Any freelancer will tell you that life can sometimes be about foreseeing and preparing for seasonal bouts of feast or famine. And while some may revel in the freedom of sustaining a regular life with an irregular income, others may begin to prefer the security of 9-5. So, if and when you decide it’s time to trade the cafe for the cubicle, try these transitioning tips.
1. Be realistic
It’s going to take some time to adjust to your new in-house hours. And whether you have a contract or full-time background, your employer will be aware of that, but you have to recognize it too. Don’t expect to be moving mountains within the first few weeks that you’re getting to know the company, products, co-workers and goals. You’ll be tempted to want to dive right in—and you should be motivated, but when you're working for someone else, you may need to brush up on time management. Start each day with a list of priorities, and stick to each task. It will make it a lot easier to organize your hours and hit your deadlines.
2. Find your voice
This may not paint the prettiest of pictures, but envision this: You’re in a meeting and a similar project that you’ve successfully managed before in a consultant capacity is on someone else's to-do list. Now, however, instead of having the floor and mapping out the strategy, he or she has taken the reigns. Your inner voice may be shouting for you to stand up and take action, but resist the impulse! Aside from avoiding any toe stepping, you want to figure out the right approach to collaborating and sharing ideas.
So... get stealth and observe!
Watch and take note of how other employees approach stakeholders and management. When you feel as though you’ve built solid work relationships, you'll navigate the corporate totem pole a lot easier and your voice will eventually get a lot louder.
3. Remember your worth
Although some days it may feel like you’re manacled to man, you’re not in a prison. And even though you’ve traded in being your own boss to having one, he or she isn’t your warden. Remember your worth—because you were hired to be a part of their corporate family for a reason. You’ll be expected to work set hours, but its up to you to set mutually beneficial boundaries. Put in an honest day’s work for an honest pay and if you don’t forget your worth-- your employers won’t either.
4. Play nice
The office is prime spotting ground for perusing different breeds of human— some may get along well with others, while some may prove hostile. You’re not going to mesh with every personality type. And that’s okay, but you need to be able to play nice. Respect in the workplace is just as important as anywhere else, but if you’re having a serious issue with someone or something—that’s what human resources is for.
5. Have a drink
The contingent worker tends to simply get the job done rather than make friends with other workers on the job.Yet as a full-time employee, you’d be surprised how much more relationships matter when you’re all working side by side 9-5. You don’t have to be BFFs with your co-workers, but don’t avoid after work drinks, office parties or the water cooler like they’re the productivity plague. Get to know the people you spend 8 hours a day with, you never know what collaboration opportunities you may uncover to expedite or enhance a project.
Sure, accepting a steady paycheck may be easier than embracing the changes that earn it, but hey-- money doesn't grow on trees, right?