Going Back to the 9-5

Working for yourself can be extremely rewarding. Setting your own hours, picking your own clients, working how you want. But when is it the right time to go back to the office grind? 

For two years, I have been fortunate to assist clients in a wide range of industries. Freelancing has been one of the most rewarding endeavors I have undertaken. I have a greater appreciation of the challenges that lie in launching a small business. I understand what it takes to deliver quality work to customers and I have grown professionally in my industry. But the biggest problem in running any business is always thinking of how to keep it afloat. 

The facts are clear. More and more people are becoming freelancers in their respective fields. But if you had the chance to go back to an office, with a steady paycheck and benefits, would you do it? 

What Will You Risk?

If you are a freelancer and thinking about going back to working for someone full time, ask yourself the following:

  • How will this job advance your career?

Where do you want to go professionally? You might go back to working for someone and find out that you missed it. Maybe it's just part of a short term solution to build your resume. Don't force yourself to take a job just because you have to. You'll end up being more miserable and miss everything you gave up on just for a paycheck. 

  • If you want to, will you be able to continue to freelance on the side?

Keep up the side hustle if you can! It's not only extra income but you can continue to build experience. Be sure it fits in with your schedule and is ok with your new boss. 

  • What is the work environment that you are going into? Do you feel comfortable with the people you work with?

Working for yourself can spoil you. Wherever you end back up, you're going to have make sure you actually like working there! Make sure you can find out things like work/life balance and what kind of benefits are offered. You should be able to get a sense early on, in the interview or visiting the office, of what kind of people work there. Trust your instincts.

  • Are you getting paid for what you are really worth?

If you have worked as a freelancer, you should have a pretty good understanding of what you are worth. Be willing to stand up for yourself and don't fall for the first offer if it doesn't feel right. You will come out stronger and show your new boss that you are an investment. 

Moving forward in life, both professional and personally, requires risk. We can choose to play it safe, find something comfortable and live out life. But, where's the fun in that? For me, I have to keep moving forward. Every problem that I have faced has opened new doors that advanced my career. I wouldn't be where I am today without taking a risk and challenging myself.