Having worked in both freelance and permanent recruitment, I have found that candidates enjoy either freelance or permanent jobs for all kinds of reasons.
So I thought what better way to interview a candidate of mine who has worked both perm and freelance, but of late has been purely contracting, so this hopefully will give us all an insight from an insider’s point of view. On top of contracting now, Alma is considering going back to perm and I’m here to find out why.
Meet Alma Becirovic who is Senior Digital Project Director and has worked at some of the best agencies out there such as AKQA, +Rehabstudios, M&C Saatchi and plenty more, working on some excellent digital projects throughout her career.
1) What was your reason to start freelancing in the first place?
A: I was attracted by the level of variety that freelancing offers. A huge variety of projects, brands/clients, ways of approaching the work, technologies. Experience working with a wide circle of interesting people, both creative and tech people was great.
2) In your opinion what are the positives and negativities of freelancing?
A: Flexibility and being able to manage your own time in between project and work on your own projects is a big positive side of freelancing for me. Working within different companies’ cultures and being able to experience and embrace them is another one. Lack of continuity and frequent moving from one place to another even though exciting most of the times, sometimes can be regarded as negative.
3) Do you feel that your skill sets are able to develop in a contract/freelance position – also, how does this affect your professional progression?
A: I have definitely grown professionally over the years through my freelance experience and polished my skills on so many levels. With every new project I have developed my skills further. However, any dramatic career progressing has always been limited from reaching top leadership positions as these type of roles are not normally offered to freelancers.
4) What are your main motivators when looking for a new freelance role?
A: Type of company and type of the project are key deciding factors when choosing a new contract. I like to work in lean and collaborative environments and on tech heavy projects. I have always been lucky to have a choice and did not accept contracts I felt were not right for me and to my professional progress.
5) Now that you’re looking to go back into a perm role – what are you hoping to achieve from this?
A: My goal now is to apply all of the experience and the skills I have gained during the years of freelancing into a management type/ level perm role that will enable me to grow even further in the years to come. I would like to be a part of a company that is right for me and evolve with it.
6) What blockers have you faced or think you may come up against when applying for permanent opportunities?
A: I am not sure yet as I haven’t started with my search actively. I suppose transition from FL to perm is a big commitment and both candidate and company are looking for a right fit. I hope that my diverse and extensive experience will give me an advantage and I won’t be facing any difficulties in my search.
7) Finally, what are the main motivators for you now going back into a permanent role?
A: I have been asked on several occasion by agencies while freelancing with them if I was interested to switch to perm role but at the time I wasn’t ready for this change. I feel now that this time has come, I am ready for a new path and exciting to see what the future brings.
I think the conclusion we come to here is freelance definitely has it pro’s and con’s and the same can be said about perm. You can definitely widen your skill set in freelance, work on a number of different projects, different companies but the main struggle what I hear quite often is being able to move up that ladder to the next level being a contractor. Perm definitely seems more suited if you want to progress to that leadership role, and being a contractor this is fairly limited as companies/agencies prefer these roles to be taken by permanent employees.
I hope you found this useful and I suppose the winner of Freelance v Permanent employment goes to… Well I suppose that’s all down to the candidate and what their personal plans and motivations are.
I’d like to say a massive thank you to Alma Becirovic for taking time out and hopefully find her the ideal perm role moving forward.
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