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Should You Leave Freelance Editing for an Employee Position?

Last week, I shared a list of things you should think about when considering a new editing job or client. But what about when a freelancer is offered an employee position? What should you think about? And what should you not think about?

What to Consider

Changing from freelancing to employment is a huge shift. You’re no longer in charge of your own schedule, but you also no longer have to find your own work. Before you make the leap, try to see the big picture. What would it take for you to give up freelancing?

  • A job offer. You hate freelancing and would love an employee position.
  • More money. Sometimes you just can’t make your business as profitable as you need it to be.
  • Tasks you want to do. If you’ve been unsuccessful at selling writing services, for example, will this job let you write too?
  • Benefits. Health insurance. Retirement plans and contributions. Paid time off.
  • More, or less, responsibility. Do you want to manage a team? Do you want to just edit and go home?
  • Paid professional development. Will the company send you to editing conferences or pay for webinars or workshops?
  • More, or less, travel. Will taking this job mean you no longer have to travel for work? Will it allow you to start traveling for work?

It’s useful, as well, to understand what you might be giving up by becoming an employee. Will you miss:

  • Control over your schedule
  • A flexible work schedule
  • Wearing whatever you want
  • The lack of a commute
  • Being your own boss

Perhaps, though, there will be some things you won’t miss, like uncertain or intermittent income and business administration tasks. List everything valuable that you’ll gain and lose—both good and bad.

What to Ignore

These days it’s more common for an editor to jump from employment to freelancing for a host of reasons. It’s rarer to see a freelancer become (or return to being) an employee. Freelancers can find themselves asking two tough questions:

  • If I take this job, am I a failure at freelancing?
  • Am I betraying other freelance editors?

Ignore those questions.

They have nothing to do with whether this job is right for you. Make a decision based on how the change will affect your life overall.

Not everyone who does freelance editing wants to be a business owner. Nor is everyone good at it. Changes in the industry have meant that freelance editors are more in demand than employed editors. Many editors are freelancers simply because that’s where the work is.

If you find the right job—one where the gains outweigh the losses—take it. Do what’s right for you.

A version of this article originally published on August 31, 2018, on


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