then he or she won't hesitate to hire you in the future. And I feel like if this person is going to hold it against you for being pregnant - and unavailable for work -than you probably don't want to get involved with them anyway.
That's a tough situation...but it would probably be best to say you can't right now. It would be worse to accept the job and feel guilty or stressed about not giving it your full attention while you have so much else going on. Let us know what happens!
Sometimes I think we have to take the step in faith that the right answer will yield greater fruit than the wrong one. In this case, you already know that the timeframe for the project doesn't fit with your schedule. It's better to respectfully decline, letting them know that your focus will be on your newborn during that time. If they don't understand that, is it a client you really want to continue with? Additionally, you don't want to give work that isn't your best!
If for some reason it does end your relationship with them, I believe that it will open the door to something greater down the line for you. This is a time for you to do what you need to do.