how much i earn as a freelancer

How Much I Earn As A Self-Employed Person 6 Months After Quitting My Job

Having worked in full-time jobs straight out of graduation for the past 5-6 years, I’ve never had the chance to take a career break for the past couple of years. So when I had the chance to resign to take a break half a year ago, I decided to take the chance to try out what it’s like being self-employed. 

Needless to say, I was completely lost for the first couple of months, trying everything from being a part-time pastry chef to a volunteer assistant at a pottery studio. 

In hindsight, I would not recommend what I did over the past 6 months to anyone.

 If you’re someone switching from a full-time role to being self-employed, I would suggest that you take some time evaluating side hustle opportunities based on these 3 criteria:

  1. Is this something that I’m interested in? 
  2. Is this side hustle worth my time? Is the compensation worth my time? 
  3. Is this a skill that I want to develop further?

I made the mistake of taking on anything that remotely interests me and trying to monetise my hobbies and interests without properly evaluating the opportunities in front of me. 

On the bright side, I have now tried a variety of side hustles and can at least share my experience with you on what I feel about them. So here are some side hustles I did over the past 6 months, a breakdown of how much I earn from it, and my key takeaways. 

Side Hustles That I’ve Tried Over the Past 6 Months


1. Part-Time Pastry Chef


part time pastry chef

Being a part-time pastry chef is perhaps one of my favourite part-time jobs that I’ve taken up. 

My boss is a French lady who moved to Singapore to start her own bakery. She was truly the nicest person and taught me everything from scratch even though I did not have any culinary experience. I was also one of her first few employees. 

I learned so much from my short stint at the bakery! From baking tarts and caramelised pear pies to cookies and arranging the fruit tarts. It was overall a fun experience, and I would have loved to continue working there for a longer period of time. 

Unfortunately, with limited time, I had to give up this side hustle due to competing priorities, but it was overall a 10/10 experience. 

How I Got The Job: Walked into the pastry shop and asked for a job, and I got it! 

Pay Range: ~$12/hour 

2. Dog Sitter and Boarder 


dog pet sitting

How I Got The Job: I am a fosterer (I take in stray dogs for free). I sometimes get pet-sitting gigs from friends, or via word of mouth. I charge for pet sitting to cover the cost of fostering.

Pay Range: ~$50-100/night  

3. Pottery Studio Assistant 



I worked for a pottery studio once a week, for a couple of months in exchange for studio hours so that I could learn and improve my pottery skills by myself.

 I mainly do some backend work, like clay recycling, sanding, and arranging of pottery pieces. 

In hindsight, I was a little impulsive in jumping in on this opportunity. 

I went for any pottery studio that was willing to take me without properly considering my goals and long-term plans on where I intended to take this hobby. Instead of reaching out to new studios, I should have defined my goals at the start and approached studios that I’ve already established trust with. 

How I Got The Job: I DM-ed pottery studios on Instagram asking for opportunities 

Pay Range: $0

4. Marketing Consultancy 



Source: Unsplash 

In line with what I was doing full-time in the past, I provide marketing consultancy on a couple of projects, especially in the area of content and SEO optimisation. 

As I was focused on exploring other projects and interests over the past 6 months, I neglected to expand my marketing consultancy business and only took on 1 client for this.

How I Got The Job: I get consultancy projects mainly via word-of-mouth recommendations 

Pay Range: Varies based on project 

5. Brand Campaign Management 



Source: Unsplash 

I was working with a design agency to launch a brand campaign for property development. This involves naming the development (an office building, condominium and a shopping complex) working with the design team to come up with the relevant look and feel for the new brand, and coming up with activation campaigns to engage the audience about the launch. 

It was a rather fun but intensive project. It was my first time dealing with luxury property pitches so it was a pretty good experience. 

How I Got The Job: I get branding projects mainly via word-of-mouth recommendations 

Pay Range: ~$30 / hour 

6. Freelance Writer 


freelance writing

Source: Unsplash 

I had a past client that I wrote for occasionally for the past couple of years, so I continued to write articles for their website. This was really flexible, and I only wrote about 2-3 articles per month for a couple of months. 

