Transition from freelance to full time
15% of the labour force work for themselves; but it doesn’t work out forever for a lot of people. Transitioning from one to the other can be a daunting prospect. Whilst the skills required for both are universally applicable, it can be a challenge to go from working on your own time, to ‘working for the man’ in an office and within a team.
And even once you’ve convinced yourself that it’s time for a change, convincing a recruiter or hiring manager that you’re ready is a whole other challenge. You’ll need to be able to convince someone that your freelancing skills and experiences are applicable to their business full-time. If you’re considering making the change, read on to see the steps you should take and some advice from our recruiters who have helped some freelancers do exactly this.
Before thinking about the steps you need to take to transition from freelance to full time, you should take the time to reflect on exactly why it is you’re considering a change. You could be lacking motivation to go out and find new clients, or just miss the security of a monthly pay check. Regardless of the reason, it’s important to reflect and understand why, as this will be the catalyst for ensuring your next move makes you happy by solving the problem. Understanding exactly why it is you’ve made the change will be useful for communicating to your potential future employer. You can positively frame this reason to convince somebody to hire an ex-freelancer.
It’s important to recognise some transferable skills from your days as a freelancer. Things like adaptability, team working and an ability to work to tight deadlines. When trying to convince a recruiter or hiring manager that you’re the man for the job, you’ll want to ensure you can demonstrate how you’ve applied these skills as a freelancer and can make them applicable to full time work.
As well as the usual transferable skills, you’ll need to be able to convince somebody that you’re ready for the other aspects of office life. For example, going from being your own boss to being managed has the potential to be a challenging area both for you and the business. It’s critical to be able to prove that being managed and conforming to a company policy is something you’re happy to do.
First of all, it isn’t entirely necessary to completely give up on the freelance work. For lots of freelancers, the reason they’re in it in the first place us because of a real passion for the work they do. Whilst your new employer should of course take priority, if you have the time and can still get the work, there’s no reason why you can’t do both for a while as you adjust during the transition.
The first step you can take is to use your network. Think about all of the clients you’ve had and how many of them could do with a full time ‘you’. Reach out to this network and use the existing relationships you have to find yourself some opportunities for full time work.
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Alternatively, you may be working with a great client right now and can see yourself fitting into the team there. If this is the case, there’s a few steps you can take to have management considering you for a full-time role…
What’s absolutely critical when making the transition from freelance to full time, is that your CV is great. It’s a good idea to restructure your CV to have it skills based, demonstrating what you’ve learned both as a freelancer and elsewhere and how this can be applicable to a full time role.
The transition from freelance to full time can be a challenge and a change in mind-set, but the benefits of a monthly pay check, working within a team and job stability could end up giving you more freedom than before.