One of my clients is a training company and I have a fantastic relationship with them. Their product is highly regarded, especially within big corporations. My contact there has repeatedly told me that I’m “welcome to take their core training.” I’d already taken the training at my last job and enjoyed it, so I thought a refresher would be nice. It will require some driving and gas, but I’ll have a free place to stay with a friend. Should I be billing for my time? – Will L.
Interesting question, Will. Since you say that your client said, “you’re welcome” to take the core training, it seems like they thought they were offering you a bonus of free training. In that case, you took the “freebie” and shouldn’t charge for travel.
On the other hand, if attending this training is to give you more background and immersion specifically for your client, then it is work and you have every right to charge them for your time, mileage and gas.
So, that’s not a clear answer, but this situation doesn’t seem clear, either.
If it’s not too late, you might try clarifying with the client. If it is too late and you think you should have charged, it’s a good lesson to remember. In the future, if you’re invited to attend a training session, try asking if he or she thinks it will enhance your work for the client. If the answer is yes, they should pay you.
Readers, what would you do? Does it feel “gray” or is an answer very clear to you? How would you have approached this? Please share in the comments. (To post a comment, you’ll have to click on the title of the post and then you’ll get a screen with just that post and a comment box.)
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