How I Got The Job: Past client from 3 years ago 

Pay Range: ~$100 / article 

How Much I Earned From My Side Hustles 


how much i earn as a freelancer

Month Client Type  Scope of Work Project Final Amount
Mar 2023 Article Writing  Content Refresh Editing Work  $360.00
Article Article Writing  $90.00
Consulting  Marketing Consultancy Marketing Consultancy  $1,200.00


Apr 2023 Consulting  Marketing Consultancy Consultancy Work  $2,400.00
Bakery Part-Time work Sunday 2 April (5.5hrs @ $12/hr) $66.00
Part-Time work Sunday 16 April (5.5hrs @ $12/hr) $66.00
Part-Time work Sunday 23 April (5.5hrs @ $12/hr) $66.00


May 2023 Article Writing  Article Article Writing  $450 
Editing Editing Articles $100.00
Consulting  Marketing Consultancy Consultancy Work  $2,700.00
Bakery Part-Time work Sunday 7 May (5.5hrs @ $12/hr) $66.00


June 2023 Consulting  Marketing Consultancy Consultancy Work for Start-Ups  $2,400.00


July 2023 Consulting  Marketing Consultancy Consultancy Work for Start-Ups  $2,700.00
Pet Sitting Pet Sitting Pet Sitting – Dog #1 $300.00
Pet Sitting Pet Sitting Pet Sitting – Dog #2  $300.00


August 2023 Brand Campaign Branding Campaign Agency Branding Campaign  $990.00
Article Writing  Article Writing 3 Articles $450.00
Pet Sitting Pet Sitting Pet Sitting – Dog #1  $250.00
Pet Sitting Pet Sitting Pet Sitting – Dog #2  $400.00

Total Earnings for 6 Months: $15,354

Total Average Monthly Income: $2,559 / month 

Key Learnings and Takeaways


1. On Protecting Your Time, and Not Spreading Yourself Too Thin 



One of the most critical lessons I’ve learned during my six months of self-employment is the danger of spreading oneself too thin. 

At the outset of this journey, I was uncomfortable with having too much free time and started busying myself with anything that I found remotely interesting. However, this approach quickly led to me spending too much time on things that were not value-adding to my overall goals and objectives of taking a career break. 

There were quite a few times when I felt that I was wasting time doing some of my side hustles.

In retrospect, I should have given some time and proper thought before taking up each project, and not sought out and taken any opportunities just because I was uncomfortable with having a bit of free time. 

2. Be Focused on Taking on Projects that Benefit Your Overall Growth and Value 


doing work for 5 minutes

Not all opportunities are created equal, and it’s important to be selective on where I spend my time. At the start, it was tempting to say yes to every opportunity that came my way. 

Before committing to a project, I consider various factors, such as its potential for growth, financial viability, alignment with my skills and passions, and the time it demands. 

This approach ensures that I make informed decisions and invest my time and energy in projects that genuinely benefit my overall growth and add value to my career.

3. The Pros and Cons of Turning Your Hobbies Into A Side Hustle 



Turning hobbies into a side hustle has been both rewarding and challenging. Personally, being a dog boarder is something that I really enjoyed as it gave me the benefits of having a dog without committing to having my own dog.
However, while doing the same for my interest in pottery, I’ve overlooked certain downsides working for a studio may entail. 

What I simply wanted was an affordable way to sustain my hobby, but going into a contractual agreement entails different expectations, and it causes you to be bound by certain contractual obligations which may make things more complicated than they should be. 

Before turning your hobbies into a side hustle, it’s important to think about the potential implications that could happen.

Earning ~$2,400/month as a Freelancer 6 Months after Leaving My Job 


future plans

At the end of the day, $2,400/month is a modest amount, probably just enough to survive while staying in an expensive city like Singapore. 

That said, I recognise that I am incredibly lucky to still earn a decent wage – most of it came from marketing-related opportunities that came from years of effort in the field, and the trusted recommendations from friends and past clients. 

If you are a freelancer who’s just starting out, please know that it will take time to build up your client base. Do not compare your income with others and celebrate small wins! All the best. 

2 thoughts on “How Much I Earn As A Self-Employed Person 6 Months After Quitting My Job”

  1. Pingback: Planning for a Career Break: Here’s How I Planned To Take a Year Off Work - readlatable

  2. Pingback: I Live as a Full Time Digital Nomad in New Zealand: Here’s What I did To Achieve This Lifestyle - readlatable

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