Are you thinking about transitioning away from your freelance career into a full-time position? It’s not an uncommon situation. While freelancing offers plenty of independence, the stability of full-time employment can be very alluring — especially at a time like this.
Even so, you might be feeling nervous about the changes this transition could entail. Any career change is bound to bring anxiety, but moving from the world of freelance into a full-time job offers its own unique challenges. After all, your whole work dynamic is transforming. To facilitate the smoothest transition for yourself, consider the following:
1. Freedom Versus Stability
Freelancers tend to have a lot of freedom. As your own boss, you have final say over when you work and for how long. The downside, however, is that clients may not always be lining up at your door. In those moments, it may seem worth it to give up a little freedom in exchange for a more reliable income stream.
That’s exactly what I was feeling in some moments during my own time as a freelancer. You don’t always know where the next paycheck is coming from, and because financial health and mental health are closely linked, your bank account and your mental state can both suffer. We feel better when our finances are in order, and we get stressed out when they aren’t.
Full-time work can bring a lot of stability. You can count on a recurring paycheck, which eases that financial anxiety, and you get the satisfaction of working every day. You don’t even have to give up all of your freedom: Many companies have become more remote-friendly since the onset of the pandemic, meaning it’s easier to find remote jobs now. This was a big selling point for me when it came to making my own switch from freelancer to full-timer. I was already working remotely as a freelancer, and I was able to maintain most of my establish work routine when I started working full-time.
2. Are You Ready to Have Coworkers?
Many freelancers don’t have direct or daily contact with colleagues of any kind. Typically, you’re working on an assignment alone. You’ll have a main point of contact with your client, but that’s generally it.
When transitioning to a full-time job, you’ll have to get used to working with other people on a regular basis, including coworkers and supervisors alike. The level of collaboration will likely be higher than you’re accustomed to, as your team members will be counting on you to participate in meetings and on projects. It’s not always easy to adjust to a team environment when you’re used to working alone, but there are clear benefits: As your level of responsibility and accountability increases, so do your opportunities for growth.
In addition, a good team is there to benefit you and offer support. Yes, your coworkers will expect you to follow through on your commitments, but they can also be valuable resources when you need a hand. Everyone has their own talents, so it’s helpful to have a team you can turn to when you need to think through problems or leverage a skill set you don’t have.
3. Goodbye to Tax Headaches
Freelancers don’t get to just show up to a new job and find an entire benefits package laid out nice and neat for them. Instead, they have to handle their own healthcare and retirement plans, and they have to be extra vigilant about paying taxes since they won’t be automatically taken out of each paycheck. If finances aren’t your thing, it’s all too easy to make some tax mistakes as a freelancer.
On the flip side, while benefits like health insurance aren’t a given perk at every job, they’re usually associated with full-time work. Companies often either completely cover or at least share the cost of health insurance premiums for their employees, which can be a big enough draw on its own to get many freelancers interested in full-time employment. Plus, payroll handles your tax deductions when you’re an employee.
For some, trading away the independence of freelancing is well worth the stability of benefits and the freedom from certain financial tasks. I know I didn’t want to continue with the hassle of tracking every little expenditure and paying high insurance premiums each month.
Although some freelancers may never want a full-time job, others may feel it’s a better option on the whole. If you’re looking to transition away from freelance work, be sure to consider how those changes might affect your lifestyle. Depending on how you look at the situation, most of those changes could end up being to your benefit.