From Corporate to Freelancing | How to Easily Make the Switch
In the not-so-distant past, I used to daydream about working in a corporate organization. Even though I studied biochemistry at the university, I longed to work in a bank, or anywhere in the corporate world.
But at that time, corporate jobs were not forthcoming. After so many CVs and applications, I started to try my hands on creative things like writing, designing, etc.
I got my chance to work in the corporate world. I worked in the bank for a while, but I found out that I hated it. I really just wanted to work in the creative space and have the freedom to do whatever I chose. Freedom was really important for me then and I made a post about why I moved from corporate to freelancing on Instagram, you can check it out here.
Now, this post isn’t about me. It’s about how you can make the switch from corporate to freelancing, just like I did. Buuuuut before we go into it, I’m going to quickly talk about a few things you must know about freelancing or running a business. So hear me out.
You’ll be giving up a lot of sleep
When I was working in the bank, I used to wake up at 5 am and get to work by 7.30, my bank branch wasn’t so far from where I lived. I dreaded waking up early, only to realize that in freelancing or running an online business, I would have so little sleep.
It’s not for anything, it’s just that you can’t be sleeping like a baby when you know that your next income is not sure, when you know that if you don’t get in front of clients, you won’t earn anything. So you’ll literally be leaving a 9–5 to work 24/7.
It will look like you don’t know what you’re doing
Because really, do you? You left your cozy, daily benefits job for uncertainty, sometimes, you’ll think you’re crazy. Sometimes, you’ll want to run back to your boss.
At the start, you’ll be wearing many hats and sometimes, you don’t know what the hats do. You’ll be the admin, customer rep, content creator, strategist, etc. But how will you know which hat to wear and when to wear it? Really, it’s a lot.
There’ll be times when you’ll be overbooked and times when you’ll have nothing
That’s just the reality of freelancing. You will always have to hustle to get in front of clients, put out content, show up online when you don’t feel like it, etc.
But here’s the thing, there’s an exponential curve in freelancing, where the more you get to experience by doing and the more you upskill yourself, the more you can be booked and charge well.
Alright, so how do you make the switch?
Stop wasting time
First of all, you need to stop wasting time on unnecessary things and be laser-focused on what you want to do.
This will mean cutting back on the time you spend out with friends, the time you spend on social media, the time you spend on Netflix and work on setting up your website.
In fact, you’ll need the time to figure out who your target audience is and where they reside on the internet. So spend that time doing the research.
Draw up a project timetable
I need you to look at this project timetable as your life’s timetable (because it is).
- When will you start taking online courses and physical courses? Put it in the timetable
- When will you break the news to everyone around you?
- When will you launch your website and announce your business on social media?
- When will you start sourcing for clients?
Start creating templates for everything
Templates, SOPs, Modus Operandi, anything you want to call it. You need to set them up.
You are going to be carrying out a lot of repetitive work in your freelance/online business. You need a procedure that describes all the activities necessary to complete these tasks.
What will be in the templates? FAQs, enquiries, payment plans, etc.
When you’re just starting, you may not have templates yet, so when you start tackling a new project, note down all the steps you take from start to finish and then save it as a template. I wrote another Medium article about that here.
Set up your content library
Content creation is very crucial for your freelance/online business success. But coming up with content can be the most stressful thing ever.
In that same article, I talked about how to set up a content library. Your content library will include videos that you find useful, blog posts, podcast episodes, FAQs, templates, etc.
You can put their links in a drive and go to it whenever you need inspiration. This will help you save time when planning your content.
Consume other people’s content
Watch tons of YouTube videos to inspire you to create your own. It’s only after you’ve devoured videos that you’ll feel confident about setting up your own channel.
Listen to podcasts too, because many times, you’ll need to listen to content on the go. Read blog posts on your industry/niche and get informed.
Join a mastermind of other freelancers/online business owners
A mastermind group is a group of people who are doing the same thing as you, where you get together to share ideas, talk about your plans and execution, etc.
When I started out, I didn’t have this group and even now, I still can’t say that I do. But you need to be in a community of like-minded people who will motivate you to go for it.
This article was initially a script for my YouTube video, but I felt that it would be absolutely important for you to read it here.