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Tired of freelance work? 6 things to consider before going back to the 9-5

Freelancing is often a polarizing experience, with some people loving it and others hating it. If you work in the tech or creative industry, you may have considered freelancing at some point. In fact, according to Upwork, 10 million Americans, or 20% of employees, are thinking about transitioning to freelancing.

The benefits of freelancing are clear – the flexibility to choose your own hours and clients, work from anywhere, and have unlimited freedom. But the reality can sometimes be quite different, with issues such as impostor syndrome, periods of little work, self-funded benefits, and unpredictable income streams. Even the thrill of setting your own schedule may eventually wear off.

If you’re considering returning to a full-time role, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Adjustment Period: Going back to a 9-to-5 job can be a shock, so allow yourself time to adjust to your new normal. One challenge for former freelancers may be the loss of control over their schedule, but this change comes with the security of a steady job.

  • Maximize Productivity: As a freelancer, you understand your own productivity levels and how they change throughout the day. Work with your new employer to align your role with your productivity patterns.

  • Embrace Teamwork: One of the things freelancers miss is the camaraderie and support of being part of a team. Take advantage of your new colleagues for help on big projects and enjoy team events like office parties.

  • Simplify Taxes: One of the headaches of freelancing is keeping track of taxes. As an employee, you can let the accounting department handle this for you, as well as potentially enjoy benefits like health insurance and a pension plan.

  • Expand Skills: As a freelancer, you likely have a narrow area of expertise, but in a full-time role, you’ll have a variety of tasks and responsibilities. Embrace these opportunities to expand your skill set and make yourself a more attractive job candidate in the future.

  • Maintain Confidence: Freelancing requires a lot of courage and self-reliance, and when seeking a full-time job, it’s important not to downplay your experience. Remind yourself that as a freelancer, you were essentially running your own business, and bring that impressive skill set to your next role.

In conclusion, the freelancing experience can be both rewarding and challenging, and returning to a full-time role requires careful consideration. However, with the right mindset, you can turn this transition into a positive and valuable experience.