It was this time last year when the thoughts of working from home started to creep in and invade my mind. The thoughts of the biggest career change and career move I would ever make. I panicked, I was scared, but I was also very positive and excited. But would anyone want to work with me? Would anyone like my article ideas? Would it all be a mistake or would I prove to the world that jumping ship from a 12 year career with 6 years of education under my belt was a wise decision? Panicking about a career change is natural.
If you’re a hardworking, busy mum (as most mums tend to be); it can be a challenge to find any “free time” at all. However, if you do have a spare hour or so during the day, evenings, or on the weekends, you could be using the time to earn some extra cash. Kids and family life can be expensive, so every bit of extra income could help to ease any financial stress, or go towards family holidays and days out together. And, dare we mention it; Christmas seems to be creeping up (apologies), and it’s always nice to have enough in the bank to feel comfortable throughout the season. Therefore, earning a little extra here and there, could go a long way. The following are some ideas, inspiration, and advice for those that might want to start pocketing some extra money.
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I obviously quit my job in January, after months of wondering and hoping, while on maternity leave, that working from home would be a viable option. And it has been. Financially we are better off than if we were forking out for childcare. I’ve worked every hour that I’ve been afforded and raised my profile as a writer, social media manager, content creator and more. I wear many hats! So many hat’s that I need to buy a hat rack. As the summer ended and we wrapped up our holidays in Wexford, I thought more and more about my quality of life and how working from home was pulling me down in ways I wasn’t expecting.
On the back of yesterday’s post about the term blogger being a dirty word, I thought it would be apt to follow up with a blogger tips post about the dirtiest of dirtiest of blogging things. Working with brands! I don’t do a hell of a lot of collaborations because one, they’re time consuming and two, they’re not always relevant. Generally when I do a blog post about a brand or product, I don’t get paid, I’m gifted the item and every opinion I have on that product is mine. If you’re a blogger and want to know how to get in with brands, my advice is to start small and build your way up.
Mommy Blogger is even worse! I’m not the first to admit it and I dare say I won’t be the last but when someone asks if I’m a blogger, I cringe a little. Blogger is a dirty word! Lately, I’ve been invited on to the auld radio to chat to the lovely people based on some of my articles in the auld newspapers, and if I’m introduced as a blogger rather than a freelance writer, euuggghhh, my insides churn a little. Not that I’m embarrassed to write a blog but rather for the misconceptions that come with being a “blogger”.
I’ve had quite a few people contact me in the past few months asking for advice on how to start Freelance Writing. Obviously, I’m no expert considering I am technically only doing this since January. But I didn’t simply dive in on the 1st day of the year. Becoming a freelance writer has been a work in progress for quite some time and I’ve learnt a few things along the way.
I remember when I was on maternity leave with Little Miss, I felt very out of the loop with colleagues and friends. I was taking the standard 26 weeks maternity leave, which in itself is an incredibly short time. I would be back to work in, what now feels like, an instant. But for those five or six months with little contact from colleagues, I felt very isolated from work and it was odd heading in on that first day back. There was a sense of unnerving questions despite being excited to get back into the fold. Was I missed? Have things changed much? Can I still cope with the workload? Now that I’m not going back at all, feeling out of the loop is an understatement. I feel kind of blurred, like a nomad, forced to find my own way and a new center. And being dependent on myself to provide that centre is even more daunting.
I’ve had quite a few people contact me about quitting my career and taking the risk of freelancing since I published the post Why I’ve Quit My Job. Some have wanted to do what I’ve done but have been too scared. Others are desperate to do the same but lack the confidence. I’ve been told that I’m brave, that I’m strong and that they admire me for doing something I’m clearly very enthusiastic about. It’s been an ego boost and a positivity rush which, I’ll be honest, I’ve needed. The past few weeks have been up and down, a rollercoaster of dear gods, what nows and general wonderment and worriment about whether this decision has been a good choice. At the end of the day, it’s done now. So what’s a girl to do? Feel the fear and do it anyway as my mum would say. Which is probably the best advice I can give to everyone who has asked me in recent days what steps they need to take to make the same jump.
I think I’m classed as a millennial woman. A mid thirties, career minded woman with children in the mix who is trying to figure out how to have it all – if “have it all” really exists. I am the type of woman who has a partner, a mortgage and ideas in her head to climb all sorts of ladders. A woman whose ideas about herself, her life, her future, changed almost without her knowing but those ladders were still there. I was twenty one leaving college with a Bachelors Degree in the Arts. I jumped feet first into my career as a Librarian and continued with postgraduate studies in the evenings. I loved it. It was a plan, a path, an ideal I was working towards. And here I am twelve years later, abandoning that career I worked so hard for. It wasn’t always the plan to stay at home, but life has changed my options, and more importantly, my perspective.
This week I handed in my resignation. Dun dun duuuuunn! My intitial reaction last night, after a very anti-climactic day of talking to my boss and sorting things out with HR, was “Oh dear god, what the fricking F have I done?” Followed by mild panic and anxiety as it was all finally oh so very, very real. I was due back to my post as a Medical Librarian in May but now I will officially not be going back to work after maternity leave. I am leaving behind a twelve year career to start something brand new. It’s the big decision, the big change, the new me I was talking about last week. So, why did I take the massive step to quit and what am I doing now?