Freelancing the ultimate marmite experience: some people love it and some people hate it. If you work in the tech or creative field, it’s probably something you’ve considered (or tried) at least once.
In fact, according to a study by upwork20% of current employees in the US – that’s 10 million people – are considering going freelance.
The benefits of working for yourself are clear: you can choose your own hours (and clients), work anywhere and have unlimited freedom. But sometimes the reality is a little different.
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The impostor syndrome, dry spells at work, shelling for your own benefits and juggling uncertain income streams can be daunting for some people. Even the novelty of setting your own hours can wear off after a while.
If you find yourself thinking about returning to a traditional full-time role, here are a few things to consider before jumping back into the 9-to-5:
It will take time to adapt
Going back to a full-time job can be a shock to the system. Remember that it takes a while to get used to your new normal.
One of the biggest problems for former freelancers is that you are not in control of your own time. Suddenly you can’t have lunch at 11 or go to an appointment in the middle of the day. While these changes may seem like a bad thing, it’s important to remember that they also bring a lot of job security.
Lean into your productivity
As a freelancer, you are well aware of your own productivity and how it goes back and forth throughout the day. So if you do your best at 10pm, no problem. Or if you like to code on Sunday mornings, no one is going to blink. However, when you return to full-time work, you cannot work alone when inspiration strikes.
For many people, this can feel demotivating. However, you can take advantage of this. Because you know your own productivity levels and how they fluctuate, you can work with your boss to make sure your new role is aligned.
Like to be part of a team
One of the most important things people miss when freelancing is the camaraderie that comes with being part of a close-knit team. It’s nice to be able to count on people when you’re busy.
Instead of feeling pressured and alone, hopefully you can reach out to your new colleagues when a big project comes in. Plus, you get the added bonus of things like Christmas parties and office gatherings.
Yeah, sort of. One of the biggest problems for freelancers is figuring out how much tax they have to pay each year. As you can imagine, this comes with a slew of records, forms, and invoices.
When you’re back at work full-time, you can sit back, relax and let the bookkeeping take care of that for you. In addition, you can take advantage of things like health insurance and a pension premium.
You learn a lot more
As a freelancer, you probably have very specialized skills. People will hire you again and again based on your expertise, so it makes sense to focus on one area. However, at a company you have different tasks and obligations.
This can be frustrating at first (for example, if you’re working substantive, why should you be involved in engineering meetings?), but these extra roles should be seen as opportunities. They are important skills that will ultimately make you a better candidate for future positions.
Remember you are a boss
Freelancing is not for the faint of heart. It takes guts to go out on your own, find clients, and rely completely on your skills. When applying for a full-time job, it’s important that you don’t flinch and reduce your experience.
Remember, you essentially had your own business. You acted as CEO, customer support and finance in addition to your current job. Freelancing has given you invaluable experience and impressive skills. So if you decide to go for a full-time position, they’re in luck with you.
Ready to go back to a full-time job? You can find the best tech positions on the House of Talent job board today.