One of the very sensitive questions a designer asks at least once in his life is: “Should I begin freelancing now?”
Unlike other fields of employment, web design is a common goldmine when we are talking about freelancers. Many designers want to branch out of their daily cubicle jobs and start freelancing because they realized the many benefits that hide behind it.
Some of them are the following:
- Flexibility in schedule
- Open opportunities to learn more
When you start your freelancing career, you will discover that your chosen path leads to a more creative and productive endeavor. You will also find liberty with your time. Of course, some articles teach you how to perform well with your freelancing career but not many of them talk about when you should start freelancing.
In this article, we will be answering the question When should I quit my job and start freelancing?
After reading this article, we hope that you would learn how to time your resignation so that you’ll be in a safe spot to kick start your freelancing career.
Why is it important to time your resignation?
- Because you have to make sure that you have enough resources to start your new career
- Because you need to have a set of sure clients before starting
- Because you need to preserve the good relations to your previous employment
Let’s talk about the answers:
When you have acquired enough experience
Going freelance isn’t easy, especially when you have nothing to show. Clients want freelancers with experience. I assure you, they will not hire people who have no proof of how good they are. You need to have some experience first before going into the magical world of freelancing.
If you happen to have quit your first job and has no acceptable experience, you may try on the following:
- Create an online portfolio. Include the projects that you do ‘out of boredom’.
- Collaborate with experienced designers.
- Try to work for small pay until you build a solid portfolio.
If you have no experience, then, create an experience. That is what successful freelancers do. Clients don’t appear magically out of nowhere; they are earned. Better start earning them now, buddy.
When you have enough budget
When you quit your job, you probably would get a considerable amount of severance pay. Consider this as your starting budget. It is a mistake to start with zero cash on hand.
As a freelancer, you have to understand that you won’t get regular clients in an instant. It will probably take months before you have a regular number of clientele, and that is not even assured.
So, before you start your freelancing career, better make sure to prepare your pockets for the following:
- Food expenses for a couple of months
- Enough money to pay the bills
- Expenses for freelance needs (e.g. your portfolio website payments, business cards, etc.)
Of course, this will be a painful experience. You will surely live on a tight budget, but this is a pain you have to endure. Freelancing is pretty rough, especially to those who have just started, but you’ll get through it. Believe me.
Just don’t forget to tend to these needs when you start earning:
When you are ready to work alone (most of the time)
When you think about it, freelancing is one of the loneliest professions. Yes, you are free from the hassle of dealing with douchebag co-workers and crappy bosses but you’re isolated from the society. You will realize that you have no one to talk to but your client and yourself. As a previous corporate employee, you will find this very difficult to deal with.
So that is why you need to prepare your mind and your emotions for this:
- Sign up for co-working groups.
- Set some socialization time at least twice a week.
- Avoid being glued to social media.
- Work in different places.
Yeah, sure, freelancing sure is lonely per se. But it’s still up to you to choose between being alone or working with a smile. Remember, sometimes, alienation is self-infected.
When you know you can account for yourself
Freelancing entails a lot of responsibility. You deal with your own clients. This is nowhere near your situation in your cubicle job where your bosses deal with the clients and you simply perform and deliver.
Unlike when you were stuck in your cubicle job where someone from the higher-ups deal with the clients, as a freelancer, you deal with your own clients.
Saving money is the main reason behind this. As a freelancer, you would want to compartmentalize everything and reduce manpower to save money. That means, you are your own boss and by that, I mean, great responsibility.
Here are the responsibilities you will be facing:
When you feel like you’re ready for these responsibilities, then you can start freelancing.
When your day job feels like hell
This is one of the major reasons why people quit and start freelancing. You are supposed toto become productive. If you think you’re not able to work well because you’re not having fun anymore, then it might be the time to shift to freelancing. Of course, this is not easy.
You basically spent some time with the company and you feel that quitting won’t do any good, so you just have to stay.
My friend, that is wrong thinking. You should quit your job the moment you feel the signs that you are no longer enjoying it.
Forbes made a list of the tell-tale signs:
- You lack passion.
- You feel miserable each time you wake up.
- Your company is projected to be bankrupt.
- You don’t work well with your co-workers.
- You’re stressed and physically unwell.
- You don’t believe in the company’s missions anymore.
- Your performance is becoming dismal.
- You feel like your talents are not utilized.
- You are not paid well.
- Your bosses don’t hear you out.
- You’re bored.
- You experience abuse.
If you happen to feel these signs, then it’s time to quit. But I suggest that you leave in a peaceful manner. You don’t want to burn bridges there. Just remember to keep calm.
Here are a few articles that can help you with quitting:
- The Dos & Don’ts of Quitting Your Job
- I Quit! How to Resign from Your Job
- How to Quit Your Job Graciously
- How To Write An Effective Resignation Letter
When to quit your job? When these things meet your current status. If you want to start freelancing, you have to prepare heavily because it might become your career for years.
Success is waiting for you at freelancing; that is sure. But you have to walk or run to get there. These things are checklists for your long and fruitful journey. Now, have you considered starting freelancing? What are the things you already prepared for? Let us know. Good luck!
Rudolph is a geek. He loves reading: books, blogs and even nutrition facts found at the back of products. He also loves basketball. Since joining 1stwebdesigner last year, Rudolph has written several articles that concerns Typography, Wordpress, Freelance Lifehacks, Graphic Design and Showcase of Beautiful Web Designs. He also write poems, movie reviews and he puts them in his blog together with rants and some daily life updates.