How to transition from salary work to freelance easily

3 min
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People get a job for the security it offers, so it's normal to be apprehensive before quitting for a freelance career. There are things that you can do, however, to prepare you for this new life. Life as a freelancer isn't always easy, and you'll have to hunt for what you eat, but once you start getting business, things start getting fun. You just need to make sure that you don't rush and take the steps needed to make a smooth transition. Here are a few tips to help you get there.

Look at your options

Before you decide to take the jump, you have to look at your options. You could decide whether you want to move to a field you're familiar with or a completely different one. You could also ask your current employer if you are able to move to a part-time position.

Whatever you decide to do, it always helps to get some additional training if possible. You could decide to get your training while you keep your current job or once you start getting freelance clients. People will often prefer to pivot from a field they already have expertise in, so you could look for complimentary training that will allow you to be even better as a freelancer.

Resources like Refreshing a Career are great if you’re interested in retraining. They will connect you with retraining opportunities that will take advantage of your current skill set. They can also direct you towards resources if you’re looking for an apprenticeship, higher learning opportunities, and organisations dedicated to those who want to switch careers.

Turn your home into a real workspace

One of the common pitfalls for freelancers is getting too comfortable. You have to treat work like work, and home like your office. That means getting up at the same time every day, going through a regular routine, and getting dressed like you're going to work. This may even mean leaving home for a dedicated workspace if your house isn't the most conducive to work. This is also the case if you tend to get distracted at home close to all your creature comforts.

Have clear goals

Self-discipline will be essential if you want to succeed as a freelancer, and discipline comes easier with structure. So, you should set clear daily, weekly, quarterly, and yearly goals for yourself - maybe it’s to cold call or email X number of clients this week. Or, to write a set number of words per day. The good thing about having clear goals and being consistent is that it will accumulate and eventually pay off, even if you take baby steps. So, make sure that you have clear goals and that you hold yourself accountable to them.

Going from a regular 9 to 5 to what may seem like the unknown can be tough. However, once you have everything in place and pick your pace, you may find that it was the best decision you ever made.

More on starting up as a freelancer and making the leap from freelancer to full time business owner.

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