I’ve been putting off writing this post for almost 3 weeks now, but I felt like I couldn’t really post anything else until I got this one out of the way. So here goes nothing…
Leaving a job is never easy, but it’s a lot scarier and stressful when it’s not your choice to leave. A week after I moved into my new flat, I was made redundant.
My initial feeling was actually nothingness; I felt numb. I’m putting that down to it being a very stressful week: I’d just moved and now I didn’t know how I was going to pay my rent. I was physically and mentally exhausted. I was waiting to wake up from a nightmare. Soon the numb-ness turned to frustration and then finally, after feeling completely helpless, I decided that it was now beyond my control. Maybe the universe was trying to tell me something and it was about time that I listened.
I know, I know. ‘The Universe’!? But honestly, that is the only way I can describe how I’m feeling right now. The Universe kicked me out of that job because it wasn’t right for me – it’s not what I’m meant to be doing with my life. Realistically it could only offer money and security, which is comforting, but there was no happiness or fulfilment or career progression. I didn’t love it, and I didn’t really like it towards the end either… and as a creative, that is really important for me.
Regular readers will remember when I dropped the q-bomb last year: I quit my job. From the outside it looked like a well paid creative job, but that was far from the reality. I chose to leave because life is too short. I chose to leave because I wasn’t happy. I chose to leave because I was the only person that could get myself out of that situation. It took a lot of guts, but I did it… and then I fell at the next hurdle. I chickened out.
When I left the design studio I didn’t really have a plan. Other than exploring my options and being open to whatever opportunities appeared, I didn’t know what I was going to do. And that was exciting; scary, but very exciting. People probably think that I’ve lost my mind and that I’m just coasting through life, but the way I see it is that I’m just on the road to get to where I should be.
So back in December 2015, my first ‘option’ was to become a Freelance designer. It’s one of those things that you can only find out through experiencing it first hand, but Freelancing is hard (state the obvious, I know). Looking back now, I know that I wasn’t mentally prepared for it, especially with Christmas as a welcome distraction. Ok, so it helped me to start my Youtube channel (maybe that’s what I was meant to gain from that experience?), but I admit that I didn’t really TRY to be a freelancer. This was mainly because I was too scared, but also because I just didn’t know where or how to start. I spoke to friends who said it would take me months to get into it and so I shouldn’t put pressure on myself straight away. Well, we all know that’s easier said than done. I’m used to things being fast paced and just happening, like, now. How long do I give it before I give up and decide that I wasn’t successful? There is no right answer.
Alongside my poor attempt at being a ‘Freelancer’, my boyfriend urged me to apply for a ‘normal job’ – read: a secure income. You can’t really blame him, bless him. And so when I applied for a job and was made an offer, I took it. I hold my hands up and admit it; I chickened out. I accepted ‘the easy way out’. But here I am, 6 months since sharing ‘Taking control of my life‘ with the world… and I’m basically back in the same position. Well, not totally.
Every experience teaches you something new, and I love to learn. So what have I learnt from this ‘bump in the road’? I could probably talk about this for hours, but I wanted to share just a few thoughts:
- I’m just not ‘that person’ that will have a job they don’t enjoy. I need to be happy. If I don’t enjoy it, I can do something else. I don’t have to pretend to be something that I’m not. Other people are making it work, so why can’t I? There’s a book about it now y’know: Don’t get a job… make a job.
- Being your own boss is hard work. I mean, I didn’t think it was easy but being motivated, organised, constantly networking and pitching yourself – it’s a big change for someone who is used to having a job with set tasks. There’s no ‘How to be a freelancer’ guide, so I just need to get on and do it.
- I love and miss being in design. It wasn’t design that zapped my passion, it was that particular job. I do want to design, but I still don’t want to sit at a desk 9-5 every day. I’m even excited to make a start on my portfolio…
- I need to re-do my portfolio, properly. So that I’m proud to show it off.
- Design isn’t my only option. I am lucky to have a variety of skills which make me unique.
- I am talented, and I shouldn’t be afraid to say that out loud. There will be haters out there, but that’s just society. I need to believe in myself or it won’t work.
- I have a brilliant community around me. I ‘announced’ (that is so cringe, but I need to get used to throwing myself/ my skills out there to the world) my departure from my job on Twitter and I had so many lovely tweets of encouragement. It means so, so much that I have your support.
- People believe in me. Like, they actually think I can do it.
- I’m not afraid. It feels right.
So then, what am I going to do now? Good question!
Well, I’ve got a massive list of things that I want to do; freelancing, tutoring, content creation, advising. It might take me a little while to get set up, but I’m going to do my best to make things work – I already have 4 possible projects in the pipeline!
Maybe it will take me 2 months. Maybe it will take me a year. Maybe I will decide to give up. Maybe I won’t give up.
The most important thing you guys can do for me is to continue with your amazing support; if you need some design (blog logos, banners, media kits?) or know someone that does – drop me an email. If you work for a brand or business that needs some social media content or advice – drop me an email. I am open to everything AND MORE. I was scrolling Pinterest for inspiration the other day when I saw this, and it summed up recent events perfectly:
I shuddered! I hate that word; comfort.
So on one hand being made redundant is pretty shit, but on the other hand it means I got the kick up the bum to do what I really should be doing. And of course I’ll be blogging and vlogging the whole journey too 🙂 You can’t take the blogger out of the girl…