I’m going to stray a little from my usual “how to” and useful lists posts and make a more personal post and write off the cuff, so to speak.
This past Friday was my last day at a 9-to-5 job that I had started in September of last year. It was with a start-up company that was founded by people I used to work with in the publishing business, and I was hired to be the operations manager.
Why did I leave freelancing for this job? Well, there were a few reasons, the first of which is that the pay was excellent, more than I had ever made in my professional life. They also offered a flexible in-office schedule so that I could work at home, if needed, and could have alternative work hours to work around my kids’ preschool schedule. And, I really liked and admired the people who founded the company, so I felt that it would be a good opportunity to reconnect with them and see where this road took me. With both of my kids having special needs (they are mildly autistic), the idea of a steady salary with a flexible schedule was too good to pass up.
Alas, this job wasn’t meant to be because they entirely eliminated my position a week before my last day, which was Friday the 13th (I know, right???). It’s a risk you take working for a start-up. At first, I had the normal reaction anyone would have to being laid off: anger, sadness, betrayal, etc. Plus, this was the third layoff for my family in 6 years of being married. That’s a pretty high statistic, and one that got me fired up. No longer do I want to be at the mercy of another company, even a small one formed by former colleagues. My thinking started to change. Perhaps this was not such a bad thing after all? Maybe this happened for a reason, a good one?
Suddenly, I wasn’t upset anymore. I was relieved! Finally, I could go back to the business I had been trying to start before I took the 9-to-5 job: WordPress consultant! I love WordPress, and I am a serial blog and website creator. Am I a designer? Nope. But I know how to set up WordPress blogs and websites on a budget and lightning fast for those just starting out, like freelance writers and small business owners looking to get their business online. (Note: I will continue to write and update this blog, but I may have to shift things over at some point.)
While I realize this is more of an entrepreneurial gig, I couldn’t have made this transition without being a freelancer, first. It’s why I love freelancing and advocate it for anyone who feels the need for flexible work, working from home, or freeing yourself from the corporate rat-race once and for all. It can allow you to lead your life, your way. To me, that is the best thing about freelancing. Is it easy? No. But it is empowering, and I hope I never have to leave it again for that very reason.
What are some of the reasons you would like to start a freelance career, or if you’re already a freelancer, what do you like most about it? Please comment below!