If you have a passion project you constantly dream about going after, you’ve probably considered just taking the plunge and quitting your day job. But the desire for the security of steady employment can be difficult to overcome if you’re not sure you’re ready for that change. Here are seven signs to look for in your life that will help you know when it’s time to quit your job and make pursuing your passion your full-time occupation.
1. People around you seek out your expertise
Before starting a new venture, it’s important to do your homework and figure out if there’s a market for it. If people in your life—friends, family, acquaintances—tend to come to you in search of your expertise in the area you want to pursue, that’s a clear sign that a market exists.
2. You’re consistently excited about it
If every morning you wake up and can’t wait to get started on your passion project, it’s a strong indication that it might be worth going after. That enthusiasm will help push you forward and carry you through the difficulties that inevitably arise for those who choose self-employment.
3. You believe in your talent
Whether your passion expresses a natural talent or one that you’ve cultivated over time, the confidence that what you’re doing is worth sharing with the world will come through in your work and your marketing. Believing in your talent and striving to be the best you can be will help you stand out in the market—and is a good sign that you may be ready to make the jump to self-employment.
4. You’re driven
Building your own brand or business can be extraordinarily fulfilling, but it also has more pitfalls and obstacles than most people foresee. When making your dream a reality is a necessity—not just a desire—it will help you push through and overcome anything that stands in your way.
5. You’ve started setting clear milestones
Some of the most inspiring success stories are about products that seem to have achieved overnight success, but it’s nearly never that easy. Success takes focus, hard work, and planning. Having a business plan and a set of clear, achievable goals will help you be more secure—not only in knowing what you need to do but in giving you a way to measure progress and keep yourself motivated.
6. You have enough money saved up
With few exceptions, it’s a good idea to have enough money in the bank before you quit to take care of your day-to-day expenses for at least a few months. That will allow you to spend your time building your business full time instead of chasing after the bills you need to pay.
7. You’re good at managing your time
Delegation is a critical skill when managing large projects in a team setting, but if you’re setting out on your own, you probably won’t have that luxury (at least not at the beginning). Being able to manage your time effectively across multiple projects and priorities will be indispensable. One way to test out your time management skills—and build them up—will be to work on your passion project as a side hustle while maintaining your day job. Once you consistently have a good handle on both, it’s a sign you might be ready to take the next step and switch to pursuing your passion full time.
If you notice these signs in your life, it may be time to take that leap and start making your dreams a reality. If you’re not seeing them yet, they’re a good set of milestones to pursue as you work toward the day when you’re ready.
This piece was co-authored with Callum Humphreys, an entrepreneur and the founder of Creato Design Sydney.