I was not so shocked to hear that Trent from The Simple Dollar Blog has decided to quit his job, hearing how well he’s been doing with his writing projects. But I’m much more surprised about this obvious trend that’s been developing among financial bloggers: many are shedding their day jobs and eschewing a corporate income to pursue full time blogging, other independent work or the enjoyment of early retirement. And many of us are way under 65, have young mouths to feed and mortgages to pay. I find it invigorating to hear about these stories because it just reinforces the fact that taking charge of our own destiny is a possibility…and happens more often than you think.
On that note, guess who else is joining this job-leaving herd THIS WEEK? Along with JD at Get Rich Slowly, Lazy Man, Super Saver at My Wealth Builder, the nice lady from Retirement: A Full Time Job….. you can count me in here as well. I had a midsummer date set for this eventuality but things got ahead of themselves and now, I’m following the lead of all these folks and moving up my “early retirement” date by several months.
I’m typing my resignation letter this weekend and will be out the door by Friday.
Now the question arises for many: how do you make that transition? Well, it’s easy to conceptualize but harder to execute. Most of us build a home business while we’re still employed at a full time job. Which then, you may ask:
Is it smart to start up a home business while still working for your employer?
That’s a good question. It’s certainly scary to take the plunge and leave a full time job to set up a new business –- especially when you have no idea whether it will work or not. But it can also be difficult to set one up when you are still working full time. Both situations have their pros and cons, but since we’re focusing on the idea of doing both at the same time, let’s take a look and see whether we can decide how smart it actually is.
How many hours do you have in your work day? This is an important question and we all know the answer to it. If you have a full time job, you have to either work on your own business before you go to work in the morning or when you get home at night. Depending on the nature of your business, you might be able to get some planning time in at lunchtime, but you’ll need to be careful that you don’t give anything away to the boss. The last thing you want is for them to think that you’re jumping ship before you are actually ready to do so.
Doing two jobs at once is easier if your new business is based at home, which is what we’re focusing on here. You don’t need to go to other premises to work on your business; it’s all at home and all perfectly easy to get to.
Of course you need to have time to relax as well, so don’t be tempted to overwork and end up making yourself ill as a result.
Make A Decision and Stick With It
Be wary of a drop in performance in your full time job. Your productivity can certainly suffer once you embark on a “transitional” scheme. It certainly happened to me, and no doubt, my bosses began to notice. So how did I work this out? This may not work for others, but it somehow worked out for me: I begged off the challenging projects and turned down promotions. I figured it was not fair for others if I took on a promotion when I could not give my job a 100%. You’ll have to tread carefully here since this may raise suspicion or put a target on your back. But I also know it’s not impossible to push back, as I’ve seen many people (including myself) make this work, especially when their bosses are understanding. Ultimately, I knew I couldn’t handle the “double life” for too long as my health began to suffer, so I eventually made a transition plan that allowed me to gradually wean myself away from my day job once I made the decision to leave.
My advice here is that you should make a decision and commit to it. Once you decide, you can make a plan then forge on to execute it. So if you’ve decided to keep your job while working on a home business, then focus on keeping your productivity up as best as you can.
If you continue to accept tough projects and are unable to say “no” to your boss, but you start to fall short, then this is when things may start to unravel. Dealing with your boss is mostly about managing expectations, so if you’re taking on big jobs while you are juggling other projects at home, you could be setting yourself up for eventual failure. This could give your employer a reason to give you the boot, which may or may not be something you’re ready for. Is it possible to stay in the driver’s seat when it comes to deciding when to ditch your full time position? Perhaps. But when you’re trying to do it all, your focus can suffer, and you may start feeling drained and burnt out. Something will eventually give, so be prepared!
Make Your Work Transition Plan
Ideally, you want to build up another income channel while you’re still benefiting from your full time job. You want to try and build up your home business income gradually and steadily, all the while cashing the checks for your regular job. Be careful that you don’t begin to expand your appetite for spending just because you’re earning more. When the home business brings in the same amount as the full time job (and preferably more), you can finally leave your job and know there’ll be no interruption in your income. Try to stick to your transition plan.
Of course you might end up leaving before you reach your income goals. You need to make that decision for yourself. But you can feel a bit more confident that your business is developing while you are still at work for someone else.
Image Credit: eRequester.com
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