So you want to quit your job and freelance full-time?
Hey, me too!
I actually took a huge leap of faith and quit my job at the end of September 2018.
If you’re like me, you’ve been dreaming of quitting your job for a while now for any number of reasons including:
- A desire to live your life on your own terms
- Wanting to be your own boss
- Pursuing what you’re passionate about
- The freedom to work from anywhere and anytime
The list could go on and on, but the important takeaway is that you’ve arrived at a decision to bet on yourself and take a leap of faith.
Now all that’s left is making sure you do your best to land on your feet!
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How to Know If You’re Ready to Quit Your Job and Freelance Full-Time
My decision to quit my job was a long time coming.
I’ve always known that I wanted to be my own boss and to do something that allows me to be creative while having the freedom to live my life the way that I wanted. That’s why I started freelance writing.
Despite the challenges, I found myself more and more excited to take on the tasks and projects associated with my freelance business and I felt like my most current job as a collections manager for a property management company was holding me back.
My daily commute took time and energy away from growing my business and while I was working, I always felt I could be doing something more important.
It got to the point I started to feel really defeated and found it difficult to work on my business when I finally made it home from work. This went on for months before I finally decided to throw in the towel and take a chance.
Maybe you’re in a similar situation and you feel unfulfilled or just plain old' unhappy doing what you do.
There’s no shame in wanting more out of life and if you have the drive to make things you want to happen come true, then more power to you!
Whatever your reason for wanting to quit your job and freelance full-time, you should still make sure you’re prepared for quitting and the challenges that come from eliminating a steady source of income.
How to Prepare to Quit Your Job and Freelance Full-Time
Evaluate Your Decision
It’s super important to evaluate why you want to quit your job. That means being completely honest with yourself about why you want to take this next step and whether or not now is the right time.
When deciding to quit your steady job, it’s always a good idea to get an outside perspective from a close and trusted friend.
Don’t mistake this as asking for permission, though. Talking it over with a friend may be able to help you look at quitting your job from a new perspective which will ultimately better prepare you for when it finally happens.
Another person to consult about quitting your job is a partner or significant other. Like a trusted friend, your partner will be able to provide another angle to consider. Gauging how your partner feels about you quitting your job is especially important if you live together and have shared bills!
My boyfriend and I had discussed me quitting my job a lot over the last year or so, but since we moved to a new city and purchased our first home in May, it just didn’t feel like the right time. Know it was something I really wanted to do, we made sure to keep it at the forefront of our discussions regarding our finances.
Because we talked about it frequently, the last time I broached the subject didn’t come as a complete surprise to him and we were able to take another hard look at whether or not we could make it work.
Some things I recommend discussing are:
- What will be the plan in terms of covering bills until you’ve built up a solid client base?
- How will your shared budget change?
- What will you do about health insurance?
- How long can you manage on one or a reduced income?
- How will you handle unexpected expenses such as the water heater going out or an unforeseen medical bill?
These definitely aren’t the only things to consider, but they’re a good starting place.
Identify Your Goals and Have a Plan for Achieving Them
I’m big on setting goals and I think they’re crucial to setting yourself and your business up for success.
- Keep you motivated when you’re feeling overwhelmed
- Allow you to track your progress and pivot when necessary
- Help you create a game plan for achieving success with whatever you’re doing
- Give you an end goal which will help you break down tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks that make up the big picture
It’s important to ask yourself what you want out of your business and what you are hoping to achieve. Don’t forget to write it down, either!
Once you’ve defined your goal, you can develop an action plan for reaching your goals.
Let’s say your goal is to make $3,000/month within 4 months from your freelance business.
Next, you’ll need to break down that goal to determine how you’re going to achieve it.
- What services are you going to offer your clients?
- How much will you charge for those services?
Knowing the answers to those two questions will help you determine how many jobs/clients you need to take on to reach that goal.
Other things to consider include:
- Where will you find your clients?
- How/where will you market your services?
- How will you reach your target clients?
Have a Safety Net in Savings
It goes without saying that quitting your job may bring on a lot of financial challenges. That’s why it’s important to have even a small cushion in your savings account to get you by until you start making a steady income.
That being said, it’s not reasonable to expect every person who quits their job to pursue their passion has a hefty amount in their savings. But, if we’re being honest, having only a small safety net can be the kick in the butt you need to make sure succeed!
If you do only have a few months worth of money saved prior to quitting your job, you might need to put a realistic time limit on how long you can go without a job.
For example, perhaps your savings will cover two months of bills. Make a deal with yourself that if you haven’t built up your client list to make enough to cover your bills by the time that money runs out, you’ll have to get a part-time job until things pick up.
Just because you aren’t making thousands of dollars a month right off the bat doesn’t mean you’ve failed! It just means you have to make some adjustments to get you by until you reach your income goals.
Funnily enough, I saw an article last night with a title that really spoke to me:
Failure is just a temporary resting place
When You Quit Your Job
Once you’ve got all your ducks in a row, it’s time to actually quit your job.
The most important thing I can tell you here is don’t burn bridges when you quit your job.
Sure, you may have hated your job or your boss with a passion but telling your boss, “I quit, go to Hell!” is never going to end well for you. Yeah, it will probably feel really good at the time, but what will you do if you need to take on a job down the road and need to get a reference?
As much as it may pain you, be polite and put in the proper notice when you quit. The reputation you get from leaving on good terms is a pretty good exchange for an extra two weeks of your life.
Start Living Your Dreams
There's no doubt, it's a great feeling to quit your job and freelance full-time! There will probably be many ups and downs as you build your business, but if you’re willing to put in the hard work it will pay off in the end.