So you’ve decided to leave your comfortable, steady job and jump into the world of pursuing your passion. While following your dreams of making your creativity a career is an exciting and worthwhile pursuit, there are multiple aspects to consider before employing such a change.
Many creative career paths lead you down the road of freelance and self-employment. Although this allows for a new level of freedom, you need to remember that this time around you are going at this alone. Only you can determine how to build, grow and sustain your passion into a lifelong career.
So, to give you some perspective on quitting your job to pursue your passion, here are 5 questions you need to answer before taking this exciting leap.
Do You Have Enough Saved to Pay Your Bills?
One of the most important aspects of becoming a freelancer and self-employed individual is to understand how to save money for a strong financial future. Jumping into your passion is a step that isn’t going to be lucrative from the start. In fact, you must prepare yourself for an initial starting point of fiscal drought.
Building your passion and landing viable work takes time. In order to finance this endeavor, you will need to start saving while in your current job. Putting away a portion of your income for the “pursue my passion fund” is of the utmost importance.
A good rule of thumb is to save enough money to pay your bills for 3-6 months without having to work. This means you need to calculate the total cost of your rent, utilities, phone bill, insurance, food, social gathering and any other aspects on which you spend your money. By figuring out this total and applying it to a 3-6 month financial plan, will allow you to realistically discover the possibility of quitting your current position.
Additionally, you should make sure to always save a bit more than you calculated. In life there are always emergencies and unexpected finances, so it’s better to have saved than be stressed out later on down the line.
Do You Have Multiple Income Sources?
Another question you will need to ask yourself is, where is my money coming from? Maybe you work a full time corporate job and support yourself on your salary. Or you may have multiple part time positions that help you pay the bills. You might even have an additional stream of cash flow from passive income sources.
Whichever way you are currently supporting yourself, will need to be assessed before taking the leap. If you only have one job, quitting it will leave you high and dry without a safety net. Yet, if you have a full time position with a side hustle that brings in a few hundred dollars per month, you now have some stability that can go toward supporting your dream.
Before deciding to quit your job, consider adding an additional source of income to your life. Whether you start teaching English online during the weekends, pick up a position at your local coffee shop or freelance using platforms such as UpWork – you can easily eliminate stress from your life by having a small backup plan while you build your new career.
How Will You Market Yourself and Gain New Clients?
Many people jump into their passions without first laying out the groundwork for a plan to follow. While it may seem exciting to throw caution to the wind, this will quickly fade once you realize how challenging building your dream can be.
Before you drop everything for that rush of adrenaline, craft yourself a plan to execute in this new professional journey. First and foremost you will need to decide how you will bring in business. Building a strong client base, signing up for networking platforms and events and connecting with key players in your industry will each help you land new work.
Additionally, you will need to construct a marketing plan for yourself and your services. Whether you decide you need a website, seek the assistance of a professional agent, create printed and digital materials or even start small with a captivating business card – you are on your way to building your own personal brand.
Before quitting your position, think of how you will attract and land new leads. You can even start this process in your spare time while you are working and building your connections.
Are You Willing to Change Your Current Lifestyle?
Many of us do not realize that pursing your passion will call for various sacrifices. Not only will you be taking a pay cut, you will also be opening yourself up to the realizations that you may not be able to sustain your current lifestyle.
This means that as you pursue your goals, you may need to alter some of your current behaviors. This includes spending less money out, buying fewer new products, potentially downsizing your living situation and evening swapping out your car for public transport. Although these may seem like substantial life changes, you have to understand that this is temporary.
In order to properly build and construct your career, you will need to live in the simplest ways. This will not only help you save money, but it will force you to work harder. With this kind of motivation, you can make your passion into a job that not only brings personal success, but offers you the lifestyle you truly want. Although these sacrifices and changes may be initially hard to make, they will pay off in the end.
Are You Ready to Work Harder Than You Ever Have Before?
The final question you will need to ask yourself before taking the leap is, are you ready to work harder than you ever have before?
Although being freelance and self employed is a path that allows for freedom and flexibility, it is also one of the toughest paths you can follow. Working for yourself means that you can pursue your dreams and make them into your career. Yet, this also means that you will live and breath your work. You will find that your mind is on constant working mode and you cannot turn it off like those working in traditional office environments. You will work harder because you are your own boss, marketing team, accountant and every other position needed to run a successful business. And through it all, your life will essentially become your work.
Quitting your steady job for a life of pursuing your passion will require endless determination. Some days will be harder than others and you may even question why you would take such a chance and risk everything. Yet, the hard work and perseverance you will gain will only amount to a true level of contentment and confidence in your abilities. Taking the leap may be tough, but when your pursuing your dreams, passion and creativity – the reward truly outweighs any risk.