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Going Full Time Freelance: How to Tell Your Boss

Updated November 19, 2016
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Full Time Freelance - How to tell your boss

Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

Full Time Freelance - How to tell your boss

Nothing causes more anxiety to me than sharing with my current boss that I will be going full time freelance. It literally hurts at the moment, and I’m not sure how I’ll feel tomorrow when I let him know. But it’s incredibly important to me that I do it in an appropriate way, and leave on good terms. So here’s a few things I’m strongly keeping in mind when going into have “the chat.”

Working here has taught me an incredible amount and I’m grateful for the opportunity

There is nothing wrong with learning a great deal at work – and what you’ve likely learned at a company has been invaluable for you. If not – go back to square one, because you need to absorb some new information. Perhaps you’re not ready to freelance full-time yet.

I have added to the value of the company with my hard work, and believe that has put them in a better position to succeed long term

Not only have I learned a lot – I believe that my contribution to the company will help them long past me being gone. This is crucial; I didn’t come in as a leech – I came in dead set on creating long-term value for the company, creating processes that will outlast me, and earn them better workers and customers. I was committed deeply to this ideal the whole time working for the company.

I’m giving the option for a long Offboarding process, where I can share as many processes I’ve been doing as possible with others

I personally went with a month – because that’s fair to the people I work with considering how much of a role I played in the company’s marketing efforts. Perhaps for some people they can do  two weeks, and for some two months might be better. I chose a time when some crucial project roles I had have wound down, and one month feels appropriate.

I want to keep open lines of communication and help in whatever ways, that makes sense

I’m open to freelancing for them, but I’m not a part-time worker anymore. I need a clean break in that way because expectations and rates need to change to make sure I can stay successful as a freelancer. This isn’t greed, it’s being smart about the fact I face more taxes, and am taking on my newfound full-time freelance role to have more control over my time and what I do.

I believe they will succeed – and will do anything I can to help when it makes sense

I am committed to being available for little things when they need something.


After: Well… how did it go?

For me – telling my boss went better than one could’ve ever expected. I felt that it wasn’t ideal for them, but they seemed to think it was the right thing for me long term. In the CEO’s words: “I seem to want to do more, than even makes sense in their business model.” Super grateful for such understanding bosses.  In short, my aspiration has outgrown what’s appropriate for that role, at that company, at this time.

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Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

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