How a millennial who quit her 9-to-5 job now has her former employer as a client — and makes more money – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

How a millennial who quit her 9-to-5 job now has her former employer as a client — and makes more money

Selene Da Silva.

Courtesy of Selene Da Silva

After Selene Da Silva left her job to be an independent worker, she took on her employer as a client.
Now, through her business and freelance work, she’s earning more than her salary from her past job.
Quality work and great communication skills can help others follow in Da Silva’s footsteps.

In 2021, Selene Da Silva was nervous to tell her employer — an independent hotel company where she felt like part of a family — that after working there since 2017 she was leaving to focus on her own business. But, instead of burning a bridge, she took the hotel on as a client.

While Da Silva worked as a marketing manager for the hotel company, she balanced two side hustles: She ran her business Selene Art & Design, which offers services such as photography and graphic-design work, and picked up jobs through the freelance site Fiverr. Today, she’s earning more than her salary at the hotel company, which Insider verified through documentation, and fulfilled her lifelong goal of being her own boss.

“I really enjoyed traveling and I always wanted to be completely independent, but as someone who had recently moved to the US it was just not possible for me,” she said, adding that she moved from Venezuela in 2017. “I didn’t know how to find clients.”

Now, her former employer is just one of her clients. Companies may work with freelancers and other independent workers if they lose talent after layoffs or need help during busy periods.

“In the last year, maybe two years, it’s becoming more common that many people are taking their immediate past employer and using that employer to start their freelancing journey,” Trisha Diamond, a senior director of customer success at Fiverr, told Insider. “So, there’s a lot of opportunity there that maybe not everybody thinks about when they’re taking this step.”

Quality work can help turn a past employer into a client

For people who want to mimic Da Silva’s strategy, the entrepreneur suggests talking to your employer about moving to a freelance model before quitting.

Being a strong performer is one important attribute for someone hoping to turn a past employer into a client, Diamond said.

“If your performance is great, your quality is great, your communication is excellent, this is something that’s going to help you when you make the proposition to move away from the company to becoming an independent worker,” Diamond said. “Even if it’s a company in the past that you worked with and you’re reconnecting with once you’ve started establishing yourself as a freelancer.”

Your freelance or independent work doesn’t have to be a big mystery before leaving a 9-to-5. Diamond said you could be transparent about it to your employer while expressing how much you love working there. Then, if you leave to pursue your side hustle, they may not be caught off guard.

If a company declines your offer, Da Silva suggests asking why so you can receive feedback.

When reaching out to a former employer, “come at it from a friendly, interested manner first,” Diamond said. For example, ask your contact how the company is doing before diving into pitching yourself, she added.

Overall, Da Silva thinks there are benefits for not only the people seeking out contract work but for prospective employers, too.

“The employer won’t have to pay for benefits, while they will continue to work with someone who already knows the company, how it works and they know is capable of doing the job,” she said. “The ex-employee will get flexibility, and the capability to take on more projects as they won’t be working from the office.”

Share your career-change experience with this reporter at [email protected].

Read the original article on Business Insider
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