Do you hate Mondays?
Do you hate having to answer to your boss every day?
Then you’re probably already dreaming of leaving your job, right?
Well, if you’re looking for the best way to safely quit your job without taking any risks, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I will show you a simple 6 step process you can follow to leave your job while also creating a proper strategy to cover your expenses and pay your bills to get started on freelancing.
You Don’t Have To Quit
Whether you’re working for a corporate business that you hate, stuck at a dead end job, or simply looking for a way to earn more money, you shouldn’t quit impulsively without having a plan.
In fact, you shouldn’t quit. Not yet!
There are many successful freelancers and entrepreneurs who have built great careers and businesses while working at day jobs.
Craig Newmark used to be a guy just like you. He worked at a great job at IBM and then he left that job to work at Charles Schwab Corporation and then jumped to another job at a company called Continuity Solutions. He was never fully satisfied working at these jobs.
While working at this day job, he started a small email list to help him find local events and meet new people. He called it “Craig’s list”. Soon, this email list turned out to be more than just a personal list for events. So he setup a website to help more people to find events, apartments, and more.
Once the website started growing, Craig decided to leave his job in 1999 and turned the website into a business. This website is now known as Craigslist and Craig now has a net worth valued at $1.31 Billion.
The moral of the story is that you may never know how big your side project may turn out to be. So it never hurts to give it a try.
There’s no need to risk your financial stability or put your family at risk. Just start your side hustle while you’re at your day job. Slowly work towards building it into a stable income and then, you can safely quit the job you hate and do work that you truly love and good at.
Here’s how you can get started with that process.
Step 1: Pick A Goal That Scares You
When I was young, I wanted to be an author. To write great novels and be famous.
But, being an author was never a viable option to earn a living. At least not in my country. So, after dropping out of high school, I had to find a “real job”.
I went through several day jobs before realizing that my true passion is writing. I took a risk and left the job to follow this new path as a writer and eventually it paid off.
I’ve finally released a book and now make a profitable income working as a full-time freelance writer.
I always felt depressed working at my day job. Although, quitting the job still felt like a big risk to take. However, my desire to become a writer made me confident enough to take that risk. And I worked hard to achieve that goal no matter what.
You need to find a similar goal that scares you the most to succeed in your career. It’ll help you leave your comfort zone and find your true potential.
Whether it’s earning more money to buy a house, to pay for your child’s college fund, or save money to travel the world, make sure to pick a big and a specific goal to keep you motivated to work hard.
Because freelancing involves a lot of work. You’ll need that motivation to keep you going through the toughest times.
Step 2: Create A Budget And Start Saving
It’s always good to have a safety net to fall on to in case something goes wrong.
Before you quit your job, start saving enough money to cover your expenses and bills for at least 3 months.
That way, even if you couldn’t find a new client or one of your clients drop out in the middle of a contract, you will be able to continue working as a freelancer without having to take any desperate measures.
Create a budget to plan how you’ll spend your money once you switch to full-time freelancing. Figure out how much you’ll have to earn to cover the expenses each month and plan how you’ll spend and reinvest your money.
Step 3: Take Time To Improve Your Skills
As a freelancer, you will be offering services based on your skillset.
It’s also important that you’re exceptional at what you do to make sure you can compete with other more experienced freelancers.
Don’t start looking for work just yet. Instead, start improving your skills to meet the demands.
For example, if you’re passionate about writing and want to make money as a writer, you can join online courses to learn how you can write for online audiences, how articles are formatted, and learn about optimizing content for search engines.
Today, you can find an online course to learn almost any skill and become a professional.
Although, following online courses and reading books is not enough. You also need to practice your skills.
I used to be a terrible writer. Then I started a blog and kept writing every day. I wrote more than 6500 blog posts. This helped me polish my skills as a writer and get better clients who were willing to pay higher rates for my skills.
I’m still not a great writer. My skills need more improvement. Which is why I’m investing the extra money I get on new online courses and books every month.
Take your time. Learn new skills and keep practicing until you get better. Then build your portfolio of work.
If you’re a writer, get a couple of your articles published on popular blogs. If you’re a web designer, try contributing to a website design or releasing a free website template.
Find a way to build some reputation for yourself. So that when clients ask to see examples of your work, you can proudly send them links to your portfolio.
Step 4: Start Freelancing On The Side
Once you’re confident about your skill set and have a portfolio, you can start pitching to clients.
