Working a 9-to-5 while freelancing on the side takes hard work and dedication but it’s not an impossible feat. Many full-time employees are earning cash on the side through freelance work that may or may not be related to their day job.

Want to do the same? Here are 6 points you need to keep in mind:

  • Start by testing the waters and find a marketable skill that people are looking for.
  • Keep your day job even if your freelance business starts to kick off right away.
  • Maintain your sanity by learning proper time management techniques and leaving some room for relaxation.
  • Spread the word about your side hustle to attract potential freelance clients.
  • Decide what your next step is going to be and plan accordingly.
  • Scale your business as much as possible before you quit working full-time.

Test the Waters

Let’s start from the beginning. If the idea of freelancing on the side appeals to you, take some time to think about what kind of service you will be providing. Do you want to offer services related to the stuff you already do at work or do you want to start from scratch? 

Whether you’re aiming to become a freelance writer, web development expert, or a social media manager, you’ll have to brainstorm who your potential clients will be. There are plenty of free resources available on YouTube, podcast platforms and the internet in general so don’t hesitate to do some research. 

The beginning stages of growing a freelance business will include a lot of testing and experimentation until you find the skill and client type you’re comfortable to work with. 

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Keep Your Day Job

As you start landing more and more freelance projects, you will most likely be tempted to quit your 9-to-5 and enjoy this new-found freedom. Don’t do that!

Don’t quit your day job in the first few months of freelancing if you’re serious about building your own business!

The thrill of being your own boss and choosing your own hours is truly a one of a kind experience. However, just because your small business seems to be taking off, it doesn’t mean you should leave your day job right away. At least not until the income from your freelance projects can cover all your expenses and leave you with a good amount of money to support your lifestyle.

If you were to quit your steady full-time income too soon, your whole life would then depend on your freelance career. Not only will this bring on more stress but it might also make you less excited about building your business and putting hours into independent work.

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Maintain Your Sanity while Working Full-Time

This is important. Working a full shift to then go home and do some more work can burn you out quicker than you imagine. Even if the initial sparks make you feel more motivated than ever to put your head down and do the work, you need to maintain some balance for the sake of your well-being.

Don’t sacrifice all your free time and take away from your health just to tend to your freelance business.

You need to maintain a balance by setting a certain amount of working hours you’re willing to invest into freelancing and leaving the rest to relaxation and fun activities. You’ll need that time off to refresh your mind and keep your body healthy. Besides, if you burn yourself out you won’t be able to do high-quality work, which will significantly affect your results. 

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Spread the Word and Practice Content Marketing

Building a freelance career on your own certainly gives you some bragging rights. Don’t hesitate to talk about your freelance ventures and side hustles to your friends and family. Spreading the word can help expand your network and bring in potential freelance clients.

While the good old word of mouth can help you build up a reputation in your local area, you’ll need some social media coverage to bring in a larger crowd. Try using Linkedin, Instagram, and other social networks to market your freelance website or Upwork account. Take some time to learn about content marketing and copywriter skills to help grow your business.

Decide What’s Next

If you truly dedicate yourself to your freelance craft, you will come to a point where your freelance gigs allow you to earn higher rates than your full-time job. When this happens, you’ll have to decide what’s the next step you want to take. If juggling a 9-to-5 with freelance work fits into your vision of the future, then by no means should you think about quitting. 

However, if you’re leaning more toward being an independent, self-employed individual, then you’ll have to consider making the transition to full-time freelancing.

Being self-employed brings more benefits compared to working as a part-time freelancer and picking up a few side gigs every now and then. Here are some pros and cons of quitting your full time job and becoming self-employed:


  • More freedom to design your day-to-day life and schedule.
  • Constant learning and self-development.
  • Remote work and the ability to travel to different countries while still getting things done.
  • Room to scale your business and outsource projects.
  • Choose your own hourly rate.


  • No steady income (this can be a pro too, depending on your perspective).
  • Taxes and healthcare arrangements become more complicated.
  • It can be stressful at times (if you’re not managing your time well).

Scale, Scale, Scale

One of the best things about working as a freelancer on the side is that you have the ability to outsource your work and scale your small business. Instead of looking at it as a freelance job, think of your side projects as a side business that can be scaled and improved over time. 

As you start picking up more and more new clients, you’ll come to a point where you can’t handle the workload on your own. Whether you choose to leave your full-time work position or not, consider outsourcing some of the tasks to other freelancers. 

You’ll eventually start thinking the way most entrepreneurs think and you’ll realize that the room for growth is exponential.

Keep in mind that if you’re not planning to grow your freelance venture, you can still maintain a good balance between working a full-time job and freelancing on the side. As long as that arrangement fits your lifestyle and doesn’t harm your well-being, you’re good to go!

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