It seems like there’s a lot of advice out there about making the jump from full-time work to freelance, but what about transitioning from freelance to full-time?
If you’ve been living the freelance life for awhile now, there might come a time when you start missing the perks of working in an office alongside a team, having a stable income, and having set work hours. Jumping back into working for a company can be a bit scary, but there are steps you can take to make a smooth transition!
There’s no better way to learn than from someone who’s successfully done it themselves, which is why we sat down and did a Q&A with our amazing Creative Director, Amy! She has experience freelancing, working from home, and working full-time while doing a bit of freelance work on the side. Read along as she shares her story and gives us her expert tips!
Tell us a little bit about your experience freelancing. What was a typical day like for you?
I was working a 40 hour work week for a company, but remotely! So, my day was very similar to any other 9-5 job, but I was able to choose my own hours, and work from the comfort of my own home. My day typically started with a call to their office in the morning to see what the main focus for the day was, and then I would go from there! I did a lot of coding, and a lot of design…things were a bit repetitive from day-to-day.
What would you say are some of the pros and cons of working from home?
- Working from home!
- Saving money on gas and food
- Being able to choose my own hours! My boyfriend worked crazy hours, so it was nice to be able to just take a Tuesday off because he had it off.
- Sometimes, it was hard to focus with a dog that always wanted to play with his ball, dishes in the sink, or laundry that needed to be done. With a 9-5 job, you leave for work and then come home to take care of it, but when you’re surrounded by things that need to get done, it’s hard to leave it and get work done!
- It definitely gets lonely working from home. When I was freelancing, my boyfriend and I had just moved to a new city, so it made it really hard to meet people because I was working from home.
- When working in a creative field, sometimes, it’s easier to collaborate with people in person rather than explaining things over the phone or via email. Sometimes, this made it really tough!
Did you ever see yourself transitioning into a full-time position? How did this decision come about?
I didn’t see myself going back to work for a company, freelancing had kind of always been the dream for me. Working from home and one day transitioning into a stay-at-home / work from home mom kind of thing. I actually wasn’t looking for a job at all until the opportunity at Bloguettes arose! I’m a firm believer in intuition and that all things happen how and when they should, so when I saw that Bloguettes was hiring, it just felt right. So, I made the decision to apply and here I am a year and a half later!
What were some of the biggest adjustments you had to face while transitioning into your full-time job?
Getting ready everyday again (haha)! No, but seriously…I’ve never worked for such a social company before, and working alone for the two years prior definitely didn’t prepare me up for that. However, I’ve been so lucky with all of the experiences and opportunities I’ve been given through Bloguettes. It’s really pushed me out of my comfort zone and has helped me to grow in my position and as a person overall!
As our Creative Director here at Bloguettes, you channel your creativity everyday. What advice would you give to someone who’s looking for a full-time career where they can still do what they love?
I mean, I seriously lucked out with this position at Bloguettes, where I do get to work for such a great and creative company…and I know that sometimes you don’t get so lucky. However, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing either. In my last job I spent a lot of time coding and creating graphics that I wasn’t super passionate about, but at the end of the day, I was still inspired and able to put my creativity into my own personal ventures.
With this being said, my advice would be to not stress too much on finding that “perfect job” and make the most out of any position you’re in. If in your traditional 9-5 job you aren’t doing exactly what you love, focus the rest of that energy on another creative outlet that does make you happy, such as a side project!
In addition to working at Bloguettes, you also do some freelance work on the side! Tell us a little bit about this and how you got started.
One of my clients, I actually worked for when I was living in Louisville, KY so that just kind of stuck and I really enjoy working for her. The rest have mostly come from referrals, and from just being a part of the creative industry in Phoenix.
What advice would you give to someone who works a full-time job and is looking to do some freelance work as well? How you find the balance between work and your side hustle?
I would say don’t spread yourself too thin, and only say yes to those projects that really make you happy. If you’re getting too stressed out, sit down and reevaluate the work that you’re taking and let go of anything that doesn’t make you happy! Finding the balance is the hard part, and I’m not sure that I’ve completely figured it out yet! However, I’ve recently started going to a workout class right after work and that has helped with just breaking things up a bit. I get some time to focus solely on me (and not look at a computer screen), head home to make dinner, and then I’m back at it. Overall, I think what makes it most worthwhile is that I only take on projects I’m excited about working on, that way when I do get back into the zone it feels less like work!
Now, Where Do I Start?
So, there you have it! Amy shows us that while transitioning from freelance to full-time can be intimidating, it’s definitely possible. Even though you’ll be busy working full-time, it’s also possible to find time to do what you’re passionate about!
To get you off on the right foot, here are 5 tips to keep in mind as you take the leap and convince a company you’re right for them!
Know your reason for making the switch. If you’re applying for a job after you’ve been freelancing for a while, it’s highly likely your future employer will ask you why you’re making the switch. So, have an answer prepared! Are you looking to be part of a team? Explore new opportunities in the corporate world? Being honest will show the employer that you’re someone they can trust.
Promote yourself. Wondering how to sell yourself as a freelancer? Your cover letter is your place to shine! Even though you were a freelancer and might have worked from home, you still worked with others, whether it’s clients or maybe even other freelancers in your niche. So, emphasize this in your cover letter! Also, use your experience as a freelancer to show that you’re self-motivated and take initiative when things need to get done!
Make sure your portfolio is on-point! Think of your portfolio as your competitive edge over other applicants. As a freelancer, you’ve worked on a variety of different projects, so invest and go the extra mile to make sure your portfolio communicates your value. Even if the employer doesn’t ask for one in the application process, offer it anyway! If you’ve done work in the past that aligns with what you’ll be doing in your new job, even better!
Show off your varied skillset. As a previous freelancer, don’t be shy about your strengths and what makes you stand out from the crowd! Unlike someone who’s worked for one company for a long period of time, you’ve worked on a wide range of different projects, which shows your varied skillset!
Get out there and network! Last but not least, networking is so beneficial for freelancers, especially those who are looking to jump into full-time work. These days, it seems like it’s all about who you know, so break out your business cards, get out there, and make some connections! Also, be sure your LinkedIn is up to date. You never know who’s browsing your profile!
In the end, confidence is key when making the transition from freelance to full-time! Have realistic expectations for yourself and know what you have to offer, and you’ll be killin’ it in the business world in no time!
Have you made the transition from freelance to full-time, or vice versa? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below! Also, be sure to follow us on Bloglovin’ to keep up with all of our future blog posts!