Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How to Know You're Ready to Quit Your Day Job + Freelance Update

Last week I announced my departure from cubicle-hell. I'm now a full time freelancer (PR Assistant/Web Marketer/Copywriter/Photographer/Reseller/Blogger/Aaah I'm still busy!) I sold my soul to the man for years so I know your pain; you're sick of the day job and you want to quit and make reselling/being creative your career.

Here are some ways to know you're ready to quit your day job...

1.) Your Business Plan is Solid: Bills Will Be Paid, You Will Survive!

Draft a solid five-year business plan. Plan for your transition months in advance. I spent two years slowly preparing. I paid my rent in full for a year, have enough saved to pay for another year's worth of rent, and already have income coming in. I was prepared. You must be, too.

To Do: Solve the tough issues first. Like how will you pay rent, insurance, and taxes? If you need help try Brittni's Track This workbook, it guides you through hard questions.

 I took a walk to the antique store to deposit my basket of vintage. 'Twas lovely!

2.) You've Put in Hours & Hours of Work: You have to pay your dues.

When I  created Thrift Core two years ago I worked 55+ hours per week at the office as a webmarketer, then 30+ more hours on creative projects. I worked myself sick, but it was worth it.

To Do: You have to put hours of preparation into your transition. Start now. Create your blog, network, and research. Work, work, work! If your creative job is your passion, it should be easy.

 I didn't have time to cook at the day job. As a freelancer I can prepare healthy lunches!

3.) You're Spinning Your Wheels at Work: Cannot...go...on...

You feel like a bird that's outgrown your nest. You've learned all you can. Passion for your assignments has fizzled, and all you can think about is your creative work. It feels like you can't go on.

To Do: It's time to put that wasted energy toward your creative endeavors. You can transition slowly. Ask for less hours so you can focus on creative work. Schedule time for it after work and make it happen.

My new coworker is fuzzier than my old ones. By the way, it's up to you to name her.

Passion is still important...if you're not passionate about your creative business, you will crash and burn. Stay inspired, stay positive, and let the love for your creative work keep you energized. When you're passionate, you'll be successful.

There's never a "right time" to leave a comfortable job, it's always scary. Life's too short not to try; take the risk and be brave!

Freelancers: What are your tips for making the transition?

I also wrote a detailed post on whether it's time to leave the day job on Papernstitch: Leaving the Nest: How to Know it's Time to Quit Your Day Job
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. This is exactly what I've been going through lately! Doing what I love and not what I have to is a new concept for me since I've pretty much been a masochist my entire life. I had this mentality of "Life is hard, so you can't make things easier on yourself or you'll get used to a comfortable life and crash and burn when things get rough."
    Now I know that that is ideaology from hell and is 100% false. I've been researching how to start up a business from the ground level, and I am in the beginning stages of writing my business plan. I used to think I wasn't very creative and that I didn't have any hobbies I'm good at, but after selling vintage on Etsy a bit I had to finally admit to myself, "Hey, I'm doing pretty damn well for a beginner, and I DO have a talent for this."

    Selling vintage has been a way for me to believe all of those Disney movies I watched as a kid and "follow my dreams." Now, I just have to read up on starting a business and registering, and I'll hopefully have my own business at the age of 20! :)

    Okay, motivational speech is done. Congrats on quitting your day job!!



  2. AWESOME post. Wow, you were really prepared!! Thanks for sharing.

    As far as the kitty...........puddin'. as sweet as tapioca, and the same color. :)

    Congrats to you for making the move!

  3. Dani: You're off to an amazing start, you can do it! When you've got the drive, you'll be successful.

  4. PAM: Yes indeed, it was no a leap of faith at all! 'Twas calculated. I love the kitten name, too!

  5. One of my favorite quotes from author Barbara Sher is "respect the output of your thinking." When we constantly find ourselves thinking "this isn't right for me anymore" or "I've got to get out of here to save myself", then it's time to respect those thoughts.

    At the same time we need to respect the thoughts that will lead us to "but what should I do?" Chances are your mind is already preoccupied with all the other things you'd rather be doing. Respect those thoughts too and move in their direction. Can be scary but Vanessa is proof that it's completely possible. Way to go Vanessa!

  6. Brad: Thank you for sharing that beautiful quote and advice, it's so true!

    For full disclosure, my day job WAS my dream job when I started (I write about it fondly here: I'm proud of what I accomplished there. I planted the seed for this dream at the same time and it's flourished, I felt myself flowing toward the freelance life and I know I made the right choice.

  7. Miss Lou: I hope it was helpful!

  8. Thank you so much for daily thriving updates, information, and inspiration. Here are more details about how to quit a job:

  9. thanks a lot for your advice! I Think freelance is for people who like sitting at home and a relative freedom!


I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

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