Even once you have a viable way to pay your bills while working from home, you’ll still want to have the support of your family, a back-up plan in case things go wrong, and you should take care to make the leap at the right time.
Finally, it’s important to think about how you actually go about quitting your job. The way you go about resigning could help you further down the line… or it could come back to haunt you.
Still think you want to quit your job and work from home? Our expert guide is here to help you every step of the way.
Have a plan for after you quit your job
When you quit your job, you’re going to lose your salary. And for many people, that means losing 100% of their income. So, if you’re going to quit your job, it’s pretty obvious that one of two things need to be true.
- You have enough money to fund your life, so you don’t need to work, or
- You have a way of earning money, even after you quit your job and lose your salary
Whichever scenario applies to you, you’ll need to think carefully about where your money is coming from and do some calculations to ensure it really is enough to live on.
Do you have enough money?
This article is about quitting your job to work from home, so we won’t spend too much time on this one. After all, if you already have enough money, you might not want or need to work at all!
However, for those of you who are thinking of quitting your job because you have enough money to live on, here are a few things to think about:
- How much money do you have? This includes savings, pensions, investments, and even assets like property.
- How many years do you need to fund? In other words, how long are you planning to live?! Remember, you might live longer than expected. If you’re 55 years old then planning for 30 years might sound okay at first, but there’s a good chance you’ll live into your late eighties or beyond.
- What kind of lifestyle do you want? Are you committed to maintaining your current way of life, including your home, car and holidays? Or could you make some savings?
- Don’t forget to take inflation into account when thinking about how much money you will need in the future.
- Is there any unexpected turn of events that could derail your plans? For example, an economic downturn, your partner losing their job or your child needing financial support. How would you handle that?
This isn’t an exhaustive list and we strongly recommend speaking to a financial adviser before making a major decision like retiring to live off your existing wealth.
The main thing is: don’t look at a large sum of money in your bank account and assume it will last forever. You need thorough planning and budgeting to be certain.
How will you earn money?
Assuming you’re not already financially set for life, you’ll need to have a way to make money before you go ahead and quit your job.
And if you’re going to work from home, you’ll most likely need some way to make money online.
Why online? Because when you’re working at home, the internet is your connection to the world. It’s what enables you to work at home, by putting you in touch with clients, suppliers and colleagues, and giving you remote access to all kinds of sales and marketing channels.
Even if your home business is producing a physical product, you’ll almost certainly want to promote and sell that product online.
So the question is, what online work are you able to do that will earn you enough money to live on?
Ways to make money from home
To get you started, here are some popular ways to make a decent living from home.
- Go freelance. Some jobs lend themselves to freelance working better than others. For example, there are many freelance writers and photographers. Of course, this has the downside of making the market very competitive!
- Become a consultant. If you’re an expert in your field, you might find that people are willing to pay you to advise their businesses.
- Start your own business. Do you have a product idea or service that you could sell? Perhaps you have a talent or skill – such as playing a musical instrument – that you could monetise by teaching others.
- Start a niche website and earn income from ads and product sales. You don’t necessarily need your own original product to do this. You could share your knowledge (as with the musical instrument example above) and earn money from referring people to retailers such as Amazon, where you will earn a small commission on each sale.
- Find a work from home job. Working from home doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be self-employed. Even if your current employer doesn’t allow remote working, there are lots that do.
- Gigs on Fiverr. Just be careful to only offer reputable services that you’re qualified to do (e.g. writing articles, if you can write well) and to charge a fair amount. Don’t set your prices too low just to get jobs.
How NOT to make money from home
There are lots of legitimate work from home jobs, but there are also some that we would recommend avoiding.
For example, you will hear about “opportunities” to make money from home by:
- Completing surveys
- Packing envelopes
- Writing reviews (on review websites, not as part of a legitimate blog of your own)
While it may be possible to make small amounts of money from some of these, the effort usually isn’t worth the reward. They can be quite spammy and unrewarding (do you really want to sit writing fake reviews all day for low pay?), and you have to be very wary of scams. For instance, any job that says you can work from home stuffing envelopes is a scam. It is not a legitimate way to make money from home.
