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Ask The Experts: I Was Doing Better As A Freelancer, What Should I Do?

When you’re a freelancer, getting offered a full time job can seem like a dream come true. But what if the grass isn’t greener after all?

Ask The Experts: I Was Doing Better As A Freelancer, What Should I Do?
[Photo: Flickr user Marc Blackburn-Wilson]

Freelancing has a lot of benefits: working from home, making your own schedule, freedom to take on other interesting projects. But freelancing also lacks actual benefits: paid time off, health insurance, a steady paycheck.

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So when the company that you love freelancing for offers you a staff position it’s a win-win, right? Not always. This week’s reader question shows that things can get more complicated when your title changes.

Dear Fast Company Experts,

I work for a well-known fashion company, shooting images for their e-commerce site. I was a freelancer for many years and was doing well. I decided to join the company so I could move my way up and advance my career.

My everyday tasks are really easy, and if anything I feel I’m overqualified for the position, which at first I thought it was good because it would let me move faster. Little did I know that I had to deal with many unqualified, unsecure micromanagers who diminish everyone’s work. It’s taking away my energy and patience.

I’m starting to feel that I can’t perform as well as I did when I started here or was freelancing on my own. People in other departments who knew me and loved me don’t seem to have as high of an opinion of me anymore. How can I change this? How can I keep a positive attitude and show the higher-ups that I’m capable of delivering?

Thanks!
KC


Dear KC,

That’s a difficult position to be in, and it speaks well of you that you’re interested in maintaining a positive attitude. When you lose confidence in your abilities, here are some ways to regain it along with some positivity:

Make a list of strengths. Remind yourself what your gifts and strengths are.

Refocus yourself. Focus on what you want and how you to get it. Thinking about what is wrong will only get you more of what is not working. Thinking strategically and focusing on what you want will not only help you achieve it but will also help you rebuild confidence and positivity.

Show yourself some love. When you are not feeling good about yourself or your situation, boost your energy by taking especially good care of yourself. Self-care can break the cycle and giving you a major boost. Confidence makes us positive.

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Stretch Yourself. Ask for extra work. Seek out challenges that will show them (and remind you) how capable and talented you are. Find a chance and stretch yourself to meet the challenges and excel at them.

Ask for feedback. Ask them “How am I doing?” then listen to what they have to say and see how you can improve. Honest feedback can give you a snapshot of what others think and help you create the kind of picture you want others to see.

Try these out and see if anything changes for you. If not–I am going to be perfectly honest with you–you might need to look at how you can change your position or surroundings.

Best of Luck,
Lolly


If you have a dilemma you’d like our experts to answer, send your questions to AskFC@fastcompany.com or tweet a question using #AskFC.

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About the author

Lolly Daskal is a Leadership Development and CEO coach and consultant and founder of Lead From Within. Follow @LollyDaskal.

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