Professional Ethics for Freelance Consulting Jobs
Following a code of professional ethics for freelance consulting jobs should not be mere lip service. It is something you owe to the profession and the community at large.
Make Your Code of Ethics Clear to Yourself and to Clients
A code of ethics involves more than making decisions based on moral judgment. Your reaction to particular scenarios should always be consistent. It is necessary that you frame your code of ethics clearly, writing down every statement. This code of ethics should also be displayed to your clients. Whenever you are in doubt over a particular decision, go over your own code of ethics again and make a decision based on it.
Follow the Basic Code of Ethics
Most entries in the list of ethics should come naturally. Actions such as showing respect for your client should be obvious. Just because your client has raised an issue you consider frivolous doesn’t give you reason to shoot it down unceremoniously. Answer all questions, no matter how obvious you think the answers to be, with absolute politeness.
While clients deserve respect, shady businesses also need to be reported to the authorities. If you find your client involved in illegal activities, let the police hear of it. This should be done without revealing information that comes under the client-consultant confidentiality.
Another standard practice is to inform your clients clearly about your fees. There should be no haggling over fees once a contract has been signed.
Saying ‘I Don’t Know’ is Acceptable
Admitting you don’t know the solution to a problem is acceptable, even desirable, against providing a misleading answer or a false solution. Many client projects have been devastated because of implementing the wrong solution. You won’t have to walk away shame-faced after such a confession. Contrarily, it shows your client that you place integrity and honesty above everything else.
Disagree if You Must
While always showing respect for your clients' views, you might have to tell them that their opinion is incorrect. Agreeing with your clients on all issues will serve no purpose. Your aim in your freelance consulting job is to ensure that your clients go back wiser. Wisdom often requires learning that one is wrong. Again, it should be kept in mind that correcting a client should be done tactfully.
Allow Your Clients Free Will
You might sometimes become so convinced of a particular solution that you might want to parade it as the solution for all problems to your clients. Don’t push anything onto your clients. Let them know of your opinions, but let them form their own decision on whether they want to implement your solution. There is always the possibility the client might see a loophole you had completely overlooked.
Avoid Conflicts of Interests
During your career in freelance consulting jobs you might end up receiving offers from two clients whose interests collide. Do not take on both clients if it is clear that unbiased consulting will be rendered impossible.