When to Quit Your 9-to-5 and Freelance Full-time


For anyone whose been teetering on the decision of when to freelance full-time, all I can say is that I’ve been there, too. 

Throughout my entire life, I’ve never been able to hold down a steady job. Once during high school, my older sister stuck her neck out for me to get a job at the local Burger King where she flipped patties. On my first day, I was put on the drive-through and quit mid-order while the manager taught me how to work the intercom—true story!

The point is, the 9-to-5 lifestyle (or any structured job for that matter) has never worked for me. However, freelancing has given me more stability and opportunity than I could have ever imagined. 

if you find yourself in the same boat as me, then here’s when you should quit your 9-to-5 and freelance full-time:

Freelancing is Already a Side-Hustle

Now, the main benefit to your full-time job is that it’s consistent, but with freelancing, consistency only comes after a steady stream of leads and client relationships. 

This means that you can’t just quit your job cold-turkey and expect to strike freelance gold—it takes time to amass regular work! So, the answer to breaking free from your 9-to-5 is to already have freelancing as a side-hustle. 

Maybe you’ve been writing an article a week for your local newspaper? You have one or two clients on FIverr that pay you enough to cover utilities? Whatever the case may be, you have to have a glimpse of success before you quit the security of your cubicle. 

My advice? If you haven’t started freelancing enough to make some extra spending money, delegate some hours every day to growing that possibility. Create an account on Fiverr, network with other freelancers, get in the mindset of transforming your hobby into a real revenue stream. Then once you get a taste of opportunity, start making arrangements to nurture them.

Time Becomes a Factor

To nurture your freelance goals, time inevitably becomes a factor. 

And I don’t mean staying up late to spend more time fitting everything in, but rather, cutting things back to maximize the time you already have in place. 

For instance, when I was just starting to gain a little bit of success from freelance writing, I was working part-time at a deli making $12 an hour. I worked 4 shifts a week at 5 hours a shift. On a good day ( with some pooled tips), I’d make $70 a shift. But with taxes taken out each payday, I’d be lucky to pull more than $400 every two weeks. 

But with freelancing, I was making about $400 a month from three regular clients. Instantly, this is where I started looking at time with a different set of eyes. I told myself, “If I can just focus on gaining two to three more clients every month, I can make the same amount of money and stay at home.”

It’s a simple thought, but it made more sense than restocking potato chips and running coffee. 

In your own life, I challenge you to consider the same trade-off. If you have some steady leads, what’s stopping you from you gaining more? if your full-time (or part-time) job only pulls a modest payout, why not tackle something that’s essentially limitless? 

Fear is the greatest barrier preventing you from success in anything you want to pursue, but once you have time working in your favor, the hump is much easier to understand and get over. 

You Hate Your Current Job

So with a side-hustle in place and time piquing your interest, your last sign of when to quit your 9-to-5 is that you hate what you’re doing. 

Trust me, I’ve been there many times before. On the first day, you’re excited to find your workspace, meet new people, enjoy some free snacks and coffee, but suddenly, the veil disappears. An exciting day-one turns into a gruelling day-whatever and you realize you’re spending more time writing about branding and marketing rather than things you actually care about. 

For some people, they absolutely love their jobs, and that’s okay! Great for them! But for me (and possibly you since you’re reading this), that’s never been the case. As soon as I see a co-worker walk into the office with the same goofy coffee mug and dog rushing to me for a treat (which I’m not much of a dog person), I go running for the hills. 

In the end, we all have reasons why we hate a certain job, and sadly, we have to stick it out in some circumstances. Although, I’m telling you right now that pursuing something you love is entirely possible. If someone like me (whose quit every 9-to-5 job I’ve ever had) can find success freelancing, you can too!

Get Started with Fiverr

Whether you’re just getting started or looking to increase your number of clients, Fiverr is the best place to hit the ground running. 

I’ve been fortunate enough to find success using the platform not just for freelance writing, but for making money doing all sorts of things I’m passionate about. You can offer graphic design work, help people with their social media strategies, edit videos and podcasts—there’s no reason why you can’t carve out some steady work for yourself. Best of all, you can do it on your own terms at whatever hours you want. 

Of course, freelancing can be a challenge, but if you commit yourself and forge ahead, you’ll fund success sooner than you think. 

Chase Maser
Chase Maser is a full-time freelance writer and content marketer. Aside from meeting deadlines, he writes poetry and fiction, and hosts poetry events throughout Los Angeles, CA.