Is it your goal to take your side-hustle full-time in 2022? Or is it your goal to start thinking about this as a possibility? Here are a few major things to consider before you quit your day job.
Everyone’s journey to taking their side-hustle full-time is different. Everyone is balancing different priorities, juggling family and financial obligations, and more. There is no one right way to take your side-hustle full-time. You can read about my personal journey taking my content creation side-hustle full-time after I was laid off in the summer of 2020.
I had the opportunity to accept two different roles after receiving my lay-off notice back at my former company. But I realized that after 6 years of balancing content creation with my full-time aerospace career, my lay-off notice was a sign to take my blog, Instagram, and podcast full-time.
Here are a few major things I reflected on before I decided to take my content creation side-hustle full time:
There are risks in every career. Moving from a stable corporate job with two paychecks a month and full health benefits to freelance requires some level of risk. When you move into freelance work (working for yourself), it’s up to you to make sure you bring revenue and profit in to cover your lifestyle.
Everyone has a different risk tolerance. The idea that you might bring in a different revenue amount each month might really freak you out. But if you’re confident in your ability to make money as a content creator and you’re ready to take the next step, you might be ready to take on that risk.
My advice around risk is that know that your risk tolerance can grow as a person. You might not be ready to make risky decisions today but that doesn’t mean you can’t make bigger risks in the future.
You inherently take some risks when you start your content creation passion. As you master your craft and skills, you might feel confident to take bigger risks each year.
One of the biggest things that you have to consider before you pursue your side-hustle full-time is to think about what financial security means to you. I recommend getting clear about your cost of living, setting a budget, and laying out your financial goals.
Setting out your budget means you understand your expenses and how much money you need to make each week, each month, or each year to sustain your lifestyle. Every person has different things in their budget. Some people have student loan payments, car payments, credit card payments, and some people have mortgages or rent to pay each month.
Additionally, each city and state vary by cost of living. An average one-bedroom apartment in Seattle is $2,100-$2,300 while an average one-bedroom in St. Louis, Missouri is $900-$1,000. Covering your cost of living with your side-hustle or full-time creative career will look differently depending on where you live.
Depending on your life stage, you might have different financial goals. For example, your goal might be to build up your emergency fund or your financial goal might be to save for a down payment for a house. If you can, you should think about your short-term and long-term financial goals prior to taking content creation full-time.
Before you take your side-hustle full-time, I highly recommend thinking about how you’re going to pay for healthcare. In the United States, many people receive their healthcare, dental, and vision insurance through an employer. When you become a freelancer, it’s up to you to pay for your own healthcare.
If you’re located in Washington State, you can research, compare, and enroll in healthcare plans through Washington Healthplanfinder. Annual enrollment is from November 1st-December 15th for healthcare coverage that starts on January 1st 2022. You can check out my blog post with Washington Healthplanfinder for more information!
Prior to getting married in spring 2021, I chose to pay $550 for COBRA to keep my healthcare, vision, and dental care. Since I was laid off, I had the option to keep the same exact benefits. I didn’t want to switch doctors or dentists, so I budgeted the $550 to keep my benefits.
In addition to healthcare, I’d recommend thinking about saving for retirement before you take your side-hustle full-time. Once you leave your corporate job or you’re laid off (like I was last year), you can no longer contribute to your 401K. You must plan for how you’re going to save for retirement.
- Are you going to start investing in the market? Are you going to invest in index funds?
- Are you going to open a traditional IRA? Or a ROTH IRA?
- Are you going to open a high yield savings account?
While it might be tempting to put off saving for retirement when we’re young and in our 20s, chances are you are going to want to stop working at some point. If you can plan and layout your plan for retirement, I recommend doing so.
Aside from reflecting on your finances, healthcare, and retirement, possibly one of the most important things to consider is your closest relationships.
- Will leaving your corporate job affect your family?
- Are you and your partner on the same page about your career goals?
- Are your friends and family supportive of this career decision?
- Do their opinions matter to you?
One of my biggest tips in navigating relationships with major career plans or decisions is just to keep your close friends and family in the loop. If it’s your dream to take it full-time someday, while it might be scary to share that with others, you should communicate it. Your friends and family don’t have to agree with every career decision you make. But they probably would appreciate just being in the loop.
I told my parents that I wanted to pursue content creation full-time in 2018, while I was still working full-time and in grad school. They were uneasy about the idea at first but by the time 2020 had rolled around and I received my lay-off notice, they came around to the idea. My mom encouraged me to take blogging full-time last year, especially after seeing how stressed I got from my last aerospace job.
What other things should you consider before taking your side-hustle full-time?
You can also listen to this blog post on the Content Creatives Podcast episode: 5 Important Things to Consider Before You Take Your Side Hustle Full-Time.
For more influencer and content creation tips, you can also check out:
Thank you for reading!