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Went from freelance to an employee, now going nuts...

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by smashy2014, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. smashy2014

    smashy2014 New Member

    I'm writing this post because I need advice, I'm sure some freelancers out here can relate to my situation and advise me.

    I have been freelancing for quite some time and actually really enjoyed it, had a few clients, they were happy with my work, being my own boss, could do my own schedule and was perfect. But since me and my husband were starting to struggle financially (I was working 3 days per week on the days my daughter was at the nursery), I've had to go back into full-time employment.

    I've started in a full-time job in the beginning of this month and I'm getting nuts at the moment. I've never been tailored to office 9-5 type of work and now I really suck at it. I've been out of office politics for a long time and was always very informal with my clients, so I'm struggling to adjust and I just made 2 mistakes that annoyed the owner of the company (the person I report to).

    First I asked him last week if I could work from home one day of the week and he was annoyed by my question and said no, the other thing was a bit more serious. I was supposed to have an induction on my first day/week of work, which I didn't because they have been postponing it since. It was supposed for them to tell me about the company rules and terms on the induction. Because I didn't have the induction, they didn't mention to me that their pay schedule goes from the 21st on one month until the 20th of the next, so since I've started working on the 10th, I will only receive from the 10th until the 21st... The owner only told me this last Friday in a chat around the coffee machine...

    I was shocked really, since I was expecting to receive until the end of the month. If I knew this I would have keep a former freelance client of mine until the end of this month...

    So, and because I brought another freelance client of mine with me to this company, I asked the owner if I could invoice them myself this month so I'll not be on the red line... Yes, I was naive asking this question, but the owner was always so approachable and informal to me that I thought I could ask him. Well, he was shocked with my request, sent an email Cc the HR department stating I cannot do that, invoicing myself, that the client is not mine now, but of his company (which is true),etc, etc. Even the fact I told him this is not a general request to go every month and only specific to this situation, he didn't understand it.

    Ok, I was naive and made a mistake by asking this, but I was really desperate (and still am). I wasn't trying to harm him or his company in any way or take advantage since I could not have brought the client with me in the first place. I was just desperate since I have the rent to pay, my daughter's nursery, etc (which I know is not his responsibility).

    So, he changed radically his behaviour towards me, like I'm some kind of criminal, and he's being very cold at the moment. I feel so sad with this and demotivated too. I'm having a hard time adjusting to a full-time role and I miss so much being a freelancer and working for myself, I never had ANY problem with clients!

    I've had a former client contacting me in order to do more work and I could bring him into this company (which by the way is a start-up) but I guess I'll not do it. If I lose this job I'll lose him as a client too.

    I cannot afford at the moment to go back to be a freelance, and I'm wondering if I should look for a new job elsewhere since it seems my relationship with the owner here is ruined. Also, my boyfriend works for another company the owner has and I don't want for this to backlash on him. And that happened a little yesterday when the owner blamed my boyfriend for not telling me about the pay dates, when that was his responsibility on the induction (that I didn't have).

    Can you please advise me? Can't think of anywhere else to ask this. Thanks in advance!
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
  2. glebe digital

    glebe digital Member

    Sorry to hear about your travails!

    Always be looking for a new job. Gifting clients is a bad idea unless there's some quantifiable benefit to you, seems like there is none in this case......keep 'em close & work for them on evenings/weekends. Can you afford to walk away from this job? If not, tread carefully on those egg-shells & begin to repair the damage.....Smile, be competent in your responsibilities & avoid flashpoints -at least until you have an exit strategy.

    You may find it gets better with time. Chin up. :)
  3. Lupita

    Lupita Member

    Good advice there from glebe. Some client companies, and specifically the people representing them in HR/management, just don't 'get' freelancers or independent workers. The freelancer's 'process' (payment or day-to-day business or otherwise), approach and mindset are treated somewhat aloofly, mainly because they don't understand it and, in your case it seems, they don't want to understand it! In other words, and from reading your post, it strikes me that there's a lack of respect from the end-user in terms of how they treat/regard you.

    It's all a bit of shame.

    But as you identify in your account of what's happened, you made a few 'blobs' that haven't helped your situation. So follow glebe's tips ('avoid flashpoints until you've a way out'; 'get your head down and be professional' and 'get a Plan B in place'), and also check your contract. Consult this document in relation to bringing clients along with you ('gifting' clients - explored here a bit) and to be aware, in advance, of the ways the business/end-user might try to get rid of you. I think based on what you said, notably how they've responded to you of late, knowing the ins and outs of termination clauses incl any notice periods, may hold you in good stead.

    Finally, and I appreciate the following advice isn't easy to follow at the drop of a hat, but start to try to look at your situation less emotionally -- take it less personally even if you deem it to be personal! Disconnecting from it slightly so you're not overrun with numerous feelings should help you clearly and concisely grasp the facts and gain an insight into how the business (note; 'the business' -- not person 'x') is looking at things too. You'll always agree with your side more, but seeing both sides of the coin will surely be helpful, not least because you may be able to foresee their next move!

    Best of luck and please let us know the latest when you next steal a sec.:)
  4. smashy2014

    smashy2014 New Member

  5. smashy2014

    smashy2014 New Member

    Thank you for your reply!

    I'm actually realising that I'm much happier working as a freelancer and being my own boss rather than stuck in an office so many hours working for someone else.

    I'm trying now to find a part-time job elsewhere so I have a steady income each month and then finding new freelance clients, in order for me to leave this job. I feel exhausted and drained there at the moment as opposed to feel energised and happy as I should feel!

    I'm talking now with two possible freelance clients, and will talk with an agency I was working before and see if they want to work with me again, and see how it goes.

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