In her first guest post for KindredHQ, Sookie Lioncourt, a freelance writer looks at the 5 signs that you are ready to leave your cubicle and go freelance.
It takes a lot of courage to break free from the 9 to 5 grind of a regular job. For one, the security and benefits of regular work are reassuring in this unpredictable economy. However, it comes at a price – freedom. Many company employees are having second thoughts about their careers, and are looking for more meaning in their working lives. No matter what the reason, switching from employee to freelancer definitely takes a huge leap of faith.
If you are still having doubts, here are the five tell-tale indications that you should throw away your company ID and start working on your own time.
1. You are left with more money than you expected monthly.
If you’ve already accepted side gigs or tested the waters of working independently, then chances are that you’ve enjoyed some extra cash. If you’re making enough to pay the bills and have some spare you are probably ready to take the plunge.
But don’t make the mistake of immediately dropping your steady job to go full time. Freelancing income is variable; sometimes you are awash with clients and some days it’s as dry as the desert. Observe your freelancing income (graph it or chart it). If you find that the money you generate from online work has been steady for quite some time now, then go ahead and make the switch. Freeagent the accounting software has some excellent ways to visualise and track your income.
2. You are becoming more confident and fearless.
Whether you’re presenting to top clients or performing at karaoke night, full-time freelancers tend to be more confident than regular workers. Not having to worry about losing your full time job gives you the confidence to say what you think and challenge the company norms. Richard McMunn, founder and columnist at How2Become, said that many freelancers are anxious about raising their salaries. A tell-tale sign that you are ready for freelancing full time is that you can negotiate without feeling awkward and wishy-washy.
3. You are working hard, but you’re satisfied.
If it seems that you have no time left in the day, but barely notice because you are enjoying your work, then you are ready for full time freelancing. Those who accept side gigs along with their day jobs will often find themselves squeezed. The deciding factor is how you feel about the time being spent on work. If you feel a purpose and a sense of achievement after working hard, then go ahead and work for yourself. On the other hand, if you feel frustrated and constricted with no room to breathe, then freelancing might not be for you
4. You can’t see long-term success with your current employer.
Being in a job that doesn’t really interest you and drags you down will take a toll on other aspects of your life. If you don’t see yourself working as an employee in the next ten years and yearn to start something for yourself, then the only logical thing to do is quit. The sooner you decide to go for it, the better. The flexible work hours mean extra time to work on your dream start up business, and at your pace.
5. You love interacting with people you’ve never actually met.
Do you find it easy to work with people remotely? Sometimes it’s easier than dealing with bosses face to face! Perhaps you aren’t intimidated by online communication like Skype? If you’re comfortable working virtually and wherever you and your laptop are, then you are ready to do go freelance full time.
These are common signs that should tell you that you are ready to dive into the deep but exciting waters of full time freelancing. What’s the deciding factor for your switch? Share your stories with us below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sookie Lioncourt is a freelance correspondent for an upstart website called Techie Doodlers. Apart from typing extremely quickly and scanning eBay for the best deals, her skills include literature and short fiction. Contact her via Twitter.