Being Professional

Somebody has to say it. Being a professional in Sri Lanka is hard work. Most of the time you have to deal with people who don’t know what they are doing.

Without ranting on let me lay down a few cases and try to offer some advice (even though it might not be my job to do so).

1. Answer the phone

I’ve had a few freelancers do this to me usually when they are a bit late to deliver a project.¬†Answer the phone. Tell me when or if you can deliver. That’s all I want to know.

Whatever the situation you answer the phone and deal with it. The more you dodge calls the less likely you are going to be hired the next time.

2. Other phone etiquette

  • Don’t answer if you are in a meeting or you can’t take the call.
  • Don’t answer the phone and tell me you are in a meeting or can’t take the call.
  • Return my call during the day.

3. Do your job

There are a lot of people who know to sell but they don’t have much skills. You are killing the market by under pricing and delivering short.

Do your homework and do your job well, or someone will come along and clean up after you. After that you are done.

4. Customer Care

Figure this one out. I don’t think most of the big companies here know what they are doing when it comes to customer care.

The customer is not always right but they have a right to be treated well. Be transparent and forthcoming. If you can’t deliver admit it and find a way to come to a decent resolution.

5. Finish

Its easy to pick up a projects and drop them half way (and start dodging calls). It takes a professional to finish. In software usually the last 10% is crucial.

It doesn’t matter how many projects you have going on what matters is that you complete projects and your clients are happy.

6. Pay on time

Clients in Sri Lanka assume they get about 30 days credit on an invoice. Unless it says on the invoice there is no credit period. If you want credit ask for it or assume it needs to be paid right away.

Vendors need to mention this in invoices so there is no confusion.

Like I said it may not be my job to tell you how to be professional, but if you do a good job at it you can stand out from the rest.