There are ten important things to consider, regardless of your current work (or unemployed status). It’s always a good long-term strategy to have tidy financial arrangements.
1. Plan to keep your current day‑job if you can.
Taking on freelance work brings no guarantee of income. Yes, you can earn as much (or as little) as you organise for yourself. But there will always be a time-lapse between planting seeds and eating the fruit. Are you prepared?
2. Get your ducks in a row.
It’s exciting to be starting a new role as a freelance worker. But before you go rushing to deliver the good news to your family and friends, make sure you have the important things confirmed regarding your new status. Having a contract is best. An email requesting you to do something, (with payday details) is next best. A verbal request is not worth the paper it’s written on. Get something in writing.
3. If you’re employed, tell your manager what you’re doing.
It’s important to protect your reputation. Explain how this new opportunity will sharpen your work skills and broaden your list of helpful contacts. If you have close friends in your workplace, don’t tell anyone else before you have spoken with your manager. Be especially wary of sharing the news with your fellow workers who compete with you.
4. Choose an appropriate time to announce things.
Once you’ve made the decision to shift into a new role, consider if/when it might be necessary to quit your job. It’s tempting to rush in and resign. But it might be wise not to give in to that impulse, tempting though it might be. Breaking your news prior to an important company meeting is not good timing, either. Your news is likely to be a surprise to your manager or supervisor, who will want time to process the information and decide on their next steps. Their first responsibility is to the company, not to you.
5. Be honest and consistent.
You don’t have to tell your manager ALL your details if you don’t want to. But if you don’t tell your manager, don’t tell other people. The manager is certain to feel miffed if they find out from office gossip after receiving only vague information from you.
6. Cooperate in the preparation of a handover or transition plan.
Work closely with your manager and agree on your duties during the lead up to your departure date (if you’re leaving). Agree on any extra training or documentation required for the person who will take over (or share) your role.
7. Hold your tongue.
With new horizons in sight it is tempting to start speaking your mind about all those company matters that have been annoying you. Don’t fall into that mindset. You never know who you will run into again – or work alongside – later in your career. Put aside the possible benefits or short-term satisfaction you’ll get from letting off steam.
8. Keep justifying your pay.
It’s tempting to slacken off a little when the end is near. But that isn’t fair. Your employer is still obliged to pay you a full salary during your ‘notice’ period, so do the honest thing and keep earning it.
9. Important points:
- Wait for a signed offer or contract before telling anyone you are setting up your own business, or leaving your job.
- Don’t let your manager hear the news from anyone else.
- Maintain your productivity right up until your last day at work.
10. If you’re about to quit your job, remember your manager is a person too, with job worries.
So before you sit down for ‘the big farewell chat’ consider how your imminent departure will impact the company and your colleagues. Think of three ways you can turn this event into an exciting new step forward for both of you.
By Brian Morris. Reproduced for Educational Purposes.