If you are considering leaving your full-time job and going freelance then you are not alone, a study conducted by The Freelancers Union suggests that there are over 53 million freelancers in the US alone. Leaving the security of your full-time is usually not the best idea when you have never done freelance work before. You will want to slowly transition from your 9-5 job to your career as a freelancer. This may seem like a lot of work, and the truth is that it is. It is not wise to leave a job that is paying your bills when you are not sure how much income you will be generating as freelancer. Before you decide to up and leave your day job there are several things you will want to take into consideration.

 

  • You need to push yourself: One thing people love to imagine is getting to be their own boss. And It’s true as a freelancer you are your own boss. This is not all fun and games, you can’t just decide you are going to be taking a three day weekend in the middle of the week just because you can. You need to manage yourself, make a schedule and a to-do list and stick with it.
  • Is there a large market for your particular service?: You may have a great skill that you want to share with the world, but are there enough people out there who are in need of it for you to make a living off of?
  • Do you have enough in your rainy day fund?: One of the most important things about being a freelancer is having an income cushion. There are going to be slow times as a freelancer and you will need to have money set aside. One of the biggest mistakes people make is quitting their day job too early. If you are working your 9-5 job and doing freelance work on the side you will have plenty of time to set aside extra income for the bad times.
  • Have you looked into taxes?: If you have never done any sort of freelance work or reported any self made income then you are most likely a W2 employee. You will have to file your own self-employment taxes on top of your standard taxes if you are still working as a W2 employee. You need to keep track of your income and expenses for your freelancing career to avoid getting audited when tax season comes.
  • How are you planning on finding gigs?: There are plenty of websites for you to use to help you find a gig, but there are thousands of other freelancers out there looking at the same jobs. You will need to stand out, figure out your brand and market yourself. Create a blog or a website for people to contact you directly.
  • Can you be disciplined enough to budget your expenses?: As stated before, there are going to be some tough times ahead for you as a freelancer, but there will also be great times where you can barely keep up with all the projects you are taking on.
  • Are you organized?: As a freelancer you are most likely going to have more than one client at a time. You need to be organized, have a way to keep all of your different pr
  • Can you work alone?: When you finally decide to make the switch from a 9-5 employee to a full-time freelancer you are going to realize that you are alone a lot more than you were at your full time job. If you are the kind of person who thrives on interacting with people then you will need to make sure that you get out and interact with people, whether it be socially or professionally.

 

Once you have decided that you are capable of moving on from your 9-5 job and believe you can make it as a freelancer you will find that the hard work is just beginning. This article is not here to dissuade you, but rather to prepare you; the life of a freelancer can get tough. Freelancing is not for everyone, some people thrive in a more structured environment, and that is not a bad thing in and of itself. Though it is a lot of hard work freelancing is fun! You have so much more freedom than you do at your typical office job, and while that can be a detriment to people who are not taking freelancing as serious as they should, with hard work and perseverance and careful attention to budgeting and detail you can and will make it.