24 Downsides Of Giving Up Your Day Job [‘n Work For Yourself]

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So, you’re thinking about giving up your day job? While there are definitely good reasons for doing so, such as having more time to pursue your passions or spending more time with your family, there are also counterarguments to consider.

Reasons to stay in day job copy

There are many good reasons to give up your day job and pursue your passion — I wrote an article describing the numerous positives of working for yourself. There are a ton of opportunities out there to earn income outside your day job.

But you should know the challenges you could face for a balanced perspective and to help you weigh up the pros and cons before or even after you’ve taken that leap. It’s best to be well-informed as it helps deal with uncertainty.

These include finances, capital, criticism, rejection, the hours and effort needed, motivation, and more…

Financial Struggles without a Steady Income 

It can be tough to deal with money worries when you don’t have a steady income.

A way you could deal with this…

  • Create a budget and stick to it. I wrote 101 ideas on how to live more frugally
  • Look for gigs to supplement your income
  • Consider a side hustle that can bring in extra cash for your main passion

Funding Your Passion: Savings and Loans

Having the capital to finance your passion can be a bit tricky.

A course of action could be…

  • Save up money over time and use those savings to fund your passion. Start planning this before you decide to quit your day job and have funds to finance your passion, or
  • Take out a loan, either a personal loan or a business loan

Be sure to do your research and choose a loan with reasonable interest rates and payment terms. 

Putting in More Effort: Working Longer and Harder 

Pursuing your passion can require a lot of effort and hard work.

An approach to tackle this could be…

  • Scheduling yourself to work longer hours,
  • Outsource tasks, or
  • Opt for ways to be more efficient with your time, such as outsourcing tasks, investing in technology or using productivity tools

You still want freedom and flexibility, right?! I wrote an article on How to strike that balance between freedom and a steady income.

Working Odd or Irregular Hours to Pursue Your Passion 

Working odd or irregular hours can be challenging, but it can also be necessary to pursue your passion.

A potential way to handle this…

  • Focus on the positives of the flexibility this offers
  • Build a schedule that works for you and your lifestyle
  • You can be flexible by working from home or on weekends and swapping times to suit

Working from Home or a Non-Ideal Location 

Working from home or in a non-ideal location can be challenging, but it can also be a great way to pursue your passion.

Approaches to tackle this…

  • Create a dedicated workspace that is free from distractions
  • Consider working from a coffee shop or a co-working space, or
  • Find a quiet spot in nature where you’ll find peace and inspiration for those times when you need to nut out solutions

Sacrificing Social Life and Hobbies for Your Passion 

Pursuing your passion can require sacrifices, such as sacrificing your social life and hobbies.

Potential ways to handle this are…

  • Plan a schedule that allows you to still engage in your hobbies and spend time with loved ones
  • Discover ways to incorporate your passion into your social life, such as hosting events or sharing your work with others

Coping with Rejection and Criticism

Rejection and criticism can be tough to deal with, but they are a part of pursuing your passion.

To cope with this…

  • Focus on the positive feedback you receive and use criticism as an opportunity to improve
  • You can also look for support from friends, family, or a mentor 

Learning New Skills and Techniques for Success 

Pursuing your passion often requires learning new skills and techniques.

One way to deal with this is to take classes or workshops in your field. You can also learn from others in your industry by attending conferences or networking events.

Navigating a Crowded and Competitive Market 

Navigating a crowded and competitive market can be challenging, but it’s not impossible.

There are tactics that can help manage this…

  • Find a unique niche within your industry. This might mean more research
  • Focus on building a strong brand and marketing your work effectively
  • Be prepared to pivot

Legal and Financial Issues Related to Your Passion 

Legal and financial issues can be complex when it comes to pursuing your passion.

