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I am thinking about leaving my "day job". How to do it?
Those of you who have "quit", do you have any regrets?
crobb305




msg:782607
 5:38 pm on Dec 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

As my internet business grows and expands, I am considering leaving my professional day job so that I can have more personal time with my family, and so I can spend more time on my business.

I have a couple of questions though.

1) How much notice should I give my employer, and how should I give the notice (oral, writing, etc)? I do not want to burn any bridges.

2) For those of you who have left your day jobs, do you regret it? Would you do anything differently?

3) Finally, is there any sort of social stigma associated with not going to a "day job"? I realize that running a business can be a fulltime job in and of itself, but do people (friends, family, and new acquaintances) treat you differently if they learn you work from home? My gut feeling tells me that if they do treat you differently, then they are probably jealous (considering that many self employed people make much more $$ than they could at a dayjob, and have a lot more free time), but I would not want to seem like a "bum" with "no job" in their eyes.

This could be an interesting topic for us to delve into the how-to's of leaving your day job. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

uncle_bob




msg:782608
 6:08 pm on Dec 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

1) How much notice should I give my employer, and how should I give the notice (oral, writing, etc)? I do not want to burn any bridges.

You need to look at the contract/terms of employment you signed when you started there. That will tell you your notice period. I always do it in writing. Make it short and to the point. Don't go into the reasons. Don't just walk out, as you may need a reference later on.

Oh and most importantly, make sure you have some money in the bank, to cover you.

bunltd




msg:782609
 6:34 pm on Dec 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

crobb305: where to begin to answer your questions....

Re: Notice/Resigning: Give notice as you would to take any other job... In writing is nice, but you don't have to go into specific reasons. Around here 2 weeks in customary for many types of positions (I'm in the US)

Regrets: None. It's been over 7 years. My husband did the same thing 4 years ago - he suggests that you have a financial cushion - for the learning curve period... (get ready for a roller coaster <grin>)

Not a stigma as much as misconception of how you spend your time. Some will think that "you're not doing anything" because you're at home all day. Some will think you can talk on the phone all day or visit anytime - just be polite but firm with those and tell them you're working and you'll have to call them back, or see them another time...

Quite a few people think that it's easy to be self-employed and it's not easy - you are everything - from the business structure, to the procedures, the product, the service, the receptionist, the president, the chief cook and bottle washer - - everything - and you don't have a corporate structure or organization to tell you what or how to do anything - it is ALL up to you. (But don't worry too much, the on the job training is great ;))

That said, it's been a good decision for us - both professionally and personally. Hope this helps!

LisaB

rfung




msg:782610
 6:40 pm on Dec 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

well, i am still working my full time job, but I would love to be able to leave it and concentrate in my online site.

Would people think I'm a bum? I doubt it since as you mention most self employed on the internet are folks who are smart (you do have to have some knowledge to 1) start a business and 2) deal with the internet part of it) and so probably made this decision conscienciously. And, if I can make ends meet while being at home - who does NOT want to do that? And, if you're making a ton of money, then your Porshe/Ferrari/Lamborghini(ok, we can dream :)) will shut them up for real :).

I'd say when you're ready, take the plunge. You only live once and you owe it to yourself to put aside some more time to do something you love and gives you revenue. Don't work for someone else the rest of your life :)

(dat's what ma momma taught us kids)

defanjos




msg:782611
 6:48 pm on Dec 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

1) In the USA, at least 2 weeks.

2) None. You cannot have this freedom and sense of accomplishement working for anyone else.

3) People usually think you don't really "work" because you are at home. They think you just watch TV all day or something like that - the truth is, you'll work more than you ever worked before.
Basically, who cares what they think?

beckie




msg:782612
 10:24 pm on Dec 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

1) I would give the standard 2 weeks notice.

2) I do not regret leaving my day job. I totally love having my own schedule and walking across the hall in my PJ's.

3) Some people have treated me differently - they think that I don't really work or they think my job is easy. Some of them don't take me seriously either. That's the negative part of it. Most people think it's 'cool' and want me to hire them in. I wouldn't worry about what people think - you will prove them wrong when you become successful. Hopefully you don't have in-laws like I do, though.

balinor




msg:782613
 7:10 pm on Dec 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

(considering that many self employed people make much more $$ than they could at a dayjob, and have a lot more free time)

Be prepared to make not so much money to start. The first few months on my own were definitely lean. As for having free time, I guess whoever you got that info from isn't as driven as I am about my business! Not only do I find myself working the same hours I did in my 'day' job, but I often spend free time tweaking my site, finding new ways to market or reading Webmaster World!

