Here at Source LF we recruit for all sorts of freelance positions. Generally this requires that the freelancer works in-house, rather than working from your own studio or office, and a prerequisite of this is that you need to hit the ground running!
Typically a freelancer might be required to cover maternity leave or a vacancy while a company are recruiting for a permanent position; to work on a specific project for a fixed period of time; or sometimes on a rolling contractual basis to meet demand in a particular area.
Whatever the terms of the freelance contract, the employer’s expectation of a freelance hire is that they will settle in quickly and not require a huge amount of support to get going. On the other hand, even though you know that the job is not for long, you will still have many of the same concerns as someone taking on a permanent role: working with new people, managing the workload, doing a great job.
So, if you are about to start a new freelance role here are my tips for settling in quickly:
5 Tips For In-House Freelance Success
1. Look at examples of the employer’s work
Familiarising yourself with the an agency’s work before you start will give you a good idea of what you are getting into! Hopefully you will have done this before your interview with them but if not, do it now.
If you are joining our rooster of freelance designers who we place on weekly freelance bookings, we do endeavour to find you bookings with clients you will want to work with. However, to really hit the ground running on these kinds of freelance bookings it makes sense to do some research beforehand.
Before taking on a freelance role make sure you and the employer understand exactly what the role entails, what the employer expects you to achieve during your time with them, and how this will be measured. If your freelance booking is being handled by a recruitment agency, ask your contact there for as much detail as possible.
If you are expected to manage your own time during your contract, this information will really help you plan your time effectively; and ensure that you meet the employer’s objectives.
3. Arrange a hand over
If you are covering a vacant position or maternity leave and the employer does not suggest it, ask whether you could have a meeting or spend a day with the person you are taking over from.
This will give you a good opportunity to ask questions, get an idea of the working methods used, familiarise yourself with the agency, and highlight any areas that you need support with prior to taking over the role.
4. Meet the team
A key factor that can affect a freelancer’s productivity is not knowing who’s who. Although it is only to be expected that you will have to ask your manager to point you in the right direction of other key members of staff, it can really slow your progress down.
A good way to speed the process up is to research the team before starting. Have a look at the agency’s website, check out team members’ LinkedIn profiles, and ask the agency for a map of their company structure. This way you won’t have to wait until your manager is out of a meeting to ask whom you need to speak to, and you will also get a head start on learning everyone’s names!
5. Go prepared to do your job
Sometimes an employer is not quite ready when a freelancer starts. For example, they might not have arranged for a computer to be available on your first day, or other essential equipment that will allow you to get on with your job.
If you want to make a really great impression, and not spend your first day or so twiddling your thumbs, take what you can with you. Obviously this will be restricted to what you can transport comfortably! But the basics such as a laptop or tablet should at least allow you to get started on something.
Starting any new job can be a bit nerve-wracking but for the freelancer there are other factors. Settling in quickly is particularly important, as you may only have limited amount of time to make a good impression. Whether you hope to get more work with a specific agency or a glowing recommendation to further your career, your ability to hit the ground running is vital to this.
If you would like to discuss your freelance career and the we are looking to fill, please get in touch with me. Either call 020 3116 0000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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