How I Went From a Full-Time Employee to a Part-Time Freelancer
Writing this blog post seems too unreal. And honestly, it’s a post that I would never have imagined I would be writing at the young age of 23. But here I am. Sitting at my desk in the home that Alex and I just bought a few weeks ago.
This is surreal.
I’m not sure I have the right words to say in this post. But I’m going to give it a try.
I started this website a year ago as of tomorrow.
October 18th, 2016. I can remember it like it was yesterday. And maybe that’s because it’s one of the main stories I tell in relation to my website. But it’s mainly because it is a day that truly changed my life.
At that point in my life, I was extremely unhappy. I hated just about everything around me. From the town I lived in to my job. And it even got to the point where I realized that I ultimately hated myself.
So I decided to change my life by trying to take control of it. And at the time, I thought the best starting point was my career.
Now I realize that this was a little crazy. It might have been easier to try and take control of my mind, or even my body, and more importantly my soul so that I didn’t have so much hate.
But I started with my career by buying a domain name that night. And TheContentBug.com was born.
And every time I tell this story, I still can’t believe that’s how it happened. But that’s how I changed my life by taking control of my career. And I’m so glad that I did.
At the time, I was living in my college town. I was working a full-time job in the digital marketing industry. And I wasn’t taking care of myself.
And today, I’m now living in a town that I love! I’m no longer working a full-time job but instead, I work as a part-time freelancer. And I actually like the person that I see in the mirror.
So if you are struggling with where you’re at, if you are unhappy with any aspect of your life, just know that it is temporary. Anything can be changed. And you are the only one that can change it.
And to prove it, let’s keep moving with this story.
THE START OF TCB
Even though I was working in the digital marketing industry, but I didn’t know much about websites. I knew best practice strategies. But nothing about how to actually create one!
So after I bought my domain, I started to freak out. I couldn’t believe what I had just done.
I spent hundreds of dollars on something that I didn’t know much about. I had a whole website to design with little knowledge of design or custom coding. I had content to create for an entire website. AND I had to create a plan if I wanted it to work.
Oh, and at the time, no one knew that I bought a website. Not even Alex. So this was just a little hidden secret that I got to work on when I was alone. And that didn’t help anything.
So my website didn’t launch until January 17th, 2017. It took me 3 months to design my website. Partially because I had to switch platforms and hosting servers from the very beginning. But it was also because I was procrastinating.
At the time, I was a little ashamed and embarrassed. I didn’t know what I was doing. So I thought everyone would judge me. I worried so much about what people I knew would think.
But I found comfort in what people I didn’t know though. It was a weird mindset. And something that held me back for the longest time!
Anyways, back to the story.
Right before the start of the new year, I decided to sit down with my iPad and record a video. I just wanted to talk out-loud to myself to get all of my thoughts out there. And while I was recording that, I came up with the idea to create 2017 goals.
The main goal was to be working on my own by the end of 2017. And I listed 5 smaller goals that would determine if I could work on my own.
- 5k a month in income
- 50k Instagram followers
- 50 blog posts
- 5 guest blog posts
- 1k Pinterest followers
At the time, those were just random goals. I didn’t know too much about how to grow an Instagram so 50k seemed reasonable. But in time, I changed that goal to 5k.
But over the past 10 months, I actually hit or am close to hitting a few of those goals.
I’ve surpassed my goal of 1k followers on Pinterest! Soon I’ll have 5 guest blog posts (I’ve got 1 in the works right now). And this is my 49th blog post for TCB this year. So I will hit my goal of 50 blog posts next week!
In total, I’m almost over half way toward my goals. And I’m darn proud of that.
But what I’m most proud of, is that I’m no longer working a full-time job.
It’s taken me a little while to accept that I am officially my own boss. And I am in fact working on my own. I have my own freelance business and client! How crazy is that?!
I hit my main goal for the year without even hitting all my other small projects first! And the more I write, the more surreal this gets. I am at the point in my life, 1 year after starting this website, where I get to choose between accepting a full-time position with another company or working part-time as a freelancer where I am my own boss.
WHY I TURNED DOWN A FULL-TIME POSITION
About 3 weeks ago, I found out that I would be losing my current position. Now that sounds terrible! Like I was fired or something. But that’s not true.
I was working for a start-up company that wanted to change directions. And in that direction change, they no longer needed an employee to help with the fulfillment side of things. So in the end, yes I did lose my job.
But that company works closely with another company and they ended up offering to take me on full-time. But the thing is, I didn’t want to work another full-time job.
It was already in my head that I was going to work with my current company until I was able to support myself. Then I would move to part-time and work for them while I still get on my feet. And then I’d be able to leave that company completely and work on my own. And it was going to be amazing!
