Freelancing the ultimate marmite experience: Some people love it, and some people hate it. If you work in the tech sector or a creative field, it’s probably something you’ve considered (or tried out) at least once.
In fact, according to a survey by Upwork, 20% of current employees in the US — that’s 10 million people — are considering going freelance.
The perks of working for yourself are obvious: you can choose your own hours (and clients), work from anywhere, and have unlimited freedom. But sometimes, the reality is a little bit different.
Imposter syndrome, dry spells at work, shelling out for your own benefits, and juggling uncertain income streams can be daunting for some people. Even the novelty of defining your own hours can wane after a while.
If you find yourself thinking about returning to a traditional full-time role, here are a few things you’ll need to consider before jumping back into the 9-to-5:
It will take time to adjust
Going back into a full-time job can feel like a shock to the system. Remember that it will take a little bit of time to adjust to your new normal.
One of the biggest struggles for past freelancers is not being in charge of your own time. All of a sudden you can’t take your lunch at 11am, or go to an appointment in the middle of the day. While these changes might seem like a bad thing, it’s important to remember that they come with a lot of job security too.
Lean into your productivity
As a freelancer, you will be acutely aware of your own productivity and how it ebbs and flows throughout the day. So, if you do your best work at 10 pm, that’s not a problem. Or if you like to code on Sunday mornings, no one is going to bat an eyelid. However, when you step back into full-time employment, you can’t just work when inspiration strikes.
For many people, this can feel demotivating. However, you can use this to your advantage. Because you know your own productivity levels and how they fluctuate, you can work with your boss to make sure that your new role aligns.
Enjoy being part of a team
One of the main things that people miss while freelancing is the camaraderie that comes with being part of a close-knit team. It’s nice to have people to rely on when you’re busy.
Instead of feeling under pressure 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 office Christmas parties and meet-ups.
Forget about tax
Well, sort of. One of the biggest headaches for freelancers is trying to figure out how much tax they should be paying each year. As you can imagine, this comes with a whole host of admin, forms, and invoices.
When you’re back in full-time employment you can sit back, relax and let the accounts office take care of that for you. Plus, you might get the added benefit of things like health insurance and a pension contribution.
You’ll learn a lot more
As a freelancer, you’ll probably have a very specialized skill set. People will hire you again and again based on your expertise, so it makes sense to focus on one area. However, with a company, you’ll have various tasks and obligations.
At the beginning, this might feel frustrating (for example, if you work in content, why do you need to be involved in engineering meetings?), but these extra roles should be seen as opportunities. They’re important skills that will ultimately make you a better job candidate for future roles.
Remember you’re a boss
Freelancing is not for the faint-hearted. It takes guts to go out on your own, find clients, and rely completely on your skills. When you’re interviewing for full-time jobs, it’s important that you do not shrink down and diminish your experience.
Remember, you essentially ran your own business. You acted as CEO, customer support, and finance on top of your actual job. Freelancing has given you invaluable experience and an impressive skill set. So if you decide to go after a full-time role, they will be lucky to have you.
Ready to go back to a full-time job? You can find all the best tech roles on the House of Talent jobs board today.
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