At first, you can sign up for a freelancing marketplace or use a job board to find gigs. Just try to avoid popular platforms like UpWork, Freelancer, and Fiverr.
Set aside 2-3 hours every day for your side hustle to work on your freelancing gigs when you get back from work.
You’ll have to make some sacrifices to make extra time. But, if you really want to succeed as a freelancer and have the desire to earn more money, giving up a couple hours of your sleep or canceling your Netflix subscription won’t be too difficult.
Step 5: Find Long-Term Clients
It took me a while to realize that having 1 long-term client is way better than having 5 small clients.
This is the key to building financial security as a freelancer.
Back in the day, I had to find new clients to work with every month. Needless to say, this was a painful process, especially handling rejection was not easy.
After I teamed up with a couple of clients on long-term projects, I was able to relax and focus on delivering great work.
I no longer had to look for clients or worry about paying the next month’s bills. These clients provided me with work every month.
Try to find a couple of clients who would give you jobs on long-term contracts before you quit your job.
I know this is easier said than done, especially for freelancers in fields such as web design and coding. But, if you’re creative enough, you will find a way.
Maybe you’ll come across a web design agency who’ll invite you to join their team to work part-time or a business that will hire you to develop their blog as a contributor. You can use platforms like AngelList to find companies who are hiring remote workers.
Step 6: Go All-In
In poker, if you want to win big, you need to take a risk and bet all your money on the hand you have. So, just like in poker, to make more money freelancing, you must take full confidence in your skillset and go full-time to work more hours and earn more money.
Thankfully, at this stage, you’ll already have a couple of long-term contracts from clients. So, you can easily quit your day job without taking a big risk.
Freelancing still comes with a risk. There will be times where you struggle to find clients or waiting to receive a payment after completing a job.
So, you will feel tempted not to leave your day job. However, it’s up to you to decide if it’s a risk worth taking or you should stick to the job you hate for the rest of your life.
Remember, every successful person you can think of today, whether it’s Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, took a risk at some point in their lives to do something they truly loved and believed in. And that’s what made them more successful than the rest.
How To Make It Work After Quitting
The toughest part is making it work after you quit your job.
Working from home is a challenge on its own. Avoiding distractions and focusing on work while also managing day-to-day tasks at home is not an easy job to do, especially if you’re married or have kids.
Make sure you find the right set of tools to make your life easier and experiment with productivity hacks like the 52/17 Rule to find ways to focus and do your work on time.
Images via Freepik.com
Did you find this article useful? Then you should check out my book Freelance Like A Pro. It includes 21 lessons and 5 secrets from my freelance career to help you supercharge your journey as a freelancer. Click here to learn more.
I just read the main article. Mark my words bro. You are a book that every freelancer should read. And.. just one more thing. I am a student and I want to be a freelancer data analysis guy as well and I was wandering on freelance sites. Here I got something really much helpful. I think you should start a business for guidance of freelancers.
Thanks for the kind words, Vaishak. It’s comments like this that motivate me to write more posts like this 🙂
Three weeks ago I make a dicision to leave my day job and from this week I am a full-time freelancer composer. And today I stumbled upon this article ) Agree with everything written above except one thing… I think save money for living 3 months not enough.I saved money to cover my expenses for about 6 months )
Thanks for the valuable feedback. Of course, saving for six months is certainly a better backup plan. But, it’s also important not to get too comfortable.
Good luck with your freelancing journey 🙂
I had a fear to quit my job, but now I got how to go about it.
Thanks for sharing this!
I’m glad you found the article helpful.
I hope you’ll come up with a good plan to leave your job and start freelancing soon.
Good luck 🙂
I agree with you Roshan – one long-term client is way better than five small clients, but for most of freelancers it takes time to get to that position … 🙂
I just saw this article as I was busy researching about quiting my job bcse the enviroment is toxic. I have a side gig, that I am persuing. I know some people will say its too early to quit during Covid.
But I am stressing in my current, its my so called collegues are praying for “downfall”. I might be paranoid.
Thanks for the article.
SobzTheDealMaker…..from Western Cape. South Africa
You explained it very beautifully. Its very inspiring for beginners. You give solid information in simple language rather than the usual pieces of stuff. If I need any info regarding digital marketing, I will turn up to your website. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.
It’s motivating me,1 wk before I took admission online Content Writing and Social Media Marketing course. I wish in the future I will become a freelancer and start a new journey peacefully.
Thanks, you share this information. ✨