We highly recommend that you avoid anything that seems too good to be true or is aggressively sold as an easy way to quit your job and work from home. It’s far better to stick to legitimate jobs and business ideas.
Put together a budget and cash flow
Once you’ve decided how you’d like to make money from home, and you think that it will earn you enough to live on, you need to put together a budget and cash flow plan.
You can create a simple budget in a spreadsheet. Simply list all of your household expenses and all of your household income (remember, you won’t have a salary after you’ve quit your job!).
You need to ask yourself:
- Am I certain that my income will be higher than your expenses?
- Can I cut back on any of my costs (e.g. reducing your phone bill)?
- Have I been realistic in estimating how much I can earn from home?
- What is my back-up plan if something goes wrong?
You then need to think about cash flow. Your new business might take a while to get up and running, or you might have to wait for invoices to be paid.
Even if you’re certain that you can earn enough from home, be careful to check that you have enough savings to cover any periods where you’re waiting for money to arrive.
Get your timing right
Once you’ve decided that you’re going to quit your job and work from home, it can be tempting to head straight to your boss’s office and quit.
Don’t do it!
You need to think carefully and transition to working from home at the best time for you. For example:
- Do you have enough savings? It may be worth working for longer to build up more money in the bank.
- Is your business up and running? If not, can you get it started while keeping your job too? This will keep money coming in and reduce cash flow problems.
- Do you really want to quit straight away or are there other options? Perhaps you could work part time instead.
- Is your new home business seasonal, with most of the income coming in at a particular time of year? If so, it might be best to quit your job when your home business earnings will be highest.
- Do you have your home office set up and ready to go?
- Do you have all of the equipment you need to work form home?
Quitting your job and working from home is exciting and it’s easy to get carried away, but waiting is sometimes necessary to give you the best chance of success.
Speak to your family
This is an important one for anyone who has family and people who depend on them! You shouldn’t make any major life decisions without discussing it with family first.
Quitting your job are starting a business (or a new work from home job) can be stressful. It can put a financial strain on your household and it is a major change in routine.
If you have a partner, it’s only right that you speak to them before taking any action.
Hopefully your family will be supportive, but you may also need to be patient and calmly discuss their concerns.
Sharing your business idea with family and friends also has the advantage of getting early feedback. Essentially, you’re doing market research! If they have major concerns, or don’t think it is a viable way to earn a living, you should listen to them.
How to quit your job
So the big day has arrived! You’ve thought carefully about how you will earn enough money from home, you’re confident about your financial position, you have the support of your loved ones, and it’s the right time to make the leap… it’s time to quit your job and start your new work from home life!
But how do you actually go about quitting your job? What do you say to your boss and to colleagues?
These are our top tips and problems to avoid when handing in your resignation…
- Consider talking to your boss informally before handing in your notice. This is optional and depends on the relationship you have with your boss. If they’re a good boss and you get on well, they may appreciate the heads-up. But if you think they may react negatively, it’s probably best to go straight to step 2!
- Write a polite and professional resignation letter. If you’re not sure what to say, you can find templates online.
- Request an in-person meeting. At this point, your boss might start to suspect something. Experienced managers are used to employees resigning and an unexpected meeting request can be a bit of a giveaway! This isn’t a bad thing though, it will make the news less of a shock when you finally tell them in the meeting.
- Be friendly and professional in the meeting. Tell them that you will be handing in your notice and that you’ve written a resignation letter. Don’t just hand the letter to them and expect them to read it! You should quit verbally, the letter is just confirmation in writing.
- Discuss your notice period and agree a leaving date. For most jobs, it’s fine for this to be decided a bit later. It doesn’t all have to be agreed in your resignation meeting. Not least because your boss may wish to speak to the HR Manager first.
- Discuss telling colleagues. Only tell them when both you and your employer are happy for your decision to become public knowledge.
- Finally, don’t burn bridges. Even if you hated your job and your boss, be polite and professional. You don’t know when you might meet them again in the future!
And that’s it! Work your notice period – while continuing to prepare for your new life in any spare time you have – then begin your work from home adventure.