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5 Tips to Transition from Full-Time to Freelance

Would you like to quit your 9-5 job and become a freelancer instead?  If so, read on.  We have some tips to help make the transition an easier one:

  1. Do the Math.  Before you quit your day job, it's important to determine how much money you need to meet your expenses.  Grab your calculator and figure out what your fixed costs are, how much discretionary income you'd like to have, and whether there are any areas of spending you can cut.

  2. Save Money.  Once you've created your target freelancing budget, you're going to want to create a nest egg.  This will give you a sense of security should you have any unexpected problems as a freelancer.  Most experts advise that your nest egg be equivalent to 6 months of income or more.

  3. Promote Yourself.  One thing you'll learn as a freelancer is that you'll need to become adept at marketing yourself and your services.  Create a freelancing profile, update your LinkedIn page, begin networking, and familiarize yourself with the various methods freelancers use to promote themselves.

  4. Begin Moonlighting.  While all of the preceding steps are useful, you're not ready to quit your day job just yet!  Start taking on side work and building client relationships as a freelancer.  These projects will help you be well-prepared for the day that you do quit your job.  If you have a flexible employer, you may want to ask if you can work a reduced schedule for reduced pay—this will give you the opportunity to make your transition gradually.

  5. Make the Leap.  When you're confident you can support yourself as a freelancer, it's time to quit your job.  Once you're self-employed, you're going to want to approach freelancing the same way you would your 9-5 job—set goals for yourself, adhere to regular working hours, and create a structure that will support your success.