Shane




msg:782614
 7:21 pm on Dec 30, 2003 (gmt 0)


You may want to take advantage of your current situation by applying for any credit related items now while still employed. I am not suggesting they are good or necessary but credit cards are probably easier to get while employed. Same with mortgages or car loans. These are things though that you will have to make payments on.

A line of credit though gives you the benefit of the credit without incurring the debt (I suppose a credit card is the same if you do not use it.) and it may come in handy if you need capital to expand you business or to get you through a rough spot.

IMHO,
Shane

defanjos




msg:782615
 7:40 pm on Dec 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Shane,

Very good advice.

When you are self-employed, you are considered a second class citizen when it comes to getting credit, so, that is a very good idea.

beckie




msg:782616
 8:36 pm on Dec 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>(considering that many self employed people make much more $$ than they could at a dayjob, and have a lot more free time) ----

Be prepared to make not so much money to start. The first few months on my own were definitely lean. As for having free time, I guess whoever you got that info from isn't as driven as I am about my business! Not only do I find myself working the same hours I did in my 'day' job, but I often spend free time tweaking my site, finding new ways to market or reading Webmaster World! <<

Good point. I hardly made ANY money in the first 6 months and spent all my time trying to build my portfolio and gain more clients. I didn't receive my 1st client until 3 months later by doing their site for free in exchange for business leads. If you have a spouse, make sure they are supportive, too!

crobb305




msg:782617
 2:49 am on Dec 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

Be prepared to make not so much money to start.

My business is beyond the "start" phase. It has been successful for nearly 3 years. I have just never considered leaving my day job because of the fears I outlined in the first post. I appreciate all of your advice, though. Good points.

Sari




msg:782618
 1:49 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

I was in your shoes not too long ago. I left my "day job" 5 months ago, and I have absolutely no regrets! :)

I'm working harder than I ever have, but I'm also enjoying it so much more! It is much easier to put in the time and energy when you reap the rewards directly.

When I left my job, I found most people that I had worked with were envious. They wanted to be able to go out on their own. So, don't worry about what others may think.

It sounds like you already have a strong client base, but I would still get everything arranged for a line of credit before leaving your day job. As I'm finding out, income from a small business is invisible to a bank until you've been in business full time for two years (at least in Canada). Think of it as your "just in case" fund.

Good luck!

zeus




msg:782619
 2:42 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

crobb305, things will be a little different, you loose some contact to meet new people, because you spend most of the time at home with job and family, so if I was you I would pick up some sports, to get away for a few hours or something els.

One more thing remember it is the internet we are talking about ALOT will happen there, the things that scare me a little for the next 2 years are microsofts SE and that Google will get on NASDAQ that means they get some pressure from the shareholders, to maybe change things, so always have a open eye to the job market or a retail business.

Another thing it is great to work online and be the king.

zeus

johannes




msg:782620
 3:08 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

crobb305,

I left my ordinary job 1,5 years ago and it's been good for me.

2. I don't regret it. I loved my former job (teacher), but it was tiring as the job was in my mind constantly.
Being self-employed is fantastic, I don't feel like I'm working but I work more than ever.

3. In the beginning I felt a bit down-valued by others but I think it was partly in my own mind and partly due to the way I told what I was doing.

If you're proud of what you do and really explain what your business is about, you will get many curious questions and you'll be respected. People want to know!

One thing I've thought about is to rent a working place (just a computer) at another company's office in my town. I've not checked it out. Anyone else is doing this? I think I'd like to get the office out of my house and seeing some other people. It could also raise my "status"!

Currently I'm writing an "Annual report" about my web sites this year, partnerships, income, development etc. I though I could put it on a personal site and mention in my CV. Another way to raise my self esteem.

mbennie




msg:782621
 3:09 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Most likely others will treat you differently. Not because you are suddenly self-employed and working from home, but because you yourself will change as you encounter new stresses and burdens you didn't have when you worked with a safety net.

As uncle_bob says, make sure you have money in the bank. More importantly, be prepared to put that money at risk and determine where your own comfort level lies. If the sailing isn’t smooth and you have to dip in to your reserves, how much are you willing to spend before going back to work?

