Four steps to successfully transition from freelance work to a full-time role

Life as a freelancer can be thrilling; the freedom, flexibility, and creativity often feel unmatched.

But let’s face it; sometimes, the security of a full-time role sounds pretty appealing, too. You might find yourself craving the stability of consistent income and benefits without giving up your hard-earned skills and independence.

The good news is that you can make the transition without losing anything of value. In this article, we’ll show you four steps to take to leverage your freelance experience and seamlessly transition into a fulfilling full-time position.

1) Evaluate your freelance experience

First, take stock of your freelance journey. Identify all the skills you’ve picked up along the way. Think about project management, client communication, time management, and any specialized technical abilities.

List out these skills clearly and match them with those required in full-time roles that appeal to you. Use job platforms like LinkedIn Jobs or Indeed to see what employers are looking for in your desired industry.

For instance, a content writer who’s been freelancing for several years can leverage their SEO, customer management, and digital marketing skills to transition to a full-time role as a Content Marketing Manager. 

2) Upskill for emerging roles

If you’re eyeing a new industry, upskilling is crucial. Start by identifying high-demand areas like healthcare or tech. Next, seek out industry-specific certifications (preferably online) to bolster your resume. 

For instance, if you enroll in a dental assistant trade school, the certification process is relatively quick, and you get to specialize in a field that will always be in demand. Plus, dental assistants enjoy competitive salaries averaging around $72,000 per year.

Alternatively, you might pursue certifications in project management through programs like PMP (Project Management Professional). These credentials highlight your ability to manage projects effectively and come with potential salary boosts of up to $90,000 annually (not including benefits and bonuses).

If you’re more tech-oriented, a career in emerging tech, such as cybersecurity, data science, or AI and machine learning, can set you up for life.

3) Network strategically

While your skills are extremely important, who you know also matters, regardless of industry. Humans are social beings, and this becomes glaringly obvious when you return from a life of freelancing for office politics. 

Therefore, strategic networking can play a huge part in your success. Start by joining professional organizations and online communities. Engage in industry-specific groups on platforms like Facebook or Reddit. These spaces provide valuable insights and connections within your field.

It also helps to attend webinars and conferences (preferably physical) to expand your network and meet people face-to-face. These events offer opportunities to meet potential employers, mentors, or collaborators who can assist in your career shift.

Engaging with industry leaders is another effective tactic. Follow thought leaders such as Sheryl Sandberg or Sallie Krawcheck on social media. If you can contribute to their posts, don’t be shy to comment and place yourself on their radar.

4) Tailor your resume and portfolio

As a freelancer, you had to run targeted outreach campaigns to get clients. Well, applying for jobs is quite similar, only this time, the main tools of your outreach are your resume and portfolio. 

You already know the power of personalization, so create targeted resumes to make sure you stand out. Customize your resume to fit specific job descriptions, highlighting relevant freelance projects as key achievements. Also, make full use of data-backed claims, such as “increased client web traffic by 40%,” to showcase the impact of your work.

To boast about your skills, put together a professional online portfolio and highlight metrics-driven results. Also, for your resume, use a format compatible with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). This ensures your resume isn’t filtered out before it reaches human eyes.

Time to look for freelance opportunities!

Transitioning from freelancing to a full-time role is an exciting journey. By evaluating your skills, networking strategically, upskilling, and tailoring your resume and portfolio, you position yourself for success. Now’s the time to harness that freelance hustle. Get out there and change the world with your unique talents!