One of the most common questions people who have jobs ask is whether they need to quit their traditional job in order to go freelance.
The answer is absolutely not. In fact, it’s often much better to remain in your job, not quit it, while starting to go freelance, even if you intend to be a full-time freelancer at some point in the future.
Staying in employment, while also working on a side business, is a great way to get started without facing the severe financial pressure that can hold you back and make the whole thing impossibly stressful. While there are some arguments that going all in and putting a lot at stake means you are more likely to succeed, simply because you have to, I think starting your side hustle in the least stressful way possible, is the much better plan.
Starting your side business while still working gives you the chance to build up money and enjoy the ride a little bit more – because you don’t have to worry about the bank balance.
In these times, where our money is literally falling in value and the future is uncertain – your side hustle could be a saviour that helps you through tough times and grows your career.
Here are the five main reasons to go freelance and not quit your current full-time job (at least not yet!).
Table of contents:
- Reasons why you should NOT quit your job to go freelance:
- The Freelance Roadmap book is now available!
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Reasons why you should not quit your job to go freelance:
1. Build some options
One of the best reasons to go freelance is the simple fact that you are giving yourself more options in the future.
There’s no need to decide right now whether you are going to be freelance in the future, or stick to your job.
Instead, you can build a freelance business as a side hustle, test the water, and see how it goes.
Maybe you fall in love with it, and decide to pursue it full-time, or maybe you realise it simply isn’t for you, and you’re happier in a more traditional environment. Either way, you’re in a much stronger position than you were before starting.
Imagine you’re sitting in a job interview in five years’ time, for example. Having the experience of building a second business, alongside your job, is a fantastic story and something that really sets you apart from the competition. Employers are always going to be impressed as it demonstrates drive, enthusiasm, passion and ability.
So don’t let the idea that it may not be the best use of your time, or the idea that it is not completely aligned with a traditional career path hold you back. Even if your side hustle, turns out to be something of a failure, you will learn a lot along the way, and will gain valuable experience that will hugely benefit you in the future.
2. Feel some security
A side hustle is a great way to start building extra income on top of your traditional job. More and more people are realising that they are not in a position to gain a promotion or, or find another job at the moment, as the pressure to make ends meet is rising.
This isn’t the time to be taking huge risks, and putting your financial security in jeopardy.
For this reason, building a second source of income, and diversifying your exposure as much as you can, can be really helpful.
If you can start a side hustle that doesn’t require much money, is enjoyable, and which has the potential to earn you extra income, you are building a certain level of resilience against whatever the future has in store for you.
Imagine you were suddenly made redundant, for example. Having a second source of income waiting for you to keep you going while you find another job might just be the difference between a devastating period, and one during which you can seamlessly pivot, adapt and ride out the unfortunate circumstances.
In uncertain times, having this level of flexibility and security is massively beneficial, and with world events seeming ever more unpredictable by the month, it’s a good idea for everyone to aim for this.
3. Grow your skills
The fear of failure holds a lot of people back from starting their side hustle.
The truth is, there is no guarantee that you will make money from your side business, or turn it into a huge success. This kind of perfectionism kills many dreams before they even get started. Not taking action means you can’t fail at it – but it also means it won’t ever happen.
But the truth is, even if your business doesn’t prove particularly profitable, you will still win by going through the process of pushing yourself and building your skill set.
Building a side hustle will give you your hobby, or your interest a focus.
Most people build their side business based on something that they are interested in or are good at, or which they want to develop even further. By taking the opportunity to build a business around your skill, you can start to grow your abilities quicker than ever and improve how good you are at them.
This is one of the best ways to learn a lot of new information quickly. Rather than vaguely studying something, or having a vague interest in a topic, but never really pursuing it, running a side business gets you the chance to build your skills and grow your experience.
You gain real-world experience. Think about something like coding – ask anyone who has learned coding and they will tell you they learned by working on building something, rather than looking at the training materials.
Again, this is also great for job interviews, and career progression. By running a side business you will also be learning various core skills, from sales to marketing and finances.
4. Adventure, fun and freedom
As far as I’m concerned, the main reason to start a side hustle in 2023, is simply because it’s fun. There is nothing more exciting than trying to make some money doing something that you love and pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone.
The great thing about the side hustle is that the pressure is taken off a little bit, there’s no need to put your personal finances at risk. You can build out a fantastic small business with very minimal expense and enjoy the adventure of entrepreneurship.
Should things go well, you are opening the door to a life of adventure, and freedom.
The main reason people enjoy freelancing so much is simply because it gives them the freedom to decide what they want to do and how they want to live their life.
Maybe you want to travel the world or spend more time with your family and friends. If you have the freedom afforded to you by a successful side business, you have the opportunity to live life on your own terms and enjoy all of the benefits of building an asset that rewards you.
Whether you decide to keep your job, or quietly quit it, it’s highly unlikely that you will regret the decision to go freelance, even if it doesn’t work out, or if you face challenges along the way – that’s just part of the fun.
5. Starting a freelance business isn’t as easy as it may seem
The truth is most people who read this won’t take action. Starting a side hustle isn’t easy, but as we’ve discussed, it is deeply rewarding and there can be very few downsides if you approach it with the right mindset.
It’s not easy resisting the call of Netflix after a long day of work, but it is something that you’re not going to regret if you commit yourself to it. Running a micro business like this will expand your horizons and simply make you more competent, employable and experienced.
It’s fun and it can have a hugely positive impact on your life.
So don’t delay – and start today.
Until next time,
My very first book – The Freelance Roadmap – has hit the digital shelves!
The Freelance Roadmap is a complete guide to building your freelance business and living life on your own terms.
This book will teach you how to develop a clear vision for your business, use storytelling that makes others want to work with you, develop a rock-solid freelance mindset, build the confidence to bring your ambitions to life and more!