Gameplan Change: Tips to Survive After Leaving a Fulltime Job to Become a Freelancer
There are a number of reasons people choose a freelance life -- too much pressure from a stressful job, no time for family, becoming a new mother, and more. But taking the plunge into freelancing without being aware of the pitfalls and not having a gameplan ready may lead to disaster. Here are a few tips to make the transition easier.
1) You may want to moonlight for a while, give it a test run. Before going for a fulltime freelance career, you may want to give your new career direction a dry run, while holding down that job. Take a project on the side before you quit your job. Check if you enjoy the work. This phase can also alert you to potential problems or challenges. You can also do your research and groundwork in this phase -- how much can you realistically expect clients to pay; how would you get clients etc.
2) Get a few long-term gigs ready so you hit the ground running. Keeping a few projects ready, before you leave your job, can give you a good initial boost, income-wise as well as confidence-wise.
3) Keep some money aside for professional and personal events. The main drawback of freelance work is that payment cycles can be unstable. You may have to wait a long time sometimes, just to see the first paycheck. Keep enough savings aside to tide you over for a few months.
4) Don’t burn bridges with your ex-organisation. Not only will it be easier for you to get back that old job if you leave on good terms and if freelancing doesn’t work out, but that old job can actually even turn out to be a good client for freelancing. A number of people have received freelance gigs from organisations they used to work fulltime for.