Want To Quit Your Job And Freelance? Here’s What To Expect (The Real Deal)
7 months ago
A lot of those who work a regular 9-5 job daydream about quitting the corporate framework and freelancing, thinking it will free them of their daily grind. With that dream comes a lot of questions and misconceptions that make taking such a decision harder than it should be.
To freelance or not to freelance? That is the question.
For starters, no one can answer this question for you; you have to do that yourself. What I can do, however, is give you the real deal on what to expect from my personal experience, in hopes that this might help you with that decision.
1. Expect to make less money.
As daunting as that may seem, you may be in for a pleasant surprise. Why? Because not working a regular 9-5 job automatically makes you spend less money! Commute, food, clothes, splurges, office birthdays, and a whole other bunch of money-eating trivialities simply disappear from your life, so making less money really isn’t as daunting as you may think.
2. Expect sporadic income.
One month, you’ll make a pile of money and the following two, nothing. Yes, this is not fun, but it has helped me adjust my priorities and realize what is truly important to me. Now, when I splurge, I do it consciously and it is far more rewarding than before.
3. Let everyone on Earth know you’re freelancing!
The best way to get clients is through people who recommend you, and the only way people will recommend you is if they know you’re freelancing. It’s an ongoing announcement you need to make, all the time. It may feel awkward or embarrassing at first, but reaping its benefits will disperse that awkwardness to the wind.
4. You actually end up working more than you did while in a job.
Yes, you read that right. In an office, you get paid for slow days, for lunch breaks and for vacations. As a freelancer, if you’re not working, you’re not making money, so you end up working maybe the full 8 hours-a-day, as opposed to lingering with a task or wasting time on social media. The upside to this is acquiring a whole new appreciation and skill set to time management and what it truly means.
5. Your life will slow down, and I mean that in a good way.
You no longer jump out of bed and battle horrendous traffic; at least not everyday. You will have some free mornings where you will be able to do the things you always wished you could do on a weekday. That’s pretty neat, I tell you.
6. Expect a ton of misconception from the people closest to you.
Your friends and family will usually oppose your lifestyle, and will almost always believe you’re a hobo of sorts. They’ll think you wake up everyday at noon and party all night, when in reality, you’ll probably be working harder than any of them. You can either let that get to you or learn to brush it off; it’s entirely up to you.
7. Last but not least, know that going back to a job is always an option.
If you try freelancing and, for whatever reason, you realize that a regular 9-5 works better for you, you can always go back. You may miss a step in the corporate ladder, because not everyone considers freelance work as an addition to your years of experience, but you also may not. Nothing is set in stone; neither your freelance career nor your ability to go back to full-time.
So, here you have it; the real deal on expectations vs. reality when it comes to being a full-time freelancer. Good luck with your decision!