More free time? Hah! I’ve been working at my business for 2 years now. I started out hand to mouth eking out a living. Now I employ 9 people and generate 7 figures. I have never had free time. Even with the success of my business my wife still wishes I had a normal job sometimes. Why? So I could have more free time.

Finally, this may sound crass and it's not meant to be. If you have to ask advice here about the best way to quit your job you may not be cut out to be an entrepreneur.

ukgimp




msg:782622
 3:14 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Finally, this may sound crass and it's not meant to be. If you have to ask advice here about the best way to quit your job you may not be cut out to be an entrepreneur

Disagree to that one. Asking questions about this shows great forsite. Better to find stuff out from people who have done it beforehand rather than steaming in and making huge balls ups. :)

lgn1




msg:782623
 4:10 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

I took a different approach, as my buisness grew.

Keep your day job, and when two jobs get to be to much workload, then hire and train staff.

This may not be for everyone, but I enjoy my day job, make a good income, and have full pension and benefits, and flex hours.

This way I don't have to factor pension and benefits into my new business, and I have a steady source of income.

This goes along way towards reducing financial stress.

markus007




msg:782624
 4:34 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

My last day of work is at the end of the month, then i'm doing my web sites full time. Its not really hard to leave when your sites make more money then your job does.

funandgames




msg:782625
 4:42 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

I would make sure your spouse has health insurance at his/her day job that covers you as well as him/her.

soquinn




msg:782626
 4:42 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

crobb305, 4 yrs. now for me and no regrets. I work from home and really only miss the social contact but enjoy the flexible hours I now control even more. At first it might be difficult to separate work time from home time because you’re eager to get things rolling, make some money… etc. For me, my email would “ding” at 9:30 PM (I would hear it) and would start working… work time was turning into 24 hours so I needed to set some rules for myself.

Good credit is important before hand if you need to fund your business or think you will be looking for new cars or new homes in the next 3 years.

Some people think you have it easy or don't work hard because you are home all the time... fact is you work harder but also smarter. Most of them will be envious and wish they could do it themselves once they understand your business.

Think of it this way, you’ve always been self-employed, you were just selling your time/skills to another business for $$ an hour and now want more control over your quality of life and over what you are really/potentially worth!

Great, post looks like there are a number of us in the same situation... good luck crobb305.

johnser




msg:782627
 4:44 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Are you good at what you do? Are you sure either way?

If you are good, jump. Give your boss a month's notice - for his sake & yours. Once you've made the fairly momentous decision, it'll be quite scary so give yourself time to adjust mentally.

I'm planning on never working for a boss again.

I just had a mtg this am when a client who said & I quote:
"Now, bearing in mind I think you're God, I've a few Qs" - 10/10 for feel-good factor!

Good luck :)
J, London

PCInk




msg:782628
 5:13 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

My regrets are what Shane suggested - take advantage of financial related items (mortgages/cars etc) before leaving.

Other than that, I can't fault going full time!

People do think you do nothing, but if it was that easy, and they think you make that much money - why don't they do it? (OK - it's not that easy now, is it?!?)

rfung




msg:782629
 5:43 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Think of it this way, you’ve always been self-employed, you were just selling your time/skills to another business for $$ an hour and now want more control over your quality of life and over what you are really/potentially worth! "

This is a very interesting way of putting it. Of course, some jobs lend themselves better to go at it without having an employer to metaphorically speaking be your 'client'. While I was in school, I was supposedely a contractor/consultant web developer, but I only had one client (I didn't mind doing it part time while in school). Then I graduated, their business increased and I went in full time - the lines between what I was doing before and now barely changed, except now I have someone to tell me when to come in and my pay has been reduced!...that's the tradeoff you get for having a steady income vs being out on your own.
My situation is such that this 'corporate' life (and my company is only 5 people strong) is not for me. I'd rather keep going at it part time/on my own schedule and have more time for other leisure activities...(I'm just out from school, so I'm not looking at mortgages and/or marriage yet).

I'm planning on quitting in a few months after this wave of projects is done with, (never close the doors behind you) and try my hand at starting my own internet business. I'm young and don't have too many responsabilities, so what better time...

Palehorse




msg:782630
 5:59 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

crobb,

As you can see by the landslide of responses you are not alone in doing this, but be careful! It is EASY to get complacent without someone around to kick you in the but. I had this problem. I dropped out of the workforce during the .com boom. People (companies actually) were buying targeted ads left and right. Sometimes I was doing over 10k per month in ads alone.

