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[29] Why you Should Keep the Day Job… for Now

The question of ‘should I quit my day job?’ is not an uncommon one.

Answering this question is a tad tricky as there are variables, and the answer will be different for different people.

However, there are three points that are key to remember as you ponder this.

One, there is no rush! Don’t just quit rashly and end up regretting it.

Two, you can hold a day job and run a successful business.

And three, perhaps most important, do not compare yourself to anyone else! You can be a successful handmade business owner AND hold down a day job – the two are not mutually exclusive.

In this episode I cover a number of key points that you need to consider before you chuck in the day job.

Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • Building a business is not going to happen overnight.
  • It takes time to develop a business.  You must work hard and be dedicated.  The growth will happen over time.
  • Set goals for yourself.  Allow wanting to quit your day job be the driving force behind the energy you put into your business.
  • We all have life essentials, such as food, rent/mortgage, and medical expenses and those MUST get taken care of.  Having a job to provide is something we all must do.
  • You don’t need to go the all or nothing route.  Think in steps.
  • Can you switch your day job from full-time to part-time?
  • You don’t know if a business will be a success until you try it.
  • Having your day job during these early stages offers support.
  • Consider if you even want to run your business full-time.
  • There is nothing wrong with having multiple sources of income.
  • ‘Success is whatever it means to you, there is no right or wrong here.’ {Jess}
  • Having a day job also allows you the opportunity for your business to gain momentum.
  • Again, things take time to grow.
  • Grow a customer base before you dive in completely.
  • Also, you absolutely must build a safety net in the form of a savings account.
  • Have at least 3-6 months of expenses saved and stored in an account you can’t be tempted to touch.
  • Consider Parkinson’s Law, ‘work expands so as to fill the time available.’
  • If you do your business say in the two hours after your day job, you will be ultra focused to get your work done.
  • If you quit your day job and have all the time, you may lose productivity.
  • Ultimately, do what is best for you!
  • But be smart, consider if your business can support you, do you have a back up line, what is your safety net?

Download/Listen to this Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)


Van Den has written 319 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.


jo tilsley

I really enjoyed this podcast Jess. I work 4 days a week and work on my candle business in my spare time. I really resonated with your second point, that you can have a day job and a successful business but I am lucky in that I enjoy my day job as an early childhood teacher. I don’t feel any pressure to rush things as I am just starting out and I will hopefully grow my business organically. Looking forward to more great advice!


Very nice post, Jess! So different from the majority of blogs out there who tell you to quit your day job NOW. It helps keeping things in perspective.


Thank you for this article! I am constantly being badgered about when I can give my my day job in HR for a charity. I actually enjoy doing both and want to gradually build my business rather than jump into it because of what people think is the measure of success.


Hi Jess, I initially didn’t think this podcast would have much for me in it but, this morning I played it while walking my dogs and I was really surprised at how much it spoke to me.
After relocating for my husband’s job in 2010 I was unemployed for about four years. During that time I started my own, incredibly unsuccessful, handmade business. In addition to many of the things you reference in this post I also had other people make demands on my time constantly because, to them, I wasn’t “working”. I had to learn how to say no to a lot of people. I also found that I missed the interaction with other people that one usually gets from regular work. I am particularly social and I had a long career in retail which allowed me to easily satisfy that social need without effort. I didn’t have that at home in my studio and I found myself spending a lot of time trying to recreate that energy in other places i.e. clubs, reading groups, etc…
I finally took a part time job and since then I have been much more productive and focused in my own business. I think, for me, it’s essential to have both.
The most important thing I took away from this podcast was permission to keep my part time job. The idea that you can do both things is not something you hear all the time. In fact I often hear the opposite and I really felt like I was a loser for not being able to make my creative business my whole life. Thanks for that and for all your podcasts. I’m really learning so much from them.

What say you?