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Wellness

How Not To Lose A Lost Job

One of the hardest things to do as a freelancer in Silicon Valley is to “quit your day job” and become a full-time student, just so you won’t fail the job interview.  It’s not that hard if you’re already taking care of important personal finances in a way that isn’t entirely financially dependent. In a nutshell, all you have to do is have some spare time — and no more than six hours a day or so.  No more commuting back and forth, no more spending nights in your parents’ basement, no more running to the library every day to take classes you can skip.

One of the hardest things to do as a freelancer in Silicon Valley is to “quit your day job” and become a full-time student, just so you won’t fail the job interview. We spend too much time planning our next course of action, thinking too long into the future.  It’s not easy being a startup founder in a crowded, hyper-competitive industry.  It means no morning jog on the treadmill, no relaxing with a good cup of coffee and a few bites to eat at a good restaurant on your lunch break, no more weekends on the beach with an ice cream vendor.  It means no time for travel — unless you’re in a country with no airline.  That’s not to say there aren’t people who make a good living on a freelance basis.  That’s just not me and neither is it me.  It doesn’t work if the only way you spend your time is on the road, at your desk, or at home.  In fact, it won’t work at all.  You will miss out on a huge chunk of your workday, which is exactly what your employer wants you to do, so you have to be very aware that you’re going to need to figure out ways to compensate for the hours that you aren’t available for your customers.

The worst thing you can do as a freelancer in Silicon Valley is to be an introvert.  

If you live in San Francisco, then you probably know someone with an extrovert personality and they might be your ideal new employee.  But if you live in a smaller market where hiring managers are more likely to be extroverted, then you’re better off looking for a friend of a friend.  Don’t be too pushy if they don’t want to meet up.  Don’t expect the meeting to be something special.  They already have a manager for you.  They just don’t really want to be your new manager.  A “boss” is much more likely to work for you if they love what you do and they know you are productive and trustworthy and they’re not afraid of you having a big “voice” in team decisions.  So don’t be too pushy and don’t expect anything too fancy if you meet your new “boss” while walking through your office, even if he or she can’t quite put their finger on why they just hired you.

The only real reason you should want to “quit your day job” is to increase your revenue-earning potential for your freelance business.  That’s it.  If you’re already taking care of your personal finances in the most efficient way possible and making good money off your personal services, that’s plenty.

If you’re not in such a good position, then the only real reason why you should “quit your day job” is to increase your revenue-earning potential for your freelance business.  For that, you want to make sure your business is growing big and fast right now, and that you’re always competing for top tier talent.  Make sure you’re in a position to grow and make money whenever you’re starting out in terms of hiring, or if you’re not doing that, try to work on building up existing contracts from your current clients.   In other words, be willing to take a lot of risks, take calculated risks, and take risks no one else wants to take.  You want to be able to compete for top talent, and in order for you to be competitive, you’ll need to take some risk so that your existing clients know you’re willing to pay them the big bucks and work with them for the long haul, but you want to make sure that the value of your company is growing fast too.

One of the hardest things to do as a freelancer in Silicon Valley is to “quit your day job” and become a full-time student.