Do you constantly find yourself looking outside the office window thinking about how it feels to be a freelancer?
People who choose to freelancing full time may have various reasons– from having more free time to travel to taking care of the kids at home to improving your health. If you’ve been at a crossroads for a while now between leaving your full-time job and freelancing all the way, the guide below breaks down the signs that it’s high time you leave the cubicle and take the first step towards full-time freelancing.
You have at least 3 to 6 months worth of living expenses on your savings account in case of a low start.
Although freelancing could be quite a lucrative job, it may take months (weeks if you’re lucky!) to build a solid set of clientele that will provide you with a steady income. Before handing in your resignation notice, make it a goal to fatten your savings account!
Your expected freelance income matches your current full-time paycheck.
Before quitting, it is best to make sure that your expected freelance income matches or surpasses your current salary. While everyone will not have this kind of opportunity when freelancing from ground zero, strive for a freelance income that is as close to your existing paycheck.
You have learned the ropes of the industry by heart.
Never underestimate the value of previous experience. Use your time wisely while you’re still under your employer’s wing, learn everything there is to know about the industry. Observe how people work, learn from mistakes, and take notes from superiors as much as possible.
You are already proficient in your skills and understand The Process.
If you’re one of those people at work whom most people approach for advice when issues arise in their projects, you are most likely ready to go independent.
Apart from being proficient in your skills, you should be able to figure out already The Process, the way veterans in each industry handle the details of a project — drafting proposals, getting the work done itself, invoicing, and getting feedback When freelancing, you will most likely do everything on your own.
You already have experience working with clients.
Say you’re a designer working with a team in an office setting. Stay in that job until you get the necessary experience in dealing with clients. Also, you have the potential to meet people in that job who might help you once you’re already freelancing.
Taking that Huge Leap
After making the decision to make the huge leap towards freelancing full time, the following steps could help get the ball rolling:
Network your way to your first job.
From helping you land job contracts to giving you ideas for your new project, networking is a very essential skill that every freelancer should work on.
Consider doing things pro-bono – initially.
Although doing things for free should not be a long-term strategy, this is an excellent way for you to get your foot in the door and announce to the world that you can actually produce the kind of work that your industry is looking for.
Have an online portfolio.
Most clients would ask about your existing work. Instead of sending them a bunch of online links leading to your work, make it easier for them to check your awesome stuff by putting them in one venue.
Everyone has to start somewhere in their careers, whether it’s via freelancing or not. So shall we take that huge leap?