Freelancer to Full-Timer: How To Turn Your Passion Into A Career

From treating your couch like an office to ditching your wardrobe of suits for comfy pj’s; freelancing definitely has its perks!

As a young 20-something writer, I’m all too familiar with the precarious world of freelance work. Infrequent pay cheques, inconsistent hours, and an abundance of ‘internships’ are just some of the downsides.

Suddenly you find yourself dreaming of an office cubicle and bad fluorescent lighting, because making it on your own can be fun in the short-term, but not five-years from now when the 50 bucks in your pocket has to last until you land your next gig.

Ahh, office bliss.

Unless you’re a student just starting out, a full-time parent, or live in the middle of the bush, a steady job could prove more useful, not just to your career, but also to your bank account.

If full-time status is what you’re after, there are several concrete steps you can take to package yourself for employers.


Speak up


Whether you’re already working on a freelance basis for your dream employer, or have your eyes set on a position but haven’t worked up the courage to hit apply, keeping quiet won’t do you any good.

No harm can come from letting an employer know you’re interested. This could mean a phone call, email, or face-to-face meeting. Or, it could mean putting together a killer cover letter and resume that perfectly illustrates your go-getter attitude.

Never be afraid to see yourself.


It’s a career move, not a prison sentence


One of the hardest changes to make when transitioning from freelance to full-time, is understanding that your time is no longer your own. ‘Working for the man’ can mean long hours, little recognition, and less-than-flexible scheduling.

You can lament this loss of freedom or be thankful that overworked also means annual leave, sick leave, and a healthy pay cheque. Most importantly, remember that your boss isn’t your warden, and it’s up to you to set mutually beneficial boundaries. If you put in the hard yards for them, and never forget your worth, they won’t either.

Not advisable.


Build strong relationships


The key to success in the workplace doesn’t just lie within your ability to keep clients happy or string together a catchy sentence; it also depends on your attitude and the relationships you form with your co-workers.

As an ex-freelancer, you’re probably used to being a lone wolf. In an office, however, being a team player is essential!

How you interact with your colleagues makes a big difference on your performance and the whole office dynamic. If you snub your co-workers, backstab, or refuse to work alongside them, your time as a fully-fledged full-timer will be short lived.

Contrary to popular belief, a little fun and socialising can end up expediting projects and see you turning heads for all the right reasons.


Be yourself


Just because you’ve given up your no-strings-attached title and replaced it with ’employee’ doesn’t mean you’re suddenly an un-named minion.

Remember, you were hired full-time because what you brought to the table as a freelancer resonates with what your new employer wants from their in-house staffers.

Don’t discount who you are because of what you have become. Give your all during business hours, then let your entrepreneurial side shine on the weekends.

If you’re willing to give your freelance status the flick and make your living working 9 ’til 5, full-time work, although daunting, will quickly become beneficial.