But nothing ever goes as planned.
And I should have known that. But I was still extremely upset when I found out that I would be switching jobs.
It just didn’t feel right. Everything in my body was telling me no. But everyone around me was telling me to take it.
It was terrible. And crippling.
I spent several days just crying. Unaware of what to do. I honestly believed that I had to give up this website and take another full-time position. I felt like I didn’t have a choice. And that my dreams
I honestly believed that I had to give up this website and take another full-time position. I felt like I didn’t have a choice. And that my dreams were dead.
Now as I write this, it sounds so silly. I wish I could have told myself then to just trust in the Universe. Everything will work out because it always works out.
So I ended up going back to that company and proposed a part-time deal. And even though they agreed, it still didn’t feel right with me. It felt like I was settling. Like I would be giving up on so much… Income is one of the main things. Which wasn’t great since Alex and I just bought a house!
But then my world got flipped upside down. Let’s fast forward to last week.
I had a company reach out to me through a freelancing website that I use. Up until this point, I’ve never paid much attention to it. I just created a profile and thought freelancer might be a good opportunity to pursue in the future.
But I had someone reach out to me saying they wanted an interview.
I really didn’t think much of it. But I thought it would be a good opportunity at least to interview. And what I wasn’t expecting was that 2 days later they offered me the gig where I would be working part-time as a freelancer. And with this position, I knew that I would be able to turn down the other full-time and part-time position. Because the thing is… this job was actually going to pay me what I was worth!
My jaw dropped immediately. I knew what I had to do.
It was like the Universe was finally telling me to take myself seriously and go after what I want.
With this part-time freelance gig, I knew that I would not only be able to maintain my flexibility but I’d also be able to devote more time to this website! And to you guys!
I wanted to cry. And not like the other times before. I wanted to cry because I was so happy. Because I finally felt like I was living up to my potential.
That week I knew was my last week working as a full-time employee. And thankfully, this other company wanted me to start working right away. So my last day working full-time was Friday, October 13th. And yesterday, Monday, October 16th, was my first day working as a freelancer.
You know what? Sometimes this world is just amazing. I couldn’t have achieved a better situation if I tried.
This position fell into my lap. And everything worked out perfectly.
Sometimes, you just have to have faith. Have faith that things will work out. That there is a greater plan bigger than you and I.
HOW TO CREATE THE CAREER YOU WANT
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to include in this post. I wanted to share my story. And I wanted to get it all out there so that one day I could look back and remember this pivotal moment in my life and career.
But I also wanted to help you guys.
A year ago, I was in a terrible state. I was depressed and had crippling anxiety. To the point where I would spend some days just curled up on the floor. Unable to find the energy to even sit at my desk or move to get food.
And that’s not a place that I wish any of you to be.
So let me be the example that you can, in fact, change your life.
You don’t have to live your life in fear. And you don’t have to live your life based on other people’s standards.
If someone out there in the world is being successful at something, that means that you can be successful at it too. Stop doubting yourself. And stop waiting for the perfect moment.
There is no perfect moment. And there never will be. If you keep waiting, your life will take control of you instead of you taking control of your life.
So just go out there and do it. Create a life that you want to live. And don’t ever give up.
Inspirational talk semi-over… Here are some tips that really helped me to create the career (and life) that I wanted.
Self-love, self-care, and self-awareness
“Self-love is not selfish.” So many of us are taught to put others first. To care for those around you. To be there when someone needs you, no matter what. But what about yourself?
Ya see, for so long, I always did what I thought other people wanted me to do. I acted in a way that I thought other people would like. And I hid from sharing who I truly was.
It’s sad. But it’s true. And it happens to a lot of people today. We see the perfect life on social media way too often that we forget that life is beautiful when it’s messy.
So one of my top tips to give you if you want to create the career you want is to get real with yourself on the level of self-love, self-care, and self-awareness. You, your body, your mind, and your spirit are the only real guarantees in your life. So why not treat them with love? And if you don’t know where to get started, I would suggest taking the time to do things that make you happy. Even those little acts will bring out an amazing side of you and help you to transform into the person you are meant to be. And of course keep reading, because there are more tips on how to become self-aware as well.
And if you don’t know where to get started, I would suggest taking the time to do things that make you happy. Even those little acts will bring out an amazing side of you and help you to transform into the person you are meant to be. And of course keep reading, because there are more tips on how to become self-aware as well.
Invest in yourself
We invest in so many things. From clothing to cars to experiences. But when was the last time that you invested in yourself? When was the last time that you paid for something that was going to improve some aspect of you?
