According to a study by Bankrate, 39% of US adults have a side hustle to supplement their full-time salary. The traditional 9-5 grind no longer holds the same appeal that it once did, as more and more people seek alternative paths to career fulfillment. But when do you know that it’s time to resign from your traditional job and pursue freelancing full-time?
In this article, we will explore five clear signs that suggest you may be ready to resign from your job and embrace the exciting world of freelancing. These signs are based on common experiences shared by successful freelancers who have navigated the transition and expert advice from career coaches and entrepreneurs.
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Evaluating Financial Stability and Preparedness
It is highly recommended to have a financial safety net in place before you pursue freelancing full-time. Before planning to resign, take a look at your finances and evaluate whether you are prepared for the transition from full-time work to full-time freelancing.
Experts recommend that you have at minimum three to six months of expenses covered before making the transition from full-time work to freelancing, as well as a designated fund for emergencies. Calculate your monthly outgoings, such as living expenses, car payments, mortgage, and any other commitments, and work out the minimum amount that you would need to cover your expenses every month. Ensure that you have enough saved to account for months with few clients, late payments, or any emergency expenses that may arise.
It is also essential that you calculate your estimated minimum monthly income as a freelancer, based on industry standards, your level of experience, and your competitors’ rates. This will help you to plan ahead in terms of finances and ensure a smooth transition from full-time employment to independent work.
Assessing Job Satisfaction and Career Growth
Potential for growth and overall job satisfaction are two key factors when considering one’s career. If you feel that there is minimal room for growth in your current position or are simply dissatisfied with your current prospects, then it may be time to transition from full-time work to freelancing.
Freelancers experience higher job satisfaction overall – 68% report being happier than they were in their traditional jobs. This reason is a great motivator for full-time workers to transition to self-employment and is largely due to the increased levels of autonomy, independence, personal fulfillment, and work/life balance.
If you find that you are feeling ‘stuck’ in your career, or that you are unhappy with your current employment, then it may be time to take charge of your own happiness and pursue freelancing full-time. Freelancing offers unique opportunities for both personal and professional growth, as well as greater fulfillment.
Identifying Consistent Freelance Opportunities
Before resigning to pursue freelancing full-time, it can be highly advantageous to experience professional independence on a part-time basis. Freelancing part-time can give you a realistic perspective on your career prospects, the potential for success, and demand for your services.
If your employment contract and daily schedule allow for it, set up your freelance business in your spare time and experience self-employment first-hand while earning a reliable income from your 9-5 job. This can help you to determine whether you are fit for the freelance lifestyle, and can also give you a head start if you decide to make the transition to full-time.
Whether or not you decide to freelance part-time before resigning from your job, take a look at whether there is a demand for your niche and how you can acquire a solid and reliable client base and a steady flow of projects.
Considering Work/Life Balance and Flexibility
Work/life balance is a crucial aspect of overall well-being and happiness, and striking a good balance is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health, reducing stress, and building a fulfilling life.
By deciding to pursue freelancing full-time, you can have more control over your schedule and choose when and where you work. This flexibility can allow you to prioritize personal commitments and integrate work seamlessly into your life, whether it’s taking care of family, pursuing hobbies, or dedicating time to self-care.
While freelancing offers many benefits for an improved work/life balance, it is important to recognize that it may not be suitable for everyone. Freelancers often face challenges such as irregular income, the need for self-discipline, and the responsibility of managing their own business processes. It requires a certain level of self-motivation, organization, and adaptability to thrive in a freelance career. Therefore, before making the transition from full-time work to freelancing, it’s important to assess whether it aligns with your desired lifestyle.
Trusting Your Skills and Instincts
Trusting your skills and instincts is key when making the decision to resign from traditional employment and pursue freelancing full-time. It requires recognizing your abilities, having confidence in your work, and trusting in the potential of your freelance business. First and foremost, it’s essential to acknowledge your skills and expertise. Reflect on your past experiences, education, and training that have equipped you with the necessary knowledge and capabilities to succeed as a freelancer.
Having confidence in your work is also important to attract clients and enable you to negotiate fair prices for your work. Knowing that you can deliver excellent results will instill a sense of trust in yourself and your freelance business. Furthermore, seeking support from mentors, joining freelance communities, and networking with other freelancers can be immensely beneficial.
Mentors and business coaches can provide guidance, advice, and support based on their own experiences. They can help you to navigate challenges, offer valuable insights, and provide reassurance when you encounter difficulties. Engaging with other freelancers allows you to share experiences, learn from others, and gain insights into various aspects of the freelancing industry.
Resigning from your job to pursue freelancing full-time requires careful consideration of various factors, including financial stability, job satisfaction, freelance opportunities, work/life balance, and trust in your skills and instincts.
Ultimately, the decision depends on your unique circumstances, goals, and aspirations. Carefully evaluate these factors to determine if freelancing is the right path for you. With proper preparation, self-belief, and support, freelancing can offer a fulfilling and rewarding career.