I was Unemployed in Des Moines for several months before we decided (myself and my husband) that I would become a Free Agent (independent professional). It wasn’t an easy decision to stop looking for a J.O.B. I actually kept my ears open for job opportunities for the first four months of being a Free Agent.
For us, the decision to become a Free Agent didn’t hinge so much on finances – which is a HUGE deciding factor for a lot of people. When you work for yourself, sometimes the path to stable income can be a rocky and uneven one.
My advice for the unemployed, underemployed, people needing a change, current Free Agents:
- Determine what your monthly expenses REALLY are. This sometimes makes the leap into Free Agency a little less scary. You know how much you need to make each month to break even.
- Have six months worth of savings at your disposal. If you’re a Free Agent and you’re just getting started or you’re having a slow quarter, this gives you a cushion.
- Pay down your debt. Car payments, credit card payments, monthly payments on appliances/electronics…
- It’s okay to still look for a J.O.B. There are so many flexible J.O.Bs out there – you could work a 3-month contract job while getting your consulting business organized to keep your cash flow where it needs to be. It’s okay to dabble in both worlds. The best part is that you’re in control.
- It’s also okay to get a J.O.B. If you’ve been living in Free Agency World for sometime and the finances still aren’t right for you, find an employer. There’s nothing wrong with that; but keep your passion for Free Agency ignited by continuing to work on your business. There are several local resources available to help you determine what you need to do moving forward (ISED, SBDC).
These are just a few things to consider from a financial standpoint before becoming an independent professional. Any other Free Agents out there that have financial advice? Who is ready to take the plunge?