Quit Your Day Job

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Okay, so let’s say, for the sake of argument, that your business has grown to the point that your regular 9-5 is getting in the way of your development. Or you think of one of the other million reasons that you want to quit your day job and focus on your personal business. Maybe you’ve hit the rut and just hate the commute and the boring coworkers. Quitting your job to focus on your business sounds easy, but there’s more that goes into it than you think.

The first issue is, why are you sick of your day job? If your business is bursting at the seams and the 9-5 is taking all your time, then you can skip this section. If you hate your coworkers, or hate the work, or just don’t like the commute, then you may need a job change, not to go self employed. But if you want to be your own boss and be responsible for your own paycheck, then getting out is the way to go.

Before you quit, there’s one thing to do, and it’s not to prank your boss. Spend a few days gathering intelligence. See what your employer is doing that works and doesn’t work. It can lead to epiphanies that let you work more efficiently, and can help you recognize areas that need improvement.

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to quit you day job, odds are that you’re doing something that will let you work from home. It’s essential to prepare your nest. Basically, that means setting up an office in a quiet place that doesn’t have any distractions. No, you don’t need a TV and an X Box in your office. If home isn’t good then Starbucks or other shops like that with free wireless can be a huge benefit.

The next step is an optional one, but one that can be a lot of help later on. Look through your friend and professional reference dossier and see who is currently freelancing or otherwise out on their own. Rubbing elbows with them can help make you money, especially they provide something you don’t. A client is much happier if they can work through you for all their needs, and you can pick up a spare buck by subcontracting the work to your partners.

But the hardest part of it all is actually quitting and working for yourself. A lot of us get addicted to the paycheck because a mortgage, a family, and all those responsibilities can be a huge burden. But, you won’t get anywhere if you don’t take the chance. Give your two weeks—or longer—notice and be careful not to burn any bridges. Your first client might be your old boss!