Three Ways to Adjust From a Full-Time Job Into Freelancing

Okay, to piggy back our post yesterday about adjusting from freelancing to a full-time gig, we need to bookend it with it with the opposite situation. Adjustment takes time and planning but with some preparation, you’ll be well equipped to make the transition. Here’s how to do it…

1. Create structure. After the novelty of waking up until noon and creating your own hours wears off, you’ll want to create a schedule in terms of when you’ll wake up, when you’ll start working and most importantly, when you’ll stop. Creating set hours may seem counterintuitive to freelancing but if you don’t, work bleeds into life and bank into work and it can get kind of gray.

Translation: You may find yourself working harder than ever before now that it’s for yourself. And with that hard work may come midnight pitches, deliverables, invoicing, etc.

Furthermore, where will you work? Will it be your home office? The local coffee shop? The library? All of the above depending on the day? These are all things to consider.

2. Seek out fellow freelancers. Yes, as a freelancer you’re on your own with wings to soar but you may find yourself very isolated. Whether you work from home or not, fact of the matter is you’re probably working alone. Without anyone to bounce ideas off or even have water cooler chatter (and how many times has an innocent conversation led to a story idea or blog post?), you may find yourself isolated.

Seek volunteer opportunities, social activities and above all, opportunities to connect with local freelancers. Even if a friend is now freelancing, too why not create set times to meet at a local coffee shop to work in specific increments by setting an alarm on your mobile phone, and then taking a break to chat?

3. Own your finances. Okay, this has less to do about the physical and mental sides of freelancing but is important nonetheless. Without an employer to provide benefits and the ubiquitous paycheck, you’re now fully on your own.

It may be well worth your time and money to sit down with a financial planner to determine how much money you can set aside every month for retirement, if you should contribute to a Roth IRA and all sorts of fun topics. Although some people dread the finance aspect of it all, why not embrace it? The sooner you figure this part out, the better off you’ll be.