Well... I started feeling cocky, started going on cruises, bought his and here new cars, spent no time hardly on the sites working, did not invest... sigh...

You can see this coming right? I had to go back to work when the .com bubble burst, lost a lot of stuff etc etc.

Now I am once again self employed, busy as a one legged man in an arse kickin contest! I keep a plauque on my wall, a certificate of training completion, on my wall, not out of pride, but of shame. It reminds me what can happen if you *coast*.

After the last 10 years being 80% self employed in many ways it is harder then being employed. Best thing to do is work at not working. This means build your online business to run themselves as much as possible, THEN move on to another one. Don't stop or get bogged down. You will eventually be so diverse that failure will be next to impossible. Invest your money you make correctly and eventually join the ranks of the super rich. That's my goal. I have my .com income back, but I am not spending it or slacking. I am working on current web sites, new ones, studing the stock and real estate markets, hired an accountant, subscribed here, whatever it takes to GROW.

I found being self employed there is only just two ways, grow or shrink. The choice is yours. You have to get out of the employee mindset and think differently for the first time in your life. Erase the walls that stop you. Start dreaming realistically of the private jets, mansions and all that, while keeping busy and NOT spending. Pay off all debt first, dont buy a new car house or tv, nothing. Pay off all debt then invest. There will be a time, and level to reward yourself.

Go for it, this will be the biggest adventure in your life, ever!

anotherWM




msg:782631
 6:11 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

I left my day job a month ago, with no regrets.

Now working online from home, doing the job I love and getting even more $$$ when before.

But, the social aspect thrilling me,
so I think I'll get another day job (part time) after a few months,
just because of communication with people.

Regards

Edge




msg:782632
 7:03 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

crobb305,

My internet business/consulting has positioned me to quit my day job as well. Currently, I am considering asking to go part time (keep my foot in the door) or take a leave of absence from my my day job. I have already replaced my day job income however, I am not living on the money, but I'm saving and buying all the stuff I will need or want for my business when I am finally free of my day job. BTW, I used to work 50+ hours per. week at my day job but now I only give them 40 - 44 per. week. If all works well, my business credit will kick about the time I am free from my day job.

Good luck!

synergy




msg:782633
 8:18 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Congrats to everyone who has taken the plunge.

I've been contemplating this move myself. I've got one semester left in college, and I've got a website that is earning 4 times as much as I make working full time.

It's at a scary point for me right now. On one hand I feel as if this job is a waste of the time I could be using to further develop the site along with new sites and new partnerships. I feel as if I am falling behind my competitors who run their sites full time.

On the other hand, I have so many things coming up in the next 5 months such as a marriage (expenses already paid for but still nerve racking), a mortgage, an average credit score, student loans, etc. that I'm actually scared to leave this $11/hr with no benefits or insurance thin sheet of security.

What do you guys think I should do?

[edited by: synergy at 9:21 pm (utc) on Jan. 12, 2004]

Essex_boy




msg:782634
 8:50 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

At $11 an hour id walk. I mean if it doesnt work out Im sure you find another job paying the same.

I went self employed in '97 things went well then took a tumble. I lost everything the house, car etc etc.

had a second stab back in 2000 and it has worked out well, still dont own my own home yet but I will again soon.

yes I earn far more than any of my friends by at least 100% rock bottom minimum.

Youll work 7 days aweek and some times 18 hour days but at the end of a very long week youll look back and think this is MINE.

Thats worth all the effort and worry.

rfung




msg:782635
 9:02 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

I know i'm going to switch the topic here a bit, but what do people here who work for themselves or are thinking about going solo actually do?

1) web development
2) ecommerce site
3) affiliate site
4)?

just curious.

synergy




msg:782636
 9:34 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Youll work 7 days aweek and some times 18 hour days but at the end of a very long week youll look back and think this is MINE.

I do this already :)

I wake up at around 7:30am. I get on the computer and work on the site and/or answer emails. 8:30 start getting ready for and head to work at 9:00. Work until 6:00pm. Come home start working on the site and/or answering emails from customers until anywhere from 12am-2am that night.. repeat. I have a very understanding fiancee. :)

After the Florida mess and loosing nearly all sales for a month I got questionable as to whether or not I should leave my full time job.

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