When people get excited about a new career, they often want to jump in with both feet. However, there are big benefits to starting that new career while you’re in your old one. Here’s how to do it right…
Today’s question comes from Simon G., who asks, “I think, financially, I need to stay in my current job as I get started in copywriting. Is that possible? And, if so, what’s the best way to do it?”
I can certainly appreciate the excitement of going all in…but I’m definitely not a “jump and build a net on the way down” kind of person. It makes a lot of sense to build up your copywriting career while your full-time job is still something else.
When you have a full-time job to rely on, you can take things at your own pace. The financial security is great on its own, of course, but it also means that you don’t panic when you get a “no” as you’re prospecting. (And you’ll get a lot of nos—it’s just how it works.)
So, how do you do it? Well, once you’ve learned the fundamentals of how to write copy, you’ll want to start prospecting for small business clients. Once you have some samples in your portfolio from your small biz clients, you can move on to solopreneurs.
The great thing about starting out with these groups is that their hours tend to be more flexible—just the way you’ll need them to be. They won’t mind having meetings or taking phone calls on nights and weekends.
You’ll also need to be sure to set aside some time on your nights and weekends for prospecting to get you those clients. The only downside about transitioning to a new career while you’re working at an old one is that you’ll have to put in some extra hours. If you plan ahead for it and just know you’ll be available for fewer happy hours or brunches, it won’t sting so much.
Be prepared, too, to make or take some calls over your lunch hour at work. You probably can’t do this at your desk, so map out your strategy. Is there a small conference room or nook you can duck into in the office? Can you make calls from your car? Or is there even a hallway in the building next door that will be quiet at noon?
Above all, remember that while you’re at your day job, that day job needs to be your priority. No boss is going to have much patience for an employee who’s sacrificing their work for their next venture, no matter how exciting that venture may be. Professionalism in your current job is just good karma (not to mention good for references!) in your next one.
Your turn! Are you getting into copywriting while working a full-time job? What has your experience been like? Let us know in the comments below!