You’re probably reading this at work, glancing over your shoulder every now and then to check that your boss can’t see you, instead of getting on with whatever stupid and boring task you are supposed to be doing. You’re fantasizing about what would happen if you just got up and walked out. You’re imagining the look on your boss’ face, and those of your co-workers, when you finally tell them to stuff their job and leave.
Actually, you’re probably contractually obliged to give around one month’s notice, but that’s all the more reason to get that resignation letter written up and hand it in right now. All those dreams you have about quitting and doing something that you actually enjoy? They aren’t just dreams – they could be a reality. For an increasing number of people, they are.
There’s never been a better time than now to throw in the towel and see where life takes you on your next adventure. You can’t argue with statistics, and as we’re about to see, those suggest that working for a company in a traditional 9 to 5 just isn’t smart anymore. Here’s why you should consider quitting your job, right now – and without any regrets.
15. Everyone’s Doing It
According to statistics, 15.5 million people in the US were self-employed in 2015 – an increase of 1 million on the year before. 54 million Americans, meanwhile, undertook some form of independent work (clearly, most of them as a side job). 1 in 12 US households rely on this kind of work for more than half of their income. In the EU, there were 45% more independent workers from 2012 to 2013, and they are the fastest growing group in their labour market. 40% of the freelance jobs in the world are undertaken by India’s independent workforce of 15 million people. In short, you won’t be alone.
14. You’re Soon Going To Be A Minority
Not only that, but you pretty soon might find that your 9 to 5 office job is seen as old-fashioned. Predictions make for an interesting read: if the rate of self-employment continues, more than 40% of American workers will be going this way by 2020. By that date, it’s also expected that 50% of the working population in the UK will be self-employed. Millennials are the largest group of the workforce, and right now 32% believe that they will move into more flexible working over the next few years. People are catching on to how great an opportunity this is, and they aren’t letting it pass them by.
13. Freelance Work Is More Possible
The current state of freelance work is because of the fact that it’s becoming more and more easy to work from wherever you want to. You can easily work for a client across the other side of the world with the help of the internet – messaging services like WhatsApp even allow you to communicate with them on the go at a time that suits both of your schedules. There are also an increasing number of sites offering freelance opportunities through a framework that allows you to invoice and receive payments natively – like Freelancer.com, Upwork.com, and Fiverr.com, amongst a whole raft of others.
12. The Gig Economy Is Easy To Get Into
It’s not even difficult to get into freelancing. The ‘gig economy’ refers to the trend of offering a set piece of work, or a gig, for a set amount of pay, and delivering it to as many clients as you like. You don’t have to offer anything big – on Fiverr, their gigs are set at a $5 base price. You can do that kind of work in your lunch break or on the weekend without even particularly having to put much effort it. Once you’ve started, giving it a bit more of your time means increasing your client base and your earnings. Just like that, you’re in.
11. You Have More Skills Than You Realize
Even if you are sitting here reading this and thinking that you have nothing to offer, you’re wrong. Most people have a skill or two that they would be able to turn into a source of income, even if only a small one that gives you a little extra money on top of your main wage. Think about your skills. Do you have a ton of Instagram followers? You could be a social media manager. Good with your hands? Consider crafting things for sale. If you’re good with phones, you could be a virtual receptionist. You could even be a PA from your own home with a virtual service. There are so many possibilities out there, so don’t rule yourself out.
10. You Can Still Co-Work
Worried about working on your own and getting lonely? Don’t be. You can have your cake and eat it too, with office banter and working lunches combined with the freedom of freelancing. Co-working spaces are a fantastic alternative to hiring your own private office, where you can pay a fraction of the price to go and share and office with a group of others. These are often fascinating spaces too, and particularly for artists could provide a lot of creative inspiration. There are more and more co-working spaces cropping up in cities across the world, so there will be plenty of locations to consider.
