Yes, spontaneity is great. How wonderful to jump on a plane and take off to somewhere far away for a weekend or decide to redecorate every room in the house.
However, when it comes to making a career decision about leaving a full-time paying gig for life sitting alone at the computer in the spare bedroom, it is important to plan ahead.
Here are several things that online home-based workers need to consider before quitting their day job.
Determine Career Focus
What to do?
Above all else, self employment requires some forethought about what line of work will generate sufficient income to meet an online home-based worker’s financial needs.
Some online home-based businesses that require little set up beyond work experience, talent in the field and a home office with computer, phone and Internet connectivity include:
- Computer geek / IT (or technician)
- Mentor or Consultant (i.e., marketing, human resources, information technology)
- Website developer
- Writer (i.e., webpage content, articles, press releases)
- Ads Specialist
In addition, some people have successfully turned their favorite hobby – such as woodworking, knitting or ceramics — into a home-based business. Be sure to explore all the options.
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Review Financial Considerations
Before ever giving notice, newly minted entrepreneurs should be sure they have their finances in order. That means having enough savings to meet their obligations for at least six months. Sounds like a lot, but it can dwindle very quickly.
When determining where to get financial support, consider:
- Savings account
- Severance package
- Large vacation payout
- Second source of income
- Small business loan
- Working temporary or part-time jobs
Because the market is fickle, savvy home-based workers don’t put all their eggs in one basket. Instead they find several sources of income to insulate themselves from inevitable income fluctuations. For instance, a computer geek may also teach technology classes as well as write and sell articles on technology topics.
In addition to considering income, self-employed workers also need to consider outgo. That is, how much money it will cost them for things like phone lines, Internet connection, postage, printing and health insurance.
Establish a Plan and Goals
Finally, it’s easy to become distracted when working from a home office, so before submitting that letter of resignation, it is important for new home-based workers to develop a plan of action that includes short-term as well as long-term goals.
Short-term goals might include:
- Establishing a daily work routine with specific office hours and tasks to be accomplished each day
- Developing a network of business contacts that can provide expert support as well as job referrals
- Determining minimum required monthly income to meet personal and business expenses
- Securing a minimum starting client base
Long-term goals might include:
- Registering your online business
- Increasing client base
- Diversifying income sources
- Expanding network of contacts
- Enhancing marketability through further training and education
While working from home seems to be a dream for many people, it takes a highly dedicated and self-motivated individual to remain focused and not become distracted by the events of everyday life. That’s why establishing personal ground rules through careful planning and a commitment to succeed is vital for anyone who wants to quit a day job.