Tuesday, February 8, 2011

From Employee to Self-Employed

People in movies and on TV often leave their jobs, abruptly and without planning, in pursuit of their "dream"--or the ideal career or entrepreneurial endeavor that will finally allow them to feel fulfilled by their work. But..

...Do people do this in real life? And by "people", I don't mean twenty-somethings with no real grasp yet on the concept of being a grown up. (I'm closely familiar with this breed of carefree human because I used to be one--to the MAX!) When I write "people" in this instance, I mean "my people"--mature adults with children and car notes and mortgages (in other words, financial responsibilities) who like to have roofs over their heads and meals on their tables, thereby necessitating the need for real income.

Yes, I know all about the people who start their side hustle and carefully plan while they watch it grow to the point where they can make the leap from employee to self-employed (In fact, I'd like to count myself among them).

But what happens when you're not ready to take the leap, yet you don't feel at all comfortable in your current position anymore?

This is where I sit. Correction: I have lived in this uncomfortable place between displeasure and complacency for about two years. The difference is that now I abide in it from a place of peace, and understanding that this is a temporary assignment and the Universe is moving mountains behind the scenes on my behalf. I did not always have this clarity. I used to come home from work angry, stressed, screaming, cursing like a sailor and wondering aloud through sobs how I ended up "here" (really, it's true. Just ask GG; she'll tell you).

So I’m not ready to leap into self-employment, but I am ready to step into another form of full time employment; one where I feel inspired, creative and respected, and where my capabilities are properly recognized (at least most of the time).  I will also be effectively compensated for the inspired, creative, respectable work that I complete.

I am aware that the Universe requires a little co-creation from me in order to get things done, so it is my pledge to myself to do the work. I have to show up for myself on a daily basis, and make moving on a priority.

I do, however, sometimes wish I was on TV or in a movie so I could, you know, just quit and run off in pursuit of my dream….baby steps, right?

Have any of you successfully made the leap from employee to self-employed? If so, I would love to hear your stories. Do share!


Anonymous said...

Thank you thank you thank you so much for this I am in much the same place as you are now and readng this has helped a lot. I wil try to think of my situation as a temporary assignment and that even as I write this the universe is moving mountains to help me reach my dream of fulltime self-emloyment

Marie said...

What if it really were that simple, like in the movies???
What if fear & faith are the only two things that's real...the only things standing between someone and their life's work?

I'll check back on this post, as I also want to hear from those who have made successful leaps to self-employment.

Kim Jackson said...

@ Anon - I'm so glad you relate! Feels good to know I'm not alone.

@ Marie - Thank you for that! To a degree, that is totally correct: fear and (lack of?) faith are absolutely the only things standing in the way. And using that fear--really feeling it, and allowing it to guide me to something great--is one of the things I'm working on. Also, I have been having faith, but it has to be accompanied by action, and that's where I've fallen short.

NMH said...

I think ALOT of women find themselves in this position. I acknowledge it in my own life and in the lives of so many of my girlfriends - 2 corporate lawyers quit; one for grad school, the other headed for Honduras. My best friend who worked as a financial analyst up and quit and moved to Lebanon in a matter of weeks, and I have another friend who is taking a leave to go to Spain for 2 months. All professional women with good (shooot....GREAT) paying jobs who left the security of a stead paycheck to follow a dream, pursue a passion, or just simply find a bit of happiness in this life. I'm ashamed to say that we might very well fit in the category of "twenty somethings" with seemingly no responsibility, but I think for anyone young or old such a change means alot. I unfortunately can't be like them...I gotta keep going to my 6 - ??? job and try and fit my creative interests in as much as time allows. I wish you luck and prosperity in your endeavors, I know what its like to not love what you're doing, and to feel constrained to keep doing it.

Kim Jackson said...

Wow! Your friends are amazing! I admire them for following their passions, and for creating more energy for others of us to do the same. I think it's fantastic that they're figuring it out so early, and I'm sure your breakthrough is not far behind theirs [birds of a feather and all that :)]

Brown Babe said...

I never used to have issues with stepping out on faith. Six years ago I relocated on a whim - quit my job after a particularly trying time in my life. I traveled, crashed with family and was unemployed, yet totally at peace with my decision because I was assured in my spirit that it was exactly what I needed to do.

Fast forward to the present and though I'm in my 30's I still have no "ties" (for better or for worse)however, unlike then, I experience fear and hesitation that was once completely foreign to me.

I would love to be like NHM's friends - women like that inspire me. I wonder...often...if I am acting (or not acting) out of fear or if when I am truly settled in my spirit about the move being the right one I will not hesitate at all.

Maybe that's what we all are waiting for...

Kim Jackson said...

@ Brown Babe, We definitely experience more fear as we get older. Look at how fearless, honest and open children are. It seems that the more we learn about life, the more difficult it becomes to look at life with those same eyes. But the great news is that we can overcome/work through the fear if we're aware of it and acknowledge it.


I guess you can say I made that leap. Actually, it's more like I was pushed into the abyss once the Universe got tired of me being afraid to take that step towards the leap.

What happened with me was a combination of putting it out there, the economy, a supportive partner who also happens to have his own business, friends who believe in me i.e., were willing to pay for the services I provide, and just faking it.

As much as I wanted to more than anything and although I planned to (I had a date and everything), I don't know if I would have gone through with quitting my job. Nonetheless, less than a week after writing down my plan, I was laid off. Although I cried and worried about rent and my child, I was so happy. Again, it had a lot to do with the divine combination of the aforementioned elements.

Part of what keeps me going is wanting to regain that fearlessness, honesty and openness that you mention @Kim Jackson, so that I can practice what I may one day have to preach to my daughter. My daughter inspires me to pursue this dream and I one day I want to tell her that and hope that my story inspires her.

Read my career transition story: http://career.worklifegroup.com/career-stories/if-you-will-it-it-will-come-carmen-cardoza-57.html

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