If you are a freelancer, weighing up the pros and cons of going perm, you are not alone. We recently shared Joe Leech’s story, he made the switch from perm to freelance.

Dan TrimThis time we spoke to Dan Trim (pictured right), Developer at Doner, who has done the opposite:

ADLIB: Please give us a brief overview of your career path and how you got to the point where you were confident to switch to a permanent position.

Dan Trim: I’ve had quite a varied career for a developer. I began at a financial company in 2005 as their only designer with minimal front-end skills. After which I worked at Future Publishing and an American ecommerce company working on projects for Tour de France, Nikon, Suzuki and Raleigh to name but a few.

Throughout those years I began to switch from mostly designing to being more development-focused. However, whilst in a marketing role and freelancing, I found my development skills beginning to suffer significantly. This meant it was more difficult than it should be when it came to finding a full-time job – my skills were spread out too much for recruiters and potential employers to take me seriously.

From contractor to perm #1When I realised this, I buried myself in development websites as much as I could, alongside online development courses to increase my knowledge. I found myself enjoying it so much that I began to look at other areas of websites such as UX and even app development for a bit of fun. As this was happening, I found my confidence growing, and interviews became easier and easier.

It also helped that whoever was interviewing me could see my raw passion for the web. You can never convey enough just how much you enjoy working in your chosen field to a potential employer.

A: How did you manage the transition, and how does the reality of no longer being self-employed match up to expectations?

DT: My finances are more stable now that I am away from the fluctuations of freelancing, but I can no longer leave whenever I feel like it for some spontaneous fresh air. Or even work out in the sun on my laptop. But no matter what I’m missing out on, it just isn’t a problem for me as it’s easier and quicker to attain a mortgage now.

“The dog at home isn’t half as interesting to talk to as colleagues with similar interests”

 

So the transition was fine for me but you have to weigh up the pros and cons before making the jump – if sitting at a desk all day for set hours is going to kill your soul then do what you can do to stay freelancing. However, the dog at home isn’t half as interesting to talk to as colleagues with similar interests.

A: What advice would you give those considering to make the switch from freelance to permanent?

DT: As I have already stated, put some serious thought in to the pros and cons, it’s not always as obvious as you think it may be and make sure you’re up to speed with everything you need to know.

“If you still want to work on extra projects outside of work, you can. I still do, it keeps you fresh”

 

Remember the obvious things for interviews, such as wearing the correct clothes for the position, arriving early, doing your homework on the company you’re applying for and asking insightful questions at the end.

And if you still want to work on extra projects outside of work, you can. I still do, it keeps you fresh and you can experiment with new ideas and ways of working that you can use in your day job.

There’s so much to weigh up when choosing a permanent or contract route for your career. The most popular reasons for ‘going perm’ that we hear are stability, career progression, skills training/development and mortgage/family reasons -there are many trade-offs and considerations. One thing is clear in our view and that is that with a buoyant market (options aplenty!) and a skills shortage, there’s never been a better time to be a developer!

Mike Harley