Well, it’s nearing the end of the second month since I quit my day job and began to focus on the careers that I want to do: Photography and Voice Over (VO). Only, it hasn’t gone quite the way I’d thought it might (though, what does, really?).
The first two weeks found me vacillating back and forth between staying the course or going and finding another admin job. There’s something definitely comforting about having a steady income, especially when you get paid weekly (which I did). When you don’t see that money coming in and only see money leaving your bank account to pay for bills, rent, etc., there are definite moments of freaking out.
But aside from the financial freak outs, let’s call them, I have THOROUGHLY enjoyed my independence! It’s been wonderful to spend my hours working on things that will further my career goals, rather than sitting at a desk plodding through daily work that doesn’t feed my soul. I’ve always been a generally positive person, but I haven’t felt this energized or true to myself in years! My functional medicine doctor even commented on how much healthier my adrenal glands are since leaving the daily grind.
Another “issue” (we’ll say, for lack of a better term) is that I never realized just how many of life’s things had been relegated to the weekends, or put on the back burner indefinitely. I’ve heard newly retired people say that they’re busier than when they worked, but never fully understood that . . . until now. What with grocery shopping, dishes, cooking my own meals, running this errand or that one, my days are jam-packed! True, I feel FAR more productive than I did when working the day job, but if I thought I’d be able to spend 8 hours a day on VO and Photography, I was sorely mistaken. I’d say I get to put in a good 5-6 hours a day on my careers. Which is still great, as it’s a huge improvement over the 1-2 hours I was able to do every couple of days.
I’ve also decided to go to college full-time to get a degree in my chosen professions. I’ve never been to college before, and I’m trying to find ways to not have to work at a desk job ever again. My big hope is that I’ll be able to find grants or scholarships that will help pay for college and my bills, but I’d also be willing to do internships or work-study to help augment my finances, if need be. That will again diminish the time I’m able to focus on auditioning for VO jobs, or edit photos, but it will hopefully help me in the long run. But, this is the first week of my first semester, so there will be more updates on that as time goes along.
The biggest issue has probably been learning to structure my time properly (which is partly why this blog is a day late). Another benefit of having a day job is that you’re more aware of time passing. You know what day it is. And for me I had systems in place at work that helped me organize my life. I’ve never wanted to be attached to my mobile phone, but now I have to be, because that’s where I’ve begun to put all of my appointments. If I don’t, I forget said appointments and then beat myself up for it.
But Craig was right . . . I have learned a LOT already. I’ve taken a couple of VO webinars, which led to a free 2-week all-access pass to other online VO courses, which has been great. I’ve submitted some images to some gallery contests, so we’ll see what happens there. AND I’ve been able to work on projects that have been stagnant for 2 years, because I was just too busy or emotionally exhausted to focus on them.
So all in all, I’m VERY happy I decided to quit my day job! It’s been emotionally freeing and empowering to realize that what I want IS important, and that I CAN achieve my dreams.