5 Suggestions When Going from Full-Time Employee to Freelancer


Big life changes are happening for people. Millions are turning to freelancing during the pandemic – and this trend may last, according to an article from NPR. This means that millions of developers, designers, writers, and other professionals are handing in their notices, saying goodbye to their cubicles, and welcoming the gig economy with open arms.

Thanks to the internet, people can take advantage of remote working opportunities that can help them achieve success in their careers.

Of course, saying goodbye to a “secure” job at a company will always involve some risk. What’s more, this move will require a lot of work from you. This isn’t just about having a fun time as a digital nomad. You also need to accomplish a ton of tasks, including building a list of clients, finding a comfortable schedule, and getting accustomed to invoicing.

If you’re decided on moving from a full-time job to a freelance setup, take note of these five tips to help ease your transition:

 1. Start Saving Money

As an aspiring freelancer, you’ll need a buffer fund. This will help you prepare for the possibility of a few lean months.

How much do you need? The answer will depend on how conservative you are. You should save somewhere between three and six months’ worth of outgoing expenses, such as food, electricity, life insurance, and investment policies that you need to keep, rent (if you don’t own your home outright) and fuel for your car.

2. Establish an Online Presence

Even before you hand over your resignation letter to your boss, make sure you build a strong web presence. You can do this on platforms, such as Fiverr and Upwork, if they align with the work you’ll be performing. Alternatively, you can create a personal portfolio website that showcases your skills and increases your brand awareness.

When you take the plunge into freelancing, there’s a possibility of forgetting to update your resume and portfolio. After all, you’ll be busy accommodating clients and completing the work they assigned.

If this is the case, make sure that your online platforms are operational while your schedule is still manageable. This way, you won’t need to think about these things during the first few months of freelancing.

If you’re going to build your online presence, don’t forget to update your social media accounts. Having a solid public presence on websites, such as Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn, will help bump up your visibility when prospective clients are looking to hire people like you.

3. Hire a Good Accountant

If you’re new to the freelancing world, you’ll want to find a skilled accountant who can help you understand business expenses and other related stuff. This professional will help you maximize tax deductions to save you more money.

Apart from tax deductions, a great accountant can help you set up a financial tracking system. You’ll learn the items you need to track, how you should track them and how often to do this.

Last but not the least, an accountant will prevent you from running afoul of any tax laws. The last thing you want to happen is land in hot water with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

4. Join a Co-Working Space

Although you have the option to work from home or any café you want, consider spending your first few months of freelancing in a co-working space. This is a great venue to find potential clients and expand your professional network.

You’ll also find that getting your stuff done from a co-working space, even for just a couple of days per week or a few days per month) makes the change from full-time to freelance less abrupt. This strategy may even result in better focus and productivity as you make the transition.

Joining a co-working space doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Look around for “lite” plans that will give you everything you need at a price you can afford. When you work in a co-working space, you’ll have access to new partners or clients as you grow your business.

5. Never Burn Your Bridges

Just because you’re freelancing doesn’t mean that you’ll be working on your own. Your friends, relatives, previous boss and former colleagues may offer assistance that will result in great opportunities.

If you are leaving your job on good terms, ask for endorsements from your supervisor and colleagues. Who knows? Their recommendations may just be what you need to win over your first client.

The move from full-time to freelance won’t be an easy one. If you’re ready to take the plunge, be prepared and think long term, as you won’t find the answers you’re looking for in a day or two. Freelancing is an art and a skill that takes time to master.