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Moving from self employed to full time employment.

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Hi all,


I have been self employed now for almost three years, and while I love it, and I have learnt a lot from it, it just isn't earning enough to fully support myself, me and my fiancee are planning on moving into our own place rather than living with her parents, so we need the extra money, we're both self employed, but in different businesses, and of the two, mine earns less than hers.


I have been looking at a few job websites and a few adverts around the local area this past week or two and I meet most, if not all the criteria for the job, so I am hopeful I will easily be able to get an interview if nothing else, the last time I was looking for work 4-5 years ago I was stuck in a rut, I was years out of date, didn't know about responsive web design, didn't know any javascript, jquery or any modern coding practices etc, running my own business and building more websites again has helped me learn a lot of new things, I have been into web design since I was 12 back in 2001, and started learning HTML and CSS a couple of years later and started learning PHP when I was 16, so I have been in this game a long time now, but because of personal problems, depression etc a few years ago I fell out with it, and in this fast moving industry I got left behind.


Anyway, enough of my life story, as I said in the topic title I am planning on switching to full time employment, I will need to update my CV as it hasn't been touched for a few years, I have also bought a personal domain of my name, and I was thinking of using that as an expansion of my CV where a potential employer can get more information and look at examples of previous work, and even have myname@domain.co.uk email address, rather than my Gmail address.


However, the website is where I am having difficulty, I am perfectly capable of making the website, but I can't come up with a layout for it, or even a colour scheme or anything, I was wondering anyone had any experience in making something similar for themselves, what to include etc, or any examples I could look at.


My second question/potential problem is about references, when I was last applying for work my references were my old College tutor, but I left College in 2009 and my tutor has retired, so the referee would no longer be relevant, and my other referee was my manager in my previous job, but that company shut down in 2011 and I have no idea where they are now, so again, I can't use them, which only leaves me with the clients I have done work for while being self employed, but I don't know if I'd be able to use them as they don't know the industry, so couldn't answer any industry related questions, and I also don't know if it'd be 'proper' to ask them for references, since they are in essence my customers.


Also, with regards to my customers, if I do get a full time job I plan on still keeping my business on the side, but not actively seeking clients, I will be just keeping it going to maintain the websites I have done, hosting, domains etc, and proving support.


Finally, with regards to the type of work I will be looking for, I am undecided, I love both front-end and back-end equally, give me a layout and I'll happily sit there and code the HTML, S/CSS, Javascript etc and get lost in the zone, but on the flip side, give me challenge/project to do in PHP and again I can sit there for hours working on it and completely loose track of time.


Sorry for the long post, and if you made it this far, thanks for reading!

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There's no reason why you shouldn't use references from your web clients, they can tell a potential employer a number of things such as how you were to work with, whether you could meet deadlines, your problem solving skills and much more - all valuable things about you.

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Thanks BlueDreamer, I've got a couple of customers I could use for references, one is the from the biggest project I've done, and still to this day asking for additional work on top, the other is family friend and was the first web site I did through self employment, and he knows me in both professional and unprofessional contexts. I will obviously ask them both first before passing on their details.

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You could include references from your freelance clients. After all, a professionally-made resume that presents your skills matters much more than references, IMHO. You can also shoot a 1-2 minute-long video, post it on YouTube, and link it to your CV.

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