To tackle this…

  • Seek advice from a lawyer or financial advisor who specialises in your industry
  • Do your research and stay up-to-date on laws and regulations that may affect your work
  • Talk to others in your field of interest and get to know what affects them most in these important areas

Dealing with Difficult Clients or Collaborators

Dealing with difficult clients or collaborators can be challenging, but it’s important to handle these situations professionally.

The means of dealing with this challenge…

  • Set clear boundaries and expectations from the beginning
  • Communicate openly and honestly when issues arise

Coping with Burnout and Fatigue 

Pursuing your passion can be exhausting, both physically and emotionally.

To combat this…

  • Find ways to outsource tasks, to lighten your load
  • Is there technology that can reduce your workload?
  • Revisit your schedule, prioritise and include ‘me time’ for things you enjoy doing

Giving up Income security for Passion Pursuit 

Giving up income protection, Super, or other insurance that covers you while in your day job can be a risky move.

When going out working for yourself you need suitable cover to protect you regarding your ability to earn income and against potential litigation for your type of work.

One practical way of addressing this is…

  • Take out alternative options, such as joining a professional organisation that offers these protections or benefits

Tax and Financial Complications 

Tax and financial complications can be overwhelming when pursuing your passion.

A manner of tackling this is…

  • Get advice from a tax professional or financial advisor who specialises in your industry
  • Use accounting software, or
  • Hire an accountant to help you stay organised

More Responsibilities and Stress 

Pursuing your passion can come with more responsibilities and stress.

To manage this…

  • Develop a schedule that allows you to prioritise your work and manage your time effectively
  • Find ways to delegate or outsource tasks and ask for help when needed

Dealing with Future Uncertainty 

Dealing with future uncertainty can be stressful when pursuing your passion.

What can help…

  • Create a budget and stick to it, while also planning for the future
  • Consider ways to diversify your income, such as offering additional services or products

Criticism and Skepticism from Friends and Family 

Criticism and scepticism from friends and family can be discouraging when pursuing your passion.

What can be employed to manage this…

  • Communicate openly and honestly with loved ones about your goals and motivations
  • A support group, a mentor or a network of positive people in your field

For more on ways to deal with this, see my article on dealing with the pressure and expectations of others when you’re looking to pursue working for yourself.

Meeting Deadlines and Expectations 

Meeting deadlines and expectations can be challenging when pursuing your passion.

Two ways you could handle this…

  • Create a schedule that allows you to prioritize your work and manage your time effectively
  • Communicate openly and honestly with clients or collaborators about your timeline and availability

Isolation and Loneliness of Working Alone 

Pursuing your passion can be isolating and lonely when working alone.

To address this, you could try these solutions…

  • Find a community of like-minded individuals, such as a professional organisation or online forum
  • Look for ways to collaborate with others in your industry

Lack of Structure and Routine 

Lack of structure and routine can be challenging when pursuing your passion.

A response to this challenge could be…

  • Create a schedule that allows you to prioritise your work and manage your time effectively, or
  • Find ways to create structure and routine, such as setting daily or weekly goals

Distractions and Temptations of Social Media 

Social media can be a distracting and tempting time-suck when pursuing your passion.

To remedy this…

Risk of Failure and Setbacks 

Pursuing your passion comes with the risk of failure and setbacks.

Approaches to deal with this…

  • Look at failure as a learning opportunity
  • Use setbacks as motivation to improve
  • Have some support to boost your morale, e.g. a mentor or professional network

Pressure of Turning Passion into Profitable Business 

The pressure of turning your passion into a profitable business can be overwhelming.

Ways of responding to this issue are to…

  • Set realistic goals and expectations
  • Seek advice from a business coach or mentor

At the same time, stay open to new opportunities and ways of monetizing your work.

Guilt and Regret of Leaving a Stable Day Job

Leaving a stable day job to pursue your passion can come with feelings of guilt and regret.

Possible ways of resolving this are to…

  • Remind yourself of your motivations and goals (while being mindful of your financial and personal responsibilities)
  • Seek support from loved ones or a professional network