Unless you landed your dream career the first time you applied for a job, everyone has asked this question at some point. It doesn’t matter whether you work as a high-paid lawyer or a minimum-wage sales clerk: if you’ve ever worked for someone else, you’ve felt the frustration of being under someone else’s control, and you’ve wondered whether you can just leave it all behind for something better.
The answer to this question is two-fold. Yes, you can quit your job – but no, you probably can’t quit your job right now. After all, if you could quit your job with no regrets and no worries, you probably would already have done it. Unfortunately, the only real ways to quit your job without any kind of preparation are to win the lottery, or to suddenly come into a large inheritance. If you aren’t lucky enough for a sudden windfall, though, don’t worry. You may not be able to quit your job now, but what you can do now is to start implementing strategies that will let you quit your job soon.
Figure out what you want to do
Some people want to quit their jobs to pursue a passion professionally. Some want to spend more time with their family. Other people genuinely just want to spend their time playing video games on their couch. Any of these wishes is possible, but every one of them requires work up front.
If you’re quitting your job to pursue a passion, you have to do two things: pursue that passion with everything you have, and find a way to make that passion start paying the bills. If you’re an artist, it could be as simple as doing caricatures in a tourist hotspot on the weekends; if you’re a writer, you could start doing web copy part time. The key thing is to find more time to pursue your passion until you’ve established yourself as someone who should be paid for it on your own terms. Making your passion start working for you, even in small ways, accomplishes two things: first, it keeps you in practice, and second, it takes some of the financial pressure off your regular job so that you can take a little extra time every week to explore the opportunities that will let you make your living doing something you love.
For the people who want to quit their jobs to have more time – either to spend it with their families or just to live at leisure – the strategy is slightly different. The aim in this case is to find a way to start generating passive income, so that when you do quit your current job you aren’t just exchanging one 40-hour week for another. The good news is that the internet gives everyone access to the tools they need to start generating passive income online. The bad news is that reaching a point where your passive income is enough to live on takes a lot of dedication and hard work.
Start with what you have time for
If you’re trying to build a passive income through online sales and affiliate marketing, you’ll find there’s a lot to learn, and jumping in with both feet is a great way to spend a lot of money without learning any real skills. Find a reputable affiliate marketing training program, like Wealthy Affiliates, pay the membership fee, and then settle in for the business of studying. If you can’t devote every waking moment of your life to building your online business, that’s fine, but to be successful you do have to commit to spending at least a couple of hours a week learning.
Build up a savings
The first time your online business earns you more than a couple of bucks, you’ll want to get caught up in the success. Clearly, this means you’ve made it: if the online business is starting to succeed, you can finally tell your old job what you think of it!
This is a really bad idea.
The beginning of your online business’s success isn’t your cue to quit your job: it’s your opportunity to set yourself up so that you never have to take another day job again. If you leave your job without a safety net, you’re setting yourself up for failure, but if you spend the first few months of your online business’s success saving money and building yourself a financial buffer, when you do quit your job it will be with enough money squared away that you can spend some time experimenting with the creative risks that take an online business to the next level, without having to worry about whether a bad move will force you out of your apartment. If you know that you have six months before you have to worry about bringing in another paycheck, then you have the freedom to spend your time and energy turning your business into something that will eventually earn you your living without your having to lift a finger.