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How Do You Know When to Leave Freelancing for a Full-Time Job?

If you mention you want to leave freelancing for a full-time job, your friends might think you’ve lost your mind. Freelancing is often regarded as the perfect way to work. You can be your own boss, achieve a better work-life balance and choose your own career path.

What’s not to love? After all, more than one-third of U.S. workers are freelancers and the majority of the American workforce is predicted to freelance by 2027.

However, as with any way of working, there are both benefits and pitfalls to freelancing. Here are three signs it may be time to leave freelancing for a full-time job:

1. You need financial stability

financial stability

The flexibility of freelancing also comes with a certain level of financial uncertainty. You could find yourself living a famine or feast existence, where you don’t know where your next check is coming from.

Getting paid is also a major issue in the freelancer community. A recent survey revealed freelancers in the creative sector lose more than $6,500 each a year to work that goes unpaid. Furthermore, freelancers spend 20 days per year chasing invoices for late payment.

You’re also responsible for finding your own work, which can be difficult to manage and sustain.

2. You don’t enjoy it anymore

Life as a freelancer can be highly rewarding. In the early days, you’ll probably get a buzz when you win a contract and can choose projects you’re passionate about are all obvious perks.

However, if you’re struggling to motivate yourself or are questioning why you went into business in the first place, then it may be time for a rethink.

There could be a range of reasons behind this slump. For example, freelancing can be a lonely existence. You don’t have coworkers to chat through problems or a boss to protect you from a difficult client. Working from home, as many freelancers do, can also exacerbate this feeling of isolation.

You may also overcommit and find yourself burning the midnight oil on a regular basis. As a result, your work-life balance is thrown out of the window. This is not a sustainable situation and could lead to burn out.

A quarter of freelancers have also experienced depression. If freelancing is adversely affecting your health, it could be time to quit.

3. You’ve just seen your dream job in the listings

Your interest may be peaked by a new opportunity. It’s worth weighing up the benefits and pitfalls of leaving freelancing for a full-time job before you make the leap. Sometimes, the grass can seem greener, especially if you’ve had a bad couple of weeks as a freelancer.

For example, a permanent role may come with perks such as a pension, holiday allowance and professional development opportunities. These aspects are sometimes lacking for freelancers.

But you’ll also be giving up the flexibility freelancing offers and the ability to choose your own projects and career path. Research also reveals freelancers typically earn more than traditional workers.

If you do decide to leave freelancing for a full-time job

If you’ve reached the stage where you’re struggling as a freelancer and you want to quit, there’s no shame in finding full-time work.

Flexibility isn’t a commodity that’s exclusive to freelancing. Traditional employees also have some power to choose a working arrangement that fits their lifestyle and career preferences.

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