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How To Know When To Quit Your Day Job

Updated: Jan 18, 2019

When people ask how things are going with your side hustle, do you pause before explaining, 'It's complicated'? We get it, you're torn. You've had a thing for your day job for a while, you've had some good times together and he's been there for you during tough times (like when you've had to pay a hefty phone bill) - but deep down, you know you're just not as into him as you once were. Things have lost their shine, plus, there's that sparkly new side gig you've been eyeing for a while - and if you're really honest, it's him you want to be with now. Not on the sly behind your day job's back, not at 11pm or on stolen Sunday mornings, but all day, every day. You're ready to take the leap and make things official. But, Are. You. Ready?

Yep, there comes a time in every wannabe ladyboss' life when she types 'When to quit your day job' into Google. We're itching to find out the perfect time to ditch the 9-to-5 and leap into running our business/brand/startup, full time. Whether you're a designer, coach, florist, beauty brand founder or copywriter, it's the question we all want answered. SO, here's the formula you can use to pinpoint exactly the right time to take the leap and quit your day job:

Just joking. That was a picture of a kombi van. Because, sadly it's time to tell you what you probably already know...

There is no Perfect Time. You have to decide.

From my experience (and lengthy googling history) usually comes down to a few pivotal factors, including, but not limited to:

* Timing

* Finances

* State of current day job

* Balls

All I can offer is my own personal story of when I knew the time was right to put my whole self behind my own business, which went a little something like this:

Back when I was working in magazines (writing and sub-editing for the likes of Elle, Women's Fitness and GQ), it was basically the culmination of all my teenage dreams come true. I got to play with words all day - and get paid for it. Plus, I got to work alongside some amazing creative women. A lot of the time, there was an undeniable buzz in the air as we worked towards creating amazing content for iconic titles that spoke to thousands of women just like us. (This was the part I loved the most.)

BUT, it was also seriously stressful (think loads of deadline pressure and politics and even the odd Devil Wears Prada scenario). And like lots of things, after a decade or so in the industry, the shine started to wear off, and the little niggling idea I'd always had about going out on my own started to whisper a little louder in my ear. I wanted to focus on what I loved again - writing. I wanted to decide what my own 'Why' would be. And, I wanted the freedom of being my own boss.

So after nearly a decade in the industry, as I closed my laptop for the last time to go on mat leave to have my baby girl, I knew I wouldn’t return to that work environment. And having my daughter (and the completely intense, world-upending year that followed) made me reassess everything in my life. So, while I knew that I craved creative stimulation, I decided then that if I was going to drag myself away from my girl to work, it would be for nothing short of my absolute mission in life. No more crazy office politics and no half-assed gigs rearranging commas at celeb gossip mags to pay the bills (I’d rather live off tuna and rice and baby cuddles).

Fortuitously, the stars had aligned and finding myself in this 'in-between' phase of my life, no longer tied to a full-time job and gradually edging myself back into work after having my baby, made it less of a 'leap' and more of a... big step?! The next step was simply to resist the urge to apply for a 'proper' job (and this was hard, as I regularly found myself hovering on Seek!) and throw my whole self into getting my own business off the ground.

SO I decided the time had come to spend my days doing what I love - writing - preferably in trackies perched beside the kettle. I also decided I needed to make my words COUNT for something now, by helping other big-hearted creatives harness their own dreams. And so, Little Birdie was born. And so far, it's paying off a million times over (fingers crossed!).

How about you? Have you had a big ‘aha’ moment, or a pivotal experience that was the nudge you needed to go out on your own?

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