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How to Make a Smooth Transition from A Freelance to Full-time Career?

Freelancing is categorically different from working a full-time 9-to-5 job. The characteristics are different, and so are the challenges and perks. As a freelancer, you do not have a boss.

You are not bound by any confinements or rules other than deadlines. But at the same time, you lack financial stability, the perks of community working, and meaningful long-term professional relationships.

Most people prefer the perks of a full-time job rather than that of freelancing. The primary reason why most freelancers make the shift is to eliminate their financial uncertainty.

And it is only wise to do so considering the bandwidth of opportunities you get in the 9-to-5 work model. It gives you a control over your career, unlike in freelancing.

However, the shift doesn’t come easy. You will experience a lot of unexpected twists and turns in this new lifestyle. Changes that you may not be comfortable with.

To ensure a smooth transition from freelance to full-time you need a sweeping paradigm shift. In this article, I will cover some tips that will make your transition smoother and doable.

1. Adapting to new job expectations

In the freelance work model, your job expectations are clearly stated: get the desired results, and move ahead. It is as simple as that.

However, in the full-time job you are expected to deliver more than that. Your objectives will be twofold:

  • To fulfill individual goals – the goals that you will be given as an individual professional that will include your personal monthly targets, and other value additions that you can render under your specific job title.
  • To fulfill organizational goals — organizational goals aren’t as clearly stated as individual goals, but they still need to be met if you have to grow in your careers. These goals include the tangible or intangible values that you can add to your corporate community, industry, etc.

Individual goals in the full-time work model are similar to that of freelancing. Your boss/manager will tell you what to do, and you’ll have to figure out how to do it.

However, you have an added advantage of getting help from your seniors. If you feel stuck at your job at any point, your colleagues will be more than happy to help.

This advantage extends to the organizational goals, that is — taking the team forward with a unified organizational vision in mind.

This means that you’re no longer working just for yourself. It is a community where you have to constantly give your inputs at every point.

The “I” of freelancing now becomes “All for one and one for all.”

Your problems are no longer just your problems; they’re also the problems of your corporate community. In return, you are expected to add value to the team in whichever way you can.

Since you have worked as a freelancer, meeting the individual goals shouldn’t be much of a problem for you. It is the organizational goals that you have to learn how to meet.

To meet them, you have to understand the functionings of your organization, what your organization expects from you in return.

Bid adieu to working in alienation! In the initial days of your joining, observe your team. Interact with your colleagues, and figure out where they lack. See if you can help them in any way. Try to understand the organization’s work culture, and find out the way in which you can add value to your community’s culture.

If there is something that you can do and your colleague cannot, teach them. Adhere to the values and norms of the corporate culture. Do whatever you can to ensure that your organization benefits from you being a part of it.

2. Get comfortable with routine

Routine can be the best thing and also the worst about the full-time job. For people who hate any kind of a routine, full-time is probably not for them. But even as a freelancer, if you’re comfortable with one routine means that you CAN get comfortable with another.

You just have to adapt to this new routine of full-time working. Be aware that as soon as you start working full-time, your whole life is going to take a dramatic turn. The routine will change and you’ll have to change accordingly.

The early morning commute, the one-hour lunch break, and traveling back home can seem tedious and frustrating at first. But after a point, they’ll become one of the major reasons you’ll stick with a job.

The best thing: you probably won’t have to take your work home. After the office hours, you’re free to spend time however you want. This liberty you don’t have in freelancing. When there is a deadline, you have to adhere to it. There are no two ways about it.

3. Remember: You’re still working for yourself

Most people dislike full-time job because “they’re working for the boss.” This is not entirely correct. Sure, you’re on the payroll, but you still are working for your personal benefits. Apart from the organizational goals (which also are beneficial for you,), you’re working for personal reasons; whatever they may be.

Don’t let the thought of “working for someone else” get to you. Just like you gave your best in freelancing, give your best in full-time. Not for anyone else, but yourself.

The best thing: you’ll receive incentives (in some form or another) for your hard work. The full-time model is not as brutal as the freelance one. If your boss knows that you worked hard for a project and it still didn’t pan out for reasons out of your control, he will appreciate you.


I’m sure you are aware of the perks of full-time job (that’s why you’re choosing it, duh!), all you have to do is: ALWAYS KEEP THEM IN MIND. I’m not claiming that the new road will be smoother than the previous one, but you can get through it with the right attitude.

Just bear in mind your objectives, get comfortable with the routine, and work hard. I’m sure it will get you by.

Written By
Adela Belin is a private educator and a writer at Writers Per Hour. She shares her teaching experience with colleagues, students, and writers. Feel free to contact Adela on Google+ and Twitter.

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