Thursday, 24 January 2013

Quitting Your Day Job - 3 Myths

So, I quit my day job nearly 8 months ago. I used to work in recruitment. Which basically involved very long days high financial compensation, but never seeing my son and being constantly stressed out and 'busy'. I kind of developed a false sense of self-importance as well. You know the thing "Oh I work in the city, I'm so important".

I wrote this post on my choices between working and motherhood.

So I was sitting at my city-based desk, wearing a pencil skirt, hadn't seen my boy for 4 days, looking at another 14 hour stretch. 4 coffees into the day at 10am.I took a look around the room, and as nice and hard-working as the people I was spending all this time with were, they were not my amazing little boy. I had a looming hospital appointment and a general sense of missing out. So I stood up, told my boss I wanted out, and left that very same day.

And then...a few vague weeks of faffing around at home. I toyed with getting another job. Financially we are no where near stable enough (I say we, what I really mean is me) to be able to continue with no income for a very long length of time.So I set myself up as a freelance social media consultant (See my LinkedIn page here) and I started submitted articles to various online and offline publications.

Three myths about quitting your day job:

1. You will have loads of free time.

Your 'free' time will suddenly be filled with people wanting you to wait in for them for packages and mechanics. Your house will be messier because you are in it all the time, so more of your time will be taken up with cleaning. You will also discover more things that annoy you about your home. Just why *is* that cupboard such a mess? Better clean it now while I have the time.  You will take a hour long slot at a local radio station and it will suddenly take over your life. That might just be me.

2. You will get to see your friends more.

Your friends have jobs. That is why they are your friends, because you used to go to bars and festivals and fun stuff that you now can't imagine being able to afford. Unless you were the only person in your peer group with a job. Which I wasn't. Everyone I know has a job. I have, however, become an interesting novelty 'thing to do' for people who take a day off to go to the dentist and then have a free afternoon. These types of people can often be relied upon to buy lunch aswell. Win.

3. You will be happier

Things will annoy you just the same as they did before, but you will not have an outlet for them. One key thing about working is that you have to spend hours and hours around people that you wouldn't spend minutes with if you were not being paid, equally, they probably don't really want to spend time with you either. Now that you have quit your job, the only people you have to spend time with are yourself (see above) your laptop (thank god for facebook) and people who actually *want* to spend time with you. You go from being surrounded by chatty people all day, sharing gossip, reading the Metro, getting involved in things, to...talking to your cat about yesterdays headline in the Guardian. Because you can't afford today's. It's a lonely place to be.

Of course you can counteract these. You can refuse to wait in for peoples packages. You can find friends without jobs (note: hanging around the job centre is a great place for this!) You can volunteer somewhere worthy and again you will be surrounded by people you vaguely dislike. I think you get the gist. This is a warning. The grass is not always greener.

It's taken me 8 months to get to a position where I am starting, just starting, to get noticed for my freelance work. 8 months of being poor and lonely and slightly confused when I wake up at 3.20pm after a three hour nap.

But I wouldn't change it for the world. I was so wrong before, there is nothing better than my little boy rushing our to school to give me a big hug. Love him.

Also, do you like my blog makeover?


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