If you have a full-time job with benefits and a steady salary, it can be terrifying to think about taking the plunge to freelance work.

However, there are lots of benefits to making the move that may one day sway you in that direction.

Before you do, however, it’s important to ready yourself by taking the necessary steps to ease yourself into the transition. Making the move from full-time work to a freelance career can be daunting, but if you take these steps leading up to taking the plunge, the transition will be much easier for you.

1. Figure out what you really need to survive

If you’re like a lot of people, you don’t budget as well as you should.

In some cases, you may even leave paycheck to paycheck. The trouble with that strategy is, when you go freelance there won’t necessarily be a regular paycheck coming in every week or two weeks.

You’ll have to get good at budgeting.

To do that, you’ll have to figure out how much money you actually need to keep up your standard of living. Make a list of all of your monthly expenses, including luxuries like date nights, gifts, etc. Looking at that number on paper and realizing that you’ll need to make more than that to be successful in your freelance career can really help to bring things into focus and help you to move forward with realistic expectations.

2. Start saving for the jump

In a sense, it helps to think of making the move to freelancing as something akin to making the move to retirement. Yes, you’ll be working, but you won’t have the kind of regular influx of money and security that you once had, which means you’ll need to have a little safety net in place.

Before you make the move, start putting money aside so you can be prepared for situations like clients who won’t pay, invoices that are late, clients who suddenly disappear, etc. The reality is that these things happen, and you don’t want to leave yourself in the lurch.

3. Let go of your benefits package

One of the biggest reasons people hesitate to join the ranks of the freelance world is the fear of letting go of their benefits. Benefits packages are great, but when it comes down to it, they are just money.

Look at it this way: those benefits can be replaced by your newfound income. You can still get healthcare, vision, and all the office snacks you want. You’ll just have to pay for them. And when you don’t have to commute to work, pay for parking, etc. while you make your freelance living, you can afford to pay for those things yourself.

4. Start building a client list while you’re still working

We’re not suggesting you steal clients from your current job; that wouldn’t be ethical.

However, there is no harm in putting out feelers to others in your industry and other potential customers while you still have a paycheck coming in.

That way, you can hit the ground running when you go freelance.

5. Have faith in yourself

It may sound trite, but as with any new endeavour in life, a healthy amount of faith in yourself in one of the best tricks you can have up your sleeve.

If you don’t believe you will success, you won’t. Plain and simple.

That’s not to say that belief in yourself will automatically catapult you to success, but without it, you’re setting yourself up for failure right off the top.

Making the move from a full-time job to freelance can be scary, but if you focus on all the things you’ll gain by doing it and prepare yourself to make the transition, you’ll soon wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

Want more information? Read Franklin’s article here.