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Figuring out whether to turn your side project into your full-time day job is rarely easy. Agency designer turned freelance creative & festival organizer Luke Tonge explains how to tell when it’s time to devote yourself more fully to your side gig. We’ll talk about how you can tell when to move on from your current day job, the importance of reminding yourself of your “why,” and why stepping out of your comfort zone can be so powerful. I’ll also share 5 questions you could ask yourself to clarify if and when the right time is to turn your side hustle into something more.

Key Career Insights

  1. Once you squeeze as much as you can from your current experience, you owe it to yourself to move onto the next challenge.
  2. Divorcing work from the meaning behind the work is not easy. You have to consider what legacy you’re leaving.
  3. How you treat people really matters. They’ll remember how you made them feel. Your potential partners, clients, and advisors will likely be former colleagues or professional contacts.
  4. Investing in yourself and pushing yourself outside your comfort zone can open up opportunities doing those exact activities that you initially shied away from.

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Relevant Resources

  • Meet Luke Tonge: the man behind Birmingham Design Festival– Moo feature
  • 7 Signs Your Side Hustle Could Turn Into Your Full-Time Job– Forbes
  • In deciding whether to leave your full time job to pursue your side hustle, I suggested considering these 5 questions:
    1. Family– Is this a reasonably good time to do this considering my family situation?
    2. Viability– Can I see a path to profitability?
    3. Mitigation– Do I have a concrete, viable backup plan in place if things DON’T work out?
    4. Opportunity cost– Have I been saying “no” more than “yes” to side opportunities due to my capacity or any other conflicts from my day job?
    5. Finances– Do I have a reasonably solid financial cushion?

Listener Challenge

During this episode’s Mental Fuel segment, my challenge to listeners was to sit down and capture exactly what the conditions in your life need to look like in order for you to feel comfortable taking the career leap you’re considering. Whether you choose to focus on the 5 questions above or not, try to clearly define for yourself what it would take, and what you would need to believe, for you to feel comfortable making your big move.


About Luke Tonge

Luke TongeLuke Tonge began his career as a Creative for various agencies in the UK, but eventually branched off on his own to build his own portfolio career. He now describes himself as a Birmingham-based, shorts-wearing, type-loving, freelance graphic designer at large. He devotes his time toward art-directing magazines, lecturing at the Birmingham City University, and organising events including Glug Birmingham and the Birmingham Design Festival (2nd annual festival held June 6-8, 2019).

You can follow Luke on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram

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About Joseph Liu

Joseph Liu is dedicated to helping people relaunch their careers and have more meaningful careers. As a public speaker, career consultant, and host of the Career Relaunch podcast, he shares insights from relaunching global consumer brands to empower professionals to more effectively marketing their personal brands.

About Joseph Liu

Joseph Liu helps aspiring professionals relaunch their careers to do work that matters. As a keynote speaker, career & personal branding consultant, and host of the Career Relaunch podcast, his passion is helping people gain the clarity, confidence, and courage to pursue truly meaningful careers. Having gone through three major career changes himself, he now shares insights from building & relaunching global consumer brands to empower professionals and business owners to build & relaunch their personal brands.