You have to act smart to freelance along with a full-time job. Here are 10 things you can do to find time for freelancing along with a full-time job.
When you have a full-time job, it is really tough to be able to start freelancing, but it isn’t impossible. I have done it in from 2005 to 2007ish time. And I can tell you it isn’t as harsh as it may sound.
You should be ready to work your ass out and give up weekends.
You have to work harder, but more importantly, you should work smarter to be able to start a freelance work from home option along with a full-time job.
Here are ten things you can do to find time to start freelancing side by side when you have a full-time job.
1. Wake Up Earlier
I am more of a morning guy than a late nighter. So I prefer to wake up early. If you are a night owl, try to find a couple of hours in the night. The idea is to be able to work for a couple of hours daily.
Waking up early isn’t easy. I had to get very disciplined to sleep early, or else it can be tiring physically and mentally to be able to wake up early consistently.
Again, it is easier said than done. Often disciplines aren’t enough, and I had to work for clients before going to bed as well.
Being a morning person, I still wake up around 5 AM. It is the time when I am most creative. So I prefer to dedicate that time to my writing and blogging.
2. Switch Job
Some jobs require more time than others. Switch job, which isn’t too challenging mentally and can be switched off when you leave the office.
Apart from being switched off from office work when at home, make sure it doesn’t demand irregular working hours. If it does, it is time to switch over to a job which isn’t as highly paid as your current job but helps you manage your necessary expenses and allows you more time after working hours.
In the world of programming, a product based company has more fixed work hours apart from launch days than a service-based company that serves clients.
3. Personal Transportation
You should not waste too much energy commuting to work because it is essential to conserve energy to be able to dedicate more time with enough energy to freelancing work either in the morning or after work.
If you can live at a nearby place, it is even better, however, if you can’t prefer a personal mode of transport over public transport to save time and energy.
I used a bike to commute to my job, and I still remember my office was exactly 9.6 Km. I used to reach my office in under 30 mins. It used to save me a lot of time commuting but, more importantly, saved a lot of energy to be able to work when I am back home in the evening.
4. Small Freelancing Jobs
You may be fascinated with big-ticket projects in the world of freelancing. However, it is essential to know what you can work for and deliver on time as a freelancing doing freelancing only part-time, along with a full-time job.
Big projects will have a timeline which can be tough for a part-time freelancer to commit. However, for small projects, a weekend of work may be enough to get ahead of the timeline and deliver on time.
Yes, you have to work more to find more clients for smaller jobs, but it also means you can build more reviews and reputation on top freelancing sites with smaller tasks.
5. Avoid Multiple Projects at a Time
Knowing your limitations is the most crucial aspect to be able to work smart.
Picking a smaller ticket size job doesn’t mean you can take up multiple tasks at a time. If you have too many clients to handle, client interaction can eat up your valuable time, and you can have issues with delivery for each of those clients.
It is better to do one project at a time when you have a full-time job, and when you are about to finish the project, look for the next client.
Even today, I still follow the maximum number of client threshold, which is 3. It means at any given point of time, and I won’t work for more than three clients. It helps me under-promise and over-deliver but, more importantly, never miss a deadline.
6. Utilize Leaves
Still entirely new to the freelancing world and a couple of hours of daily work may not be enough. Some tasks can take a lot more time than you initially anticipated, or the client needed something done more urgently than you can work in your part-time availability.
It is when you have to be smarter to work on weekends as well as on holidays to speed up your delivery. However, if you aren’t able to manage things with weekends and holidays, use leaves to stay at home to manage your client’s delivery.
Again this isn’t very recommended and should be used only in the time of utter crisis.
7. Eliminate Time Waster
How much time you watch TV or movies or Youtube videos or even just scrolling through social media sites like Facebook or Twitter?
Can you eliminate them from your life for a few years will you hustle as a freelancer along with a full-time job? If you can’t eliminate them, you should reduce the time for them.
I was a die-hard gamer in my college days, and I still remember when I used to play Age of Empires III, Commandos II, Need for Speed III, Diablo II, and many such games, not for hours but days and weeks at a stretch.
When I started my job along with the Go4Expert forum and freelancing on Elance, I had to quit games altogether, and I am glad I did it.
You can’t do it all alone, and you don’t need to do it all alone.
When you are in a job, you have an advantage. Some of your colleagues may have similar expertise. Take help from them and outsource some of your work to them. Very few people will mind the extra money they can make on the sideline.
9. Passive Source of Income
Freelance is an active way of doing business online, but you should also focus on creating more passive revenue sources.
Forums, membership sites, blogs, software as a service (SaaS), mobile apps are some of the passive ways to make money online, and you should always try to build them over time to add to your overall income.
10. Part-Time Job
Negotiate with your employer to convert you from a full-time employee to a part-time employee. If they don’t have an option for being a part-timer, ask if you can work from home.
Many companies have policies for work from home as it can save costly real estate space. Again if your present employer doesn’t allow, you can switch jobs, and often you will find startups prefer hiring experienced developers part-time.
Finally, Quit the Job
If you have any kind of debt, pay it off and then calculate the minimum survival amount you need every month.
You are making some money doing part-time freelancing and see how much more is needed to reach the minimum survival amount level. One can easily double (or even triple) part-time freelance income when he or she works full-time.
The minimum survival amount for me back in 2008 was ₹25k. Opt for 6 to 8 months of minimum survival amount as a cash balance in the bank account. I had a surplus of 8 months of my minimum survival amount, and a few months of additional minimum survival amount was coming from my last salary, leave encashment, and provident fund withdrawal.
Finally, if you have all odds covered, time to pull the trigger and be a freelancer.