I first realized the importance of investing in myself in June. And I spent $500 on a personal and business development course. At the time, that was scary! I couldn’t believe I was spending that kind of money on an online course. But I had big dreams that I wanted to achieve. So I dove all in.
And let me tell you, it was one of the best things that I’ve ever done. I learned so much not only about myself but also about my business and how to push it in the right direction. It was amazing!
So if you are debating about investing in yourself, whether that be attending grad school or getting a plastic surgery on an insecurity you’ve had for years, it will be worth it. Again, you are the only guarantee in your life, so why not invest in that? Clothes aren’t forever, but you are!
Envision your future
Ever heard of the law of attention before? There’s a book on it that’s on my current Want list! And someday soon I’ll give it a read. But until then, let me explain the power of envisioning your future.
I want you to grab a piece of paper right now and answer the following question: Fast forward 3 years in your life, if you were living your happiest life to your truest self, what would your life look like?
And I want you to get detailed with it! Where are you living? What do you do when you wake up? Who is in your life? What do you do for a living? How are you impacting the world? Whatever it is, get detailed and be honest!
Anything is possible. So don’t hold yourself back. If you want to be traveling the world on a sailboat, then put that down! If you want to run a dog shelter (then let me know what it is so I can donate), then put that down!
No dream is too big.
And here’s the thing. When you get clear on your goals and what you want to achieve, you can start to attract that kind of future. It may seem crazy. So let’s look at it in a no-nonsense mindset. When you know where you want to be in 3 years, you can create a plan on how you are going to get there.
If you want to sail around the world on your sailboat, then create a plan on how much money you need to have saved to not only buy the sailboat but also travel for an extended period of time.
I’m telling you. It works. So figure out what you want your future to look like and start envisioning it regularly! Keep it top of mind. And watch your future unfold.
Did you know that yoga was actually created to help with meditation?! I found that out a few months ago and I found it fascinating. Because more people are likely to practice yoga then meditate.
Anyway, meditation has so many proven benefits. And I’m not going to list them off here. But with regular practice of meditation, you can improve your focus and quiet your mind. And by doing this, you in return better understand your body, your thoughts, your energy, and so much more! It’s truly powerful!
I started practicing meditation a few months ago. I believe it was in May or June. So it’s been a little while. But I’m now at the point in my practice where I can fall back on my breathing to calm my emotions and reactions. It’s amazing. And it’s helped me so much!
Plus a lot of successful people swear by meditation and mindfulness! This Forbes article is pretty good if you want to learn more about it.
I also talked about meditation in a recent post about how content writing changed my life. So you can go check that out too. But for now, I’m gonna keep moving.
Be open to change
This is a hard one. And it may not seem like it. Or you may not think it is for you. But it is. For all humans, change is difficult. We like routines. We like the expected. It’s in our nature.
So when things don’t go as planned, it’s normal for us to have an emotional reaction (Meditation helps with this too).
But when you are shut off to change, you miss out of so much. The Universe could be presenting you with the best opportunity to skyrocket your career but if you’re too focused on your next planned step, you’ll pass up the amazing opportunity without even knowing it.
This new position was that opportunity to me. I honestly didn’t want to take the interview. I think that I’m terrible at interviews. And it made me feel uncomfortable. But I told myself to be open to opportunity.
And now here I am. With a whole new career. One that did not fit into my set plan from before. But since I opened myself up to change, I’m now living a happier life.
So always be open. It’s great to have a plan. But it’s also great to just go along for the ride and wait for whatever is thrown your way.
FINAL THOUGHTS BEFORE YOU GO
Whether you are 18, 36, or 65, if you are unhappy with your life, there is always time to change it. And it may seem crazy, but you don’t have to do things that make you unhappy.
The next time you are forced to make a decision, ask yourself: “Does this bring me joy?”. If the answer is yes, then you do it. And if the answer is no, then walk away.
Life is honestly that simple. And we make it up to be so darn complicated. But it doesn’t have to be.
So go out there and start doing more of what makes you happy. Find your purpose in this world and chase it.
You were born for a reason. And you are at the end of this article for a reason. If you are still waiting for your perfect moment, I’m telling you that it is right now.
Do something today that you will be proud of tomorrow. And just remember that believe in you through and through.
Until next time, you guys!
Why, hello there! I’m Cathrin, the creator of The Content Bug. But since we are already virtual best friends, you can call me Cath. After working in the digital marketing industry, I decided it was time to share my love for online content creation, social media, and SEO with the everyday hustlers of the world… like YOU! You can almost always find me at a local coffee shop writing, reading and working on new things for The Content Bug. But when I have some free time, I love hanging out with my dog, going to a yoga class, and being outside. Stay connected with me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter to see what I’m up to!