When you are offered a lot of money to do a certain work, would you do it or not?
I am a freelance worker but at the same time I am an college instructor in a prestigious Catholic university. I’ve done several research related activities in the university including advising more that 10 undergrad thesis projects already. I also served as thesis coordinator for 2 years. Thesis projects are supposed to be the compilation of all the things learned in college. One of the most important rule that we set with the students in our university is to make sure that they are the ones who conducted their thesis project. In case we find out that it was done by someone else, they will automatically be failed and may be suspended by the school.
I recently received an offer from a municipality in the region to do an interactive tutorial. At first I was glad because another potential project came. After seeing the first page of the proposal, I was given an idea that it was for a college thesis. My suspicion was confirmed when I texted the person who sent the manuscript. One of the most crucial decisions that should be made in doing freelance work is whether to accept a project or not. In this case, I turned down the offer. Why? Because it violates my principles.
I did a counter proposal to the “supposed to be client”. I mentioned that the least that I can do to help them is to give them a tutorial or a lesson on how to develop their project. In this way, I believe that I will not violate any rule of their school. I thought that my gesture was brilliant. But I was surprise that he insisted for me to develop their thesis and even telling me that they are willing to pay me .
Some people have an impression that by doing freelance work you are only seeking for the money. I totally disagree with them. In my case, I do freelance work not only to gain extra income but also to be able to put my skills and knowledge into something that is tangible as well as to develop them. I also believe that as a teacher, I also had to let my students see that I am capable of doing the things that I teach them and I ask them to do.
Even if I am pissed off with what happened, a part of me also understands the situation of the client. Their department should have not accepted their proposal since they do not have enough knowledge and skills to do it. Even more, if their department did not teach them to do multimedia development.
This incident put myself into test. Ever since, my principle in doing my freelance work is to only accept projects which can make me feel happy and should not violate me as a ethical human being. I know that their are some artists or developers out there who may accept the thesis project that was offered to me. But hey, who am I to judge them? Kanya kanyang diskarte lang yan.