Deciding to go freelance is a big step for anyone. It’s an exciting time, laced with a small amount of terror about whether or not everything is going to be OK. If you’re leaving employment to become a freelancer it can be especially so, as you leave behind the security of a regular payslip.
Leaving your employer on good terms is good for all sorts of reasons. You might decide that you miss the job, and want to go back. If you’re freelancing in the same industry, your old boss could add you as a supplier should they need help with a project. And because it’s just nice to avoid difficult situations sometimes. Here are our top tips for leaving your job to go freelance.
Give proper notice when you leave your job
Asking for a meeting will give you a chance to get everything across that you want to say, so make a list of things to cover if you feel that would be useful. Follow it up with written confirmation of what was agreed, such as notice period and final pay amounts etc.
It will also allow you to let your boss know what you’re planning to do next, so that you are on their radar for any freelance work that might be available!
Let your co-workers know
These could well end up being useful contacts for available projects, industry gossip, or just because you’re friends after spending so much time together. Keeping them in the loop once all of the official channels have been notified can ease the transition for everyone, and be a useful source for the future.
Organise a proper handover
This will help give you closure on the role, and remind everyone what an asset you’ve been! It also means that you’re less likely to get annoying interruptions from ex-colleagues who still can’t find their way around the filing systems, when you should be concentrating on winning pitches for new business.
Leaving written instructions and scheduling as much as possible in advance will likely win you some serious brownie points during the adjustment period after you leave.
Take a big deep breath
It might take a while for things to really get rolling, so make sure you’re as prepared as possible. And remember, you don’t have to be a superhero! Take breaks, co-work for company sometimes, set boundaries with family members so they know that you really are still working, even though you’re now the boss.
How did you deal with leaving your employer to go freelance? We’d love to know!