9. You Are Worth More (Particularly If You’re Female)
You might be surprised to find exactly how much you can earn when you’re not on a fixed salary. Most people would be able to earn more through freelance work, where you can set your own prices, than through a traditional job. This is particularly noticeable for women: statistics show that they are still likely to earn less than their male counterparts, so why not counteract that by working at the wage you want? You decide how much you charge, not the client, so you can finally demand what you are actually worth. That’s a great feeling, no matter what your gender.
8. Freelancers Love Their Lifestyle
Research carried out in the UK freelance industry suggests that those who go self-employed absolutely love their lives. 65% of those asked intend to stay freelance for the foreseeable future, and 86% are totally satisfied with the way that they work. For many, it’s freedom which is the main factor: being their own boss was rated as a very enjoyable part of the work by 76% of those surveyed. 69% also enjoy the work/life balance they are able to create. That’s far more than half of everyone questioned. And the great thing about freelancing is that if you don’t like the way something is going, you can change it.
7. Freelancers Never Want To Go Back
As for those who are currently freelancing, how many of them would go back to employed work? Very little, according to that same survey. Just 2% of the freelancers in the UK were actively looking for a new employer. The rest were all content to stay with the way things were. Could you imagine even finding a company where only 2% of the employees were actively looking for a new job? It’s almost unfathomable. If your company is a small one, you probably represent more than 2% just by reading this article. That’s the kind of job satisfaction we’re talking about with freelance work.
6. Give Yourself More Freedom
Ever had an invitation to something that you couldn’t make because you had work? What about not having enough leave to go on a three-week holiday somewhere far away? Or maybe you’ve always dreamed of living in the countryside, but can’t leave the city because of work? All of those problems go away when you freelance. Take your work with you, and you can do anything and be anywhere. This writer has personally written articles from a forest cabin, a poolside in rural France, and a hotel next to the Grand Canyon. There’s so much more freedom to live life the way you want to when you go freelance.
5. You Can Enjoy The Important Things In Life
While we’re on the subject, how much time do you spend with your family or friends? Are you still single because you have no time to date? Do you wish you had more time to spend with your pets? All of this can be achieved when you are the master of your schedule. If you have kids, you can work around their school times and finish off the day’s work when they go to bed. If you’re married or living with your partner, just take a day off when they do. And when you get the call to go hang out with a friend, you can do it with no reservations.
4. Job Satisfaction Is Important For Mental Health
A meta-analysis into studies on job satisfaction discovered some very interesting results indeed. It found that job satisfaction correlates very closely with mental and psychological problems. The biggest issues that you could be facing if you don’t love your job? Burnout, low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. These are all problems that you are running the risk of subjecting yourself to every single day that you remain in a job that holds no satisfaction to you. Do you really want to play a game with your mental health just to cash a steady pay check? Or would you be willing to make a leap of faith and see what you can do when you love your job?
3. Improve Your Physical Health
Not only can your mental health suffer with a desk job, but also your physical health. You can end up with a bad posture and soreness in your back, arms, shoulders, and hands when sitting at a desk all day. Switch to a more comfortable environment and your body will thank you. You can also get more exercise when you freelance with more spare time, and you can avoid the harmful implications of office stress. When you love your work and don’t feel so much stress about it, you won’t get ill as often or suffer side effects like mouth ulcers.
2. Save Money, Earn More
How much money do you spend getting to work every day? How about the clothing you have to wear – smart shirts, shoes, trousers? You probably end up going to a canteen or nearby café for lunch, too, which is bound to cost you more. Now imagine you’re working from home – no commute, no dress code other than the clothes you already own, no need to go out for lunch when your kitchen is right next to you. Not only will you be saving a lot of money, but with the time you save, you can also earn a lot more. It’s a double win.
1. You Only Live Once
It might be the kind of thing you’d expect a frat boy to say as an excuse for getting wasted, but it’s true. You only have one life, and you certainly won’t be young forever. Do you really want to waste your life sitting in an office doing a job that you hate? Or would you rather get out there and see if you really can create a lifestyle that you love? Even if you have to make some financial sacrifices at first, it’s worth it to be truly happy with your life. Make the kind of leap that you’ll look back on with a smile when you’re retired.