When Should You Leave Your Day Job?

March 20, 2019 Annie Sullivan

One of the first things I got asked when I got a book deal was when I was quitting my day job. I have to admit that the question caught me totally off guard and got me thinking about when I would consider it “safe” enough—or consider myself successful enough as a writer—to quit my day job. 

Now, most people think authors rake in cash for their book deals—and some do. But their names are James Patterson and J.K. Rowling. The average writer can’t live off of what they make writing books. But maybe you’ve started your own side venture and you’re wondering when it’s time to make the leap to pursue your passion or side business full time. 

Here are some things to consider:

1. How much money is your side business making you?

Are you making as much, if not more than you are at your 9 to 5? You need to remember that your side job may not come with benefits, so you’ll need some extra cash to cover that gap. So it may not be wise to make the switch until you’re financially secure in your new role or until you’ve saved up enough to have some money to fall back on. 

2. Will you continue to make money?

Being an author, your first book might sell well, but maybe your second book won’t—which means you might not get another book deal. It’s a risky business to be in, and yours might be too. Consider if the work you’re quitting to pursue is stable and steady enough to ensure continued income. Is it based on a fad that might die down? Will the cost of your supplies increase over time? 

3. How much time are you spending on your venture?

If you’re running yourself ragged split between two jobs, then it might be time to leave your day job to pursue the other path. 

While it’s always important to have a handle on your finances for the future, you also need to realize that sometimes you do have to make the leap to pursuing your passion if you want it to be your career. Only you can decide if it’s the right career move—and the right time in the market—to leave your job to pursue another option. But going in with a strong plan and financial stability can increase your chances of success.

About the Author

Copywriter, Wiley //

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