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I Quit My Desk Job to Become a Freelancer

I quit PR to become a freelancer.

In two weeks, I will be an unemployed, uninsured, confused twenty-something surviving off rice crackers, hummus and cheap coffee, all to sustain my love of writing.

If you’re wondering what prompted me to quit, it started with a “gut feeling” that hit me like a Diet Coke burp on Monday night. I guess you could call it a “divine Diet Coke burp premonition”, which led me to realize that I need to rethink my happiness, life goals etc. While my premonition turned into manic excitement in the fury of writing my “See ya later, it’s been swell!” resignation letter, I neglected to consider the anticipated next question: WTF will I do now?

Oh shit. 

While the gravity of abandoning corporate protection has yet to hit me like a hernia, I now have two weeks to emotionally, financially and spiritually prepare myself for the wilderness of freelance writing. To do this, I’ve made a “To Do” list.

1) Sell all my semi-valuable things including 1 half-used Aveda shampoo and 1 bottle of Chloe perfum

2) Become a neighborhood dog walker for C-list celebrities in Chinatown

3) Give birth to a child ASAP and become a swaggy mom blogger

If my calculation for living serves me correctly, this could potentially pay for my rent for the next 3 months (excluding the cost for children).

But what about after that?

I have absolutely no clue how I’m going to re-start my career, and I’m okay with that, but a little timid. Sometimes you’ve got to survive the uncomfortable turning point to find professional fulfillment – flexible hours, adventure and creativity, yo!  I know I’m dreaming big, and even with the  “Hasta la vista!” to the luxury benefits of medical insurance, massages and cavity fillings, I feel like a wild 2,000 lb. horse galloping into freedom.

Until my official last day as an Account Executive on January 30th, there are potential survival threats I must face before I throw myself into freelancing. The reality is that in one month’s time I could very well find myself half-conscious, lying in the back of the 501 streetcar, selling collector TY Beanie Babies for $10 to commuters.

I could be famished after four low-budget weeks of scrambled eggs, flavored oatmeal and pasta, and could fall terminally ill with a rare, untreatable disease. And if my intestines rot from the expired milk in my Cocoa Puffs, I won’t be able to afford to pay for antibiotics, or dental surgery or cavities or whatever.

Alternately, I may be struck by a reversing Semi Truck on my commute to Dark Horse Espresso Bar and won’t be covered for immediate surgery so I’ll bleed to death on the salt-covered sidewalk. Not to say that my life as a freelancer would turn into Final Destination. But  it could.

For anyone who is currently a freelancer, they’re likely reading this and laughing at the insanity of my pressing fears (namely, to starve to death before I see season 3 of House of Cards on Netflix). But this is what I’m thinking about. Now that I’ve left the cozy playpen of the corporate life, I’m entering the post-apocalyptic wild of paycheque uncertainty.

Until now, I’ve followed the boring & safe path of stability, without much time to figure out what I actually want from any of this. I’m about to find out.

Onwards and upwards, as they say in the corporate world!

 

 

3 Comments

  1. January 21, 2015

    Hi Sarah, this article couldn’t of been posted at a better time for me. 
    I quit my cushy job yesterday to do the same thing! (but i’m a graphic designer) I’m am terrified as well!
    We should talk! 🙂

  2. Emilia
    January 22, 2015

    Hi! 
    January 30th is my last day too! Very excited, very nervous! Really think we could connect as a freelancer-we-have-no-official-job group ha.

  3. KateMcCaffery
    January 23, 2015

    Good luck! And for the love of all things holy, remove #3 from your list. Kids and freelancing mix like oil and water… but without the benefit of having yummy salad dressing at the end. (If you were expecting salad dressing, assume the end result will be more like a plate of rocks, dressed with battery acid. Baby years + business building = hellish. My experience, anyway.)  Nevermind. Good luck!

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