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This question was asked, Does freelancing experience count in the business world?. The question makes it sound like the asker is leaving the freelancing world and joining the workforce.

This question would be on topic on The Workplace SE, but the question we must answer -- before there's any talk of migrations and such -- is whether or not this question is on-topic for this site.

Many freelancers work independently for decades, while many freelancers dart back and forth between regular paid positions and freelancing, and many freelance part time.

Thus, it seems like we should make this question work. What, if any, edits are needed to remove any doubt that this question can remain on our site as an example of a good, on-topic question?

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I agree it's definitely borderline, but would not know how to edit this one. I'd say to let it stay, and see if it grows at all first. He is asking about his experience working in the freelancing world, which is definitely on topic. I think if it is adjusted maybe to show a bit more on the freelance side, such as maybe towards customers or companies that he is marketing himself towards as a contractor, it would be perfect, but that may change the meaning altogether on the question. I would suggest linking the OP here to get a feel for what exactly we can do for this question

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I agree with the general sentiment that it's at least somewhat on topic and worth keeping.

I'm a freelancer who has gone back and forth between freelancing full time, working a regular job full time, and freelancing on the side while working a regular job. From this experience I'm familiar with the perception some have that freelance work is somehow less real or less accountable. On the other hand I was hired for one position specifically because of my freelance experience - the interviewer believed that freelancers had to be very focused on customer satisfaction in order to stay alive and that was a quality he valued highly.

I think the question could be made more definitely on topic if it were rephrased to focus on what freelancers can do (or maybe could have done in the OP's case) so that if they choose to seek regular employment in the future they will be in a better position. Answers might include ideas about forming an official business name rather than operating under a sole proprietor's own name, what records to keep about each project in order to aid in writing a standard resume entry for the business in the future, etc.

I think the answers to how to present your freelance work when applying for a job would also be largely relevant to how to present your freelance business when seeking new clients.

  • I think the focus is more on getting new freelance clients. Staying in Freelancing is better for our site than telling people how to get out of it. But still, it's a very valid question. I like your suggestion to focus on diversification strategies to prepare for the future. – jmort253 Aug 2 '13 at 5:30
  • I'm hesitant to edit the question because it did get good, relevant answers, and I'd hate to disrupt that, but your suggestions are great and could even make for a possible follow up question in its own post as long as it doesn't appear fake or manufactured. – jmort253 Aug 3 '13 at 1:17
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I agree with both of you... and (as my answer shows) I hesitated to answer.

There are a number of problems with the question, not least it is probably Too Localised as well as borderline off-topic.

However, if we take the focus off the probation aspect, then it becomes a more rounded question, and more on-topic.

I'd be minded to leave it be, and see how it runs... not least because we're a bit short of activity ;-)

  • Too localized was nuked a while back – Amelia Aug 1 '13 at 5:41
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I'd suggest that the question is a fit as-is because the heart of the question deals with how to value freelance work; how to measure the legitimacy of work performed outside the traditional workplace.

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