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After starting a contract with a client, I vastly underestimated the level of work to be undertaken now I am unsure how to increase my fee.

I moved cities to work on a 12 month contract for a client in their office. The work required is more complex and demanding then I expected. This was my error, I was in a financially bad state so I accepted the offer.

Now I work double the hours to keep abreast but I cant quit as my financial situation is not good. I want to stay here but make this more equitable. I would like to increase my fees based on the hours I have been putting in but I feel like I am in a weak position

What should I do

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If you are positive that the client in no way misled you with the information (written and otherwise) that was provided to you as the basis for the rate you committed to under your contract, then the quality of your work is the vehicle to justify a fee increase.

If you have performed on your contract for at least 90 days the client has a feel for your contributions.

What type of feedback have you been getting from the client on the amount, effort and results you have been obtaining?

Consider what the client's options would be if you were not presently on the job.

Look ahead to the prospect of bidding another 12 month effort and then detail it on paper, together with a rate that is supported by what you have written.

Lastly, be honest with the client. If, considering the above factors, you cannot imagine your continuing at the same rate and your performance results are positive for quality, submit a proposal for a rate increase, justified by your first 90 days experiences and a look ahead to your role with this company in the future.

Be willing to negotiate terms besides the fee, such as a reduced scope of work and associated hours.

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