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Do freelancers have too high expectations when going back to employee?

5-year experience tech-candidate: I want to change from freelance back to a permanent position.

Me: Great! What's your salary expectation?

Candidate: 10,000 EUR per month

Me (and the whole industry): 🤯😵‍💫😱🤔🧐🤪😬

On a serious note, though, throughout my career as a recruiter I have helped a few candidates go from freelance back to permanent positions, but not many. "Freelancing is not for me, I have tried it and I'm done with it", they said. They didn't like changing from one mission to the next, not "belonging" to one place, and doing the admin part of it. For them, the decision to go back being an employee was motivated by a higher incentive than the mere financial aspect.

I have talked, however, with many candidates who have the intention to go back to a permanent position, but with unrealistic expectations of the compensation. This is the strongest reason why many freelancers never make the jump back, even if deep down they would prefer the admin dynamics of having the "employee" status.

What is your take; is it true to say that in Belgium "once you go freelance, you never go back"?

Do you think there should be a more equitable difference between both?

Curious to hear your thoughts.

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