9 Ways to Nail the Transition from Employee to Freelancer

You’ve finally decided to make the leap and become a freelancer.


Many people dream of making this decision, but few actually do it. Now that you’re in the driver’s seat, what are you going to do? You need to nail your transition from employee to contractor. This is not an easy task. There will be many things that need to be done before you can fully enjoy your new life as a freelancer.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss 9 steps for how to transition successfully from full-time employment into freelance work so that you can stop worrying about money and start enjoying freedom!

From full time to freelance

How can you make a successful transition from employee to freelancer?

1) Your reasons

The first step is to identify the reasons behind your decision to go freelance. If you’re looking for more independence and less corporate culture, freelancing is probably the right choice for you. You’ll need to consider the time required to devote to freelancing. If you’re not home often, this will be hard.

2) Research career paths within your desired field

You will also need to research career paths within your desired field. There are many different types of freelance work. You do not want to end up in a job that is completely unrelated to what you studied or trained for. You’ll be able to find the perfect path with some thorough research, so make sure you don’t rush this process.

Some of the questions you need to ask yourself include:

  • Who should you start freelancing for?
  • What kind of rates can you expect?
  • How will your taxes work when you’re freelance?
  • Will freelancing conflict with the goals and plans for your family life?
  • What are some good reasons for going freelance?
  • How can I find a career path that is right for me?
  • Who should I start freelancing for and what kind of rates can I expect from them?
  • What type of work do you want to engage in?
  • How much money do I need to make as a freelance worker?
  • Where can I find clients and how many will I need?
  • Can I run my own business while working independently at the same time?

Asking yourself all these questions is the best way to ensure that this switch goes smoothly.

If you’re prepared, your transition from employee to freelancer will be as smooth as possible.

3) Investigate the freelance work market

You’ll also need to check out the freelance work market. What are other people charging for their services? How does this compare with what you’re willing to do? And how much money do you need to make to go freelancing full-time without worry? You may have a lot of competition, so don’t be afraid to ask for higher rates than what people are charging. You’ve earned it if you have the skills to back up your requests for more money!

If you can find a niche where there isn’t too much competition, this will be easier for you during the transition process. Just make sure that whatever path you choose feels right and sets off no warning bells. This is the most important step in making your transition successful.

4) Create a plan

A business plan

Next, create a plan for your transition. Freelancing is all about business, so remember to plan like one. This will include creating a marketing strategy. Signing up with an agency or company that will take care of billing. Setting up relevant social media accounts and make sure you have your name available as a freelancer.

If you were employed in any way by your current company (mentoring sessions, research projects, etc.), you will need to cut ties with them before starting your new business.

A financial plan

This is the most important step to make your transition successful. If you don’t feel like you can afford this lifestyle, freelancing isn’t for you. Before you call it quits at your current job, make sure you have enough savings. Remember, you will not be getting a steady paycheck every two weeks.

You’ll need to plan for the months where your income is zero or negative. You may even have to dig into savings to pay taxes and other fees associated with starting out independently. It’s also advisable that you don’t quit until all of this has been sorted. The rule of thumb is having enough to last you at least 3-6 months.

Remember, freelancing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme.

5) Make it official and start your business

The best way to make the transition from employee to a contractor is by doing it officially. This will involve creating or registering your business with an online portal or in person at the IRS office. There are many options available for you if you’re unsure of how to go about it.

You must do this before quitting your job, so you can schedule the process accordingly and make sure everything is completed during the right times (before taxes are due).

And remember to keep all receipts from now on! You will need them for when tax season comes around next year. Remember, Uncle Sam does not mess around.

Get your finances together

As soon as you know that you are going to be a freelancer (and before quitting), gather all of the financial information about yourself and your family members for tax time next year. If any loans or cards have been taken out in their name, now is the time to pay them off.

Make sure you have all of your statements and bills organized somewhere. Whether that’s in a file on your computer or printed out in folders at home. Just keep it close by so you don’t miss any payments as the deadline approaches.

6) Create a schedule for yourself

Once your business is up and running, create an official schedule for yourself. As a freelancer, you will need to make sure that your workload doesn’t become overwhelming.

This includes setting regular hours, such as working from Monday through Friday between these times:

• 08:00AM-12:00PM

• 01:15PM – 06:45PM

• 08:00PM – 02:30AM

Remember, you are your own boss now! The only person that will have to answer to is yourself. So schedule wisely and stick with it until work becomes more regularized.

7) Get a mentor

If possible, find an experienced freelancer or agency owner who can show you the ropes. This person will be able to give you the inside scoop on what it’s like being on your own. They can offer advice on how they conducted their transition and even help with marketing strategies, etc.

8) Find your first client

After putting together a great portfolio and marketing strategy, it’s time to find work! You’ll want to build up an income that will allow you to survive between jobs by taking on projects that you can handle.

Create a contract and invoice for each project that you take on, even if it’s small projects from different companies or individuals. You’ll need to keep track of all incoming payments during tax season next year, so make sure everything is official!

Make sure that all of your documents are in order. This includes any licenses or certifications you might have, as well as a resume and cover letter for when hiring time comes around. You may also want to consider investing in some equipment such as a laptop or smartphone.

9) Talk to your boss

Before making the final leap into freelancing, you should always ask for feedback from your employer and peers to make sure that this is truly what you want to do. When it comes down to it, an employee’s life will never be completely fulfilling if they don’t like their job. In the end, you might find that your old job was not so bad after all.

Don’t burn bridges

After deciding to jump ship, you should keep in touch with your former employer. You just never know when they might call for a reference or even rehire you down the road!

How do you know if freelancing is right for you?

Freelancing can be quite rewarding, but it’s not for everyone.

Freelancers who enjoy the freedom of working on personal projects and pursuing their passions make significantly more money than people with traditional 9-5 jobs. You may also choose to take on side or occasional gigs that suit your skillsets while you work towards achieving new clientele in the area that interests you most.

You need to know ahead of time if freelancing is right for you by making sure there are no unexpected risks before jumping into what could turn out to be a difficult situation.

Start your transition, begin freelancing!

Many things need to be considered and taken care of before transitioning into freelancing. While it may seem like an easy way out at first, there will always be a learning curve to overcome.

A lot of people think they want to be a freelancer, but don’t realize how challenging it can be. Freelancers have more responsibility and less stability than an employee would have. With those challenges come many opportunities as well.

On the bright side, you’ll have more time on your hands and freedom that only freelancing can provide!

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