Financial Stability Beyond the 9 to 5: How to Leave Your Job Smartly

Leave! Your heart, mind and soul are screaming, telling you that it’s time to leave your full-time job and work on your side hustle full time. It’s risky. It’s scary. It’s overwhelmingly. It’s…sigh.

Whoever said there was bliss in adulting lied. There’s so much responsibility, stress and struggling that you wouldn’t dare fathom that leaving your full time job would ever be an option. Fine, the job makes you miserable or has become so routine that you’re bored out of your mind. But, it offers the stability of consistent income that you can use to make adulting a bit easier.

On the other hand, your side hustle offers occasional bouts of income. Depending on this would be foolhardy. However, you’re now at a crossroads. Do you stay in a job that you dread or devote your time and energy into making your true passion more than an occasional income generator?

Oftentimes, the fear of losing financial stability is enough to force you to choose to stay. Your side hustle won’t grow though if you don’t take the plunge. Deciding to jump becomes a bit easier when you build a financial safety net to support your move. Here’re some tips that can help you build that safety net while you work on growing your side hustle.

Save enough to last for 3 months.

Leaving your full-time job can’t be a spur of the moment decision. There should be some forethought. I knew that 2019 would be my last year as a teacher. Yes, I am studying part-time and am the sole person responsible for paying my tuition. I also have loans to repay and other financial obligations.

However, I decided that my peace of mind and desire to pursue my passion for supporting entrepreneurship in Jamaica were more important. This led me to make plans for ensuring that I have enough money saved to cover my expenses for the first 3 months (September to December 2019) when I would no longer be a teacher.

Most of my plans revolve around earning additional income during the summer since paying my tuition and dealing with other financial obligations make it difficult to save from my meager salary. My goal is to have that 3 month income by the end of August so that I can focus heavily on building my brand for the rest of the year.

Always have backup savings.

You should always have a savings account that you don’t touch. Some people call this the “rainy day” fund, others call it “backup savings”. Chances are that you will need to draw on these funds while you’re working on growing your business and establishing a strong client base.

Make it a habit to put at least 10 percent of your salary in this backup savings account. You should have enough saved within a year to serve as a financial security blanket. Remember not to touch these funds unless you are at rock bottom and have nowhere else to turn.

Invest for the long-term.

Investing should be a natural part of your saving regime. Regardless of the amount you earn, you should aim to invest at least 10 percent of your income monthly. This may mean that you have to create a separate account to accumulate these savings so that you have a lump sum to invest. (Lump sum investments in stocks, bonds and other long term instruments tend to work out better.)

These investments create long-term security. They are the investments that you force yourself to forget so that you don’t dip in and thwart your long-term goals. Don’t leave your job until you have started to build a stable investment portfolio. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve invested a lot of money; all you need to do is start even if it’s with only $10,000.

How financially secure are you?

It’s tempting to jump right into your side hustle full time. Screw the 9 to 5! Pause for a second. Take a deep breath. Clear your mind and think logically.

Unless you’re like one of the chosen few entrepreneurs who have a side hustle that’s bursting at the seams, it’ll take time for your business to grow to a point of financial stability. Nevertheless, leaving your full-time job is necessary for you to give your business the focused attention it needs to grow to that place of financial stability. Don’t take the plunge though until you have done the 3 things outlined in this article.

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