How to transition from teacher to a freelance earner

The Bottom Line

The idea of leaving teaching and becoming your own boss is often described as stepping off a cliff.

If you think the floor will rise to meet you when you step off and the transition from a salary to a freelancer, lucrative income will be smooth and effortless – think again.

You will finally pluck up the courage to step off the cliff and then initially you will feel as though you are plummeting and free-falling. Heading toward the floor at approximately 200 mph.

I’m not talking about leaving a teaching job and getting another job, that’s a completely different thing. I’m talking about leaving teaching and becoming your own boss.

So how do you do it?

First thing you need is your bottom line figure. This is the amount of money you actually have to bring in each month.

I don’t mean including all the things that came with the luxury of being a teacher: meals out, holidays and top of the range vehicles. I mean what is the figure you need to pay your bills, including your mortgage and then eat.

Find your figure and pin it to the fridge door.

In 2012 mine was £1300. Flat line figure was £1300.

Then you do stuff.

Obviously, you get stuff lined up before you leave.

This may be agreeing to do a couple of days supply each week; it may be working for agencies who place tutors into Children’s Homes like the National Teaching and Advisory Service.

You sign up to become an exam marker; you become a tutor or ideally you buy a franchise of a tuition company and set up your own business.

Have the figure of a minimum of £30 an hour as the one you won’t go below.

You change your mindset

Stop thinking that income comes from one source but it is a variety of different sources that you can offer your services for and generate that flat line figure. We call these multiple income streams. 

There are factors to consider

Yes, you have to consider the implications of your pension.

Yes,you have to consider the 14 weeks, summer holidays a year, in which you will have to generate cash.

But the freedom of being freelance, the freedom of having your own time and space to feel human being again it’s priceless.

You will freefall and you will feel you are plummeting but after a while you will realise that that is the sensation of freedom and he will learn to enjoy the ride.

It can be done and is being done every day by many teachers who want to leave working within a school but feel trapped.

Transitioning can be done by teachers who still want to teach but not within a school.

All you have to do is – cut your cloth (really cut your cloth), do your planning and line up work before you leap and then put one foot in front of the other.

Stop making a living and start to live.  There will be times when money is tight but it will build back up again.  It will.

You will feel at times that you are scaling a mountain but I have never met a teacher yet who has climbed back to the top of the mountain once they have tasted the freedom of life outside of the classroom.

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