How You Can Turn a Freelance Job Into a Permanent Job
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Sometimes, as a Freelancer, you find a company or a client who is just great, and you would like to do more work for them – forever. How do you turn that task you found on the freelance website into a permanent contract? Or, better yet, into a permanent job? There are several ways of going about achieving this goal.
When searching for opportunities on a website, a freelance job page, or other “clearinghouse” type sites, be sure to read the posting carefully. Look for jobs that have verbiage like “may lead to permanent employment” or “can lead to a long-term arrangement.”
This language is important for two reasons:
- Many freelance job websites have provisions which restrict or prohibit clients and employers from contacting each other directly. The site may even suspend your services if they find that you have violated this rule. If, however, the client (employer) has put in writing that the job may lead to “permanent employment” or a ‘long-term” situation, and the website has not objected, then they cannot do anything about it. This is known as “constructive notice.” The site could have done something and they didn’t, so you are in the clear.
- If you know up front that the client is looking for permanent, professional Freelancers, you are already on the right track. Do your best work, and a contract or a job offer can be just around the corner.
To pro-actively look for permanent Freelance job positions, especially in the areas of writing or photography, contact local magazines, newspapers, and websites and ask for their “Writer’s Guidelines.” The Writer’s Guidelines are a wealth of information, and usually, tell you everything you need to know about current needs, and the types of articles and photos the magazine or websites accept.
Some have “Photo” or “Photographer’s” guidelines as well, but usually asking for one will get you both. The very excellent thing about receiving Writer’s Guidelines is that they are going to tell you everything you need to know if you want to work for them, including length of article, current photography needs, how to submit your work, kill-fees (if they accept something then decide not to use it) and contact names.
This is a goldmine of information! Many magazines and newspapers rely on Freelancers. They cannot afford to keep people on staff these days, and a “man-in-the-field” who can send photos from Germany or report on America’s Cup each year is invaluable.
When using Writer’s Guidelines, be sure to follow the instructions to the letter. Don’t send the magazine or the website something they don’t need or want. Once you are established with them, then you can negotiate.
Another way to turn a Freelance job into a permanent job is maybe a little less ethical, but the results are the same. If you have found a job through a freelance (or other) website, you can try to contact the “employer” outside of the confines of the site.
This is not the best idea: you have a contractual obligation to work on the site. Still, sending your personal e-mail or supplying your website address can lead to a meaningful conversation. Something like, “You can see other examples of my work on blahblah.com,” will direct your client to your website.
There is, of course, the risk involved with this method of seeking a permanent job. The Freelance site makes their money by placing clients and Freelancers together. They usually get a percentage of the contract price of your work. They are probably the reason you two are communicating with each other in the first place. So going around their “rules” deprives them of income.
In the end, if a client finds that you are professional, deliver quality work, are ethical and reliable, they are likely to want to use you again and again.
Many companies use Freelance sites like Freelancer.com to find permanent employees or “contractors.” It is a business fact that you can turn to your advantage if you do a good job and try to be above board in your dealings with all parties.