I must admit – I have been rather facetious with the title of this article. I am not about to reveal some fool-proof strategy – just one simple step.
If you want to quit your job, all you need to do is serve notice.
There are many potential considerations beyond that one step, but that is the long and short of it. And it doesn’t have to be as terrifying and ominous as it sounds.
Is it a huge decision? Yes. Risky? Probably. But it doesn’t have to be the impossible action you fear will never come.
My date has been set. I will be quitting my job, effective 31st December 2011. I am actually on holiday until 11th January 2012, so my new full time career won’t be up and running until the middle of the month.
So what has led me here, and what are my plans?
Am I Prepared?
That depends upon your definition of being adequately prepared! Do I have an online income in place, ready to cover all of my outgoings? No. Do I have any form of guarantee that I will be able to earn enough to cover all of my outgoings? Nope.
So in financial terms, you could argue (rather effectively!) that I am not prepared. What I do have is savings that are equal to about 4 months worth of outgoings, and one writing job already in place. A start, if nothing more.
You may be wondering what the big rush is. I have certainly made a start with regards to my online income:
- I have my foot in the door in terms of a freelancing career
- I have demonstrated that I can generate an income from niche sites
But surely it’s too soon – surely it’s too early to be taking the leap? Again, I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with such an assertion.
But I have made a clear decision in my mind, and if I do not take action now, I will simply be treading water. My whole life currently centers on “waiting”. That is not a way to live.
Yes, the “safe” choice would be to continue to collect my secure income, nurture my savings and online income, and make the plunge when I am in a better financial situation. But sometimes you simply have to accept the risk inherent in things, and move forward.
I am not saying that everyone should do what I am doing. But I am saying that it is right for me.
Time is key. Now that I know when I am leaving work behind, I know when I will suddenly have an enormous increase in that most precious of resources. It means that I can now start planning.
The first thing I need is a budget, and by extension, my first target. This is a step that must not be neglected. I have figured out my average monthly outgoings, and will use that as my first net income target. I am to hit that target within the first quarter of 2012, at which point, I can set a new target.
How will I achieve this?
The first thing I will be doing over the next few weeks is seeing if I can source additional freelance work to start on in January. It won’t take long to get an idea of how easy it will be to source work at a level that I will be happy with it. This in turn will dictate my future plans (i.e. if I can get enough work, great. If I can’t, I will need to rethink my strategy).
This is far more a speculative income generating prospect than freelancing, but is something that I will be pursuing. I will probably aim to set an hour or two aside per day to see if I can begin to grow an income from internet marketing endeavors (e.g. niche/authority sites).
Leaving Work Behind
At some point I will need to consider how to monetize this blog. With more time on my hands, I will also have the opportunity to increase my marketing efforts and hopefully expand its reach.
Worst Case Scenario?
I am confident that I will succeed. Or to put it in more practical terms, I am confident that I will be able to hit my minimum budgeted income before I run out of money! But what if it looks like that will not be the case? Damage control will kick in. I can reduce my outgoings considerably by various means (selling my car, cancelling my satellite TV subscription, etc.) and can also look to get a part time job if necessary. I can also rent my house out and live somewhere cheaper. There are plenty of options along these lines that I have already considered.
I believe that me failing in my immediate goal is unlikely. But if I do, there are steps I can take to rescue the situation. Such an outcome doesn’t have to be considered an unmitigated disaster – it would just be a temporary downgrading of my quality of life in order to facilitate long term success and contentment. In my opinion, that is a risk well worth taking.
Having said all of that, such a course of action is certainly not for everyone. I am fortunate to not have any dependents, and as such can take risks without fear of negatively impacting upon others. My father, on the other hand, quit his job and started his business with a brand new mortgage and a baby on the way. But he recognized the risk, weighed up the odds, and took a calculated decision.
It worked out pretty well for him. It will for me too.
Watch this space!
Photo courtesy of Edinburgh Blog