I remember doing an internship for a PR agency in France some years ago. They hired me to translate French social media posts into English. I had to be in the office from 10am-4pm, so I’d get to work and finish all my tasks in about 30 minutes. The rest of the time I played Monopoly online and flirted with some of the French girls there.
Sure, it was an internship. But the experience stuck with me. Years laters I got a full time job and realized that most of the real work got done from 8am-1pm, and then my brain basically shut off. The value I was adding…the actual calls and emails…could be knocked out pretty efficiently if I grouped tasks together and managed my time well.
I started playing around with this idea a bit and decided to start working Sunday mornings (at home) to see how much work I could get done before Monday rolled around. It helped that I enjoyed my job. Working at home allowed me to focus. No bullshit emails coming in or colleagues bothering me or “strategy meetings” where nothing happens.
Perhaps not surprisingly, I was able to achieve most of my sales targets by Tuesday —Wednesday at the latest. Of course, my company wouldn’t let me take Wed/Thurs/Friday off, even though I had technically done everything I had to do. I was tied to the desk. I had to be there.
But, as I gained more trust, I was able to take more days off. I was able to take calls from home and come in to work a little later because my managers knew I would get the work done. I was never able to officially work from home, but I’d end up coming into the office for only half the day on Thursdays and Fridays. I didn’t let them down, and in return I was able to maintain that flexibility.
When I eventually quit my job I gave them plenty of notice. I negotiated a 6 month contract where I’d work part time from home on select projects. They would pay me a guaranteed X dollars per month, and I would never have to come to the office, ever.
This is straight from The 4-Hour Work Week. Well, Tim Ferris would suggest you do even a slower transition, asking to work from home for one day, and then two, and then get paid your same salary working almost 100% remote. I never got there. I could’ve, but frankly I didn’t want to do that specific work (recruitment) regardless of the financial stability. But maybe you’re different.
The point is that most companies don’t need to hire full time employees. While some companies have been outsourcing for a long time, other companies have taken a long time to realize this (for various reasons ranging from security to culture to management style etc). It applies to almost every industry.
Your company is likely the same. That is, they could hire you as a part timer to do the same work from home. First, make sure you are on good terms with people. Prove to your boss you can get your work done efficiently without being at the office (take a sick day, for example, but still get all your work done from home).
Start transitioning early and negotiate to work remotely, and then a shorter term contract. This will provide you a nice cushion while you figure out your freelancing work or side business. Don’t quit until you have some financial stability, at least 1–2 years savings. Quitting is risky enough, but it’s a lot less fun when you’re worrying about putting dinner on the table.
You don’t need 8 hours per day to become a legitimate millionaire—let alone have the means to live like one. Eight hours per week is often excessive, but I don’t expect all of you to believe me just yet. I know you probably feel as I did for a long time: There just aren’t enough hours in the day. But let’s consider a few things we can probably agree on. Since we have 8 hours to fill, we fill 8 hours. If we had 15, we would fill 15. If we have an emergency and need to suddenly leave work in 2 hours but have pending deadlines, we miraculously complete those assignments in 2 hours.
– Tim Ferris