You’ve likely noticed a growing trend where people choose to work as freelancers rather than working full time for a company. While this decision may seem counterintuitive, the freedom economy has never been stronger, and it may be a good time for you to consider making the switch yourself.
There is a lot to think about and a lot to consider before you hand over your letter of resignation and become a part of the freedom economy.
Many freelancers spend a lot of sleepless nights thinking about whether or not they should make the jump, and even once they become full-time freelancers, they probably have countless times when they question their decision and wish they were still at their full-time job.
Deciding to be a freelancer is a scary proposition, but it’s also a potentially life-altering one as well, with a huge upside. If you plan properly, it’s a risk worth taking.
So, back to our main question: When is the right time to quit your full-time job?
Unfortunately, there is no clear cut answer. Everyone approaches freelancing with a unique set of circumstances. Some people work up to it over the course of a few years; others get fed up with their job, quit, and then start freelancing the next day. Some are forced into freelancing because of corporate downsizing and layoffs.
Only you will know for sure when it’s the right time. You’ll know because your gut will tell you it’s time to make the change and become a freelancer full time.
The key is to ensure you are ready to make the transition.
Transitioning into the Freedom Economy
Understanding what freelancing and the freedom economy actually entails is the first step. Before investing any time, effort, or money, do your homework and explore the freelancing opportunities in your industry:
- Do a lot of people freelance?
- Are there opportunities?
- Do companies in your industry hire freelancers?
- What are the trends and outlook for your industry going forward?
If you think there is a good opportunity, start to piece together some ideas for the type of services you plan to offer, how you can help companies in your industry, and what you can offer that is unique or new. In other words, start working on a business plan.
Try Before You Buy (In)
Once you have a good idea of what your freelance business will look like, it is recommended that you try it out before going all in. On the side, start looking for freelance projects, work with a client or two, and spend some time learning about how things work. Do this work for some time (the actual amount of time will depend on you), and see how you like it.
- Can you see yourself freelancing full time?
- Is it what you thought it would be?
- Do you see opportunities?
Actually Making the Switch
If you think freelancing is a viable option, then you need a succession plan. This plan is more about timing and finances than anything else. The last thing you want to do is jump into freelancing without a plan to pay the bills and some buffer money to keep you afloat at the beginning.
Remember, at any point (up until you quit your job), you can revert back to working full time. You may have a false start or two, which is natural. It’s a big decision to make.
Here are some questions to reflect upon:
- What is my financial plan?
- How much money do I need in the bank before quitting my job?
- Is the timing right?
- How and where will I get clients?
- What is my plan B?
- Am I truly ready to go out on my own?
Give these questions some careful thought and consideration. Remember, once you hand in that resignation letter, it’s time to go full bore, find a freelance platform that works for you, and commit to the freedom economy as a full-time freelancer.