So you’ve built up your brand, you’ve got clients lining up to work with you, a regular income coming in every month but how do you REALLY know when is the right time to hand in your notice at your day job and take the leap into the world of full-time freelancing?
One of the questions I recieve most often since I took the leap into full-time freelance life is how to know when you’re ready. If I’m being totally honest I’m not sure you’ll ever feel 100% prepared to ditch the day job but I thought I’d help you out by sharing the 5 signs that helped me to decide that it was the right time to take my freelance biz full-time!
You’re Consistantly Matching Your Income Goal
Whether your income goal is the salary you’re currently being paid by your full-time employer or a slightly slimmed down version that you’ve worked out you can get by on (with rent, bills, living costs etc. included) you want to make sure your freelance work is bringing in this amount for a solid period of time before making any hasty decisions.
We all know that freelancing can be a little bit like a rollercoaster, one month things are way up and the next it’s tumbleweed in your inbox. With that in mind, I can’t stress enough the importance of waiting until you’ve had a consistent period of solid payments to prove that you will be able to be financially independent.
You’ve Got Work Lined up
There would be nothing worse than announcing you’re making the move to full-time freelancing, counting down the days until you go it on your own and then when that first day comes along you’re left tapping your fingers with nothing to do.
That’s why it’s a good idea to book work in advance, announce you’re taking on work from a certain month and try and get clients booked in. That way you know you have a guaranteed income for those first few months of full-time freelancing so you don’t need to worry about where your money is going to come from. Oh and you’re not left twiddling your thumbs with nothing to do…
You Have Lots of Industry Contacts
After you leave your day job and colleagues behind you, you’re effectively on your own in the business world so being well-connected within your industry is absolutely key.
Genuine, IRL contacts and word of mouth recommendations will probably make up a large proportion of your client work so you need to make sure that you’re putting your name out there, networking with the right people and making a good impression!
You’ve got Some Savings Behind You
Having savings in the bank will help to take some serious pressure off in those first few months of full-time freelancing which can be stressful enough without having to contend with money worries!
I suggest having at least a couple of months of rent and bills backed up in a savings account which can cover you if things go quiet at any point, think of it as a financial safety blanket!
You’ve Built a Supportive Community Around You
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, working for yourself is a lonely old business and without support around you and people who ‘get it’ I guarantee you will find it even tougher.
Those first few months of adjusting to working from home alone can be difficult, no more morning TV debriefs with fellow collegues, no one to share your lunch break with and chat about office politics so you need to build your own network of fellow freelancers who understand what it’s really like to work for yourself.
Go along to events, sign up to a co-working space, join online communities, get to know local freelancers who you can lean on for support when times get tough because believe me, it’s a bumpy road ahead! Not to be a huge cynic of course…
Top Tip: Read my post on How to Build a Community as a Freelancer if you feel like you’re lacking in this department!
Have you taken your side hustle full-time? How did you know when it was the right time for you?
Pin this Post for Later
Photography by Ami Ford
*Post contains affiliate links