2.5.15

Self-Employed: 4 Lessons to Learn After Quitting your Job


It took me quite awhile to write this post and to share my lessons about moving forward in the working world.

You have no idea the countless of times I had to write and rewrite this post over and over again. It wasn't because I was facing writer's block, but it was because I was trying to be in the right place to express with the right words so that I am able to share with you.

So, I asked myself, "Why am I writing this?" The answer was: I want to share my journey of being a self-employed in the creative field. Just like how I started this blog, I want to share my journey with others because I know somewhere out there, there are individuals like myself who probably want to pursue this path or seeking for answers.

Let me be that inspiration for you.

Ever since I tendered my resignation letter, I have been busy sorting things out and getting things started. In the midst of this, I have also been talking to a couple of friends. It is interesting to learn about different life stories and experiences from people of various backgrounds. During this last few weeks, I have been doing a lot of thinking and mentally preparing myself to be self-employed. As I am now counting the days to my last day, along the way I have stumbled upon a couple of life lessons.

Who would've thought that even quitting your job to be self-employed gives you a whole new level of learning. Therefore, if you are in the same boat as me, and just tendered your resignation letter, I hope that this blog post finds you well:

Lesson 1: Finding Peace

I can't say that I am enjoying every bit of serving my last month, because the work load is snowballing and no one likes to try and win the race with the snowball. As for myself, I am trying very hard to complete my tasks so that I can leave in peace.

They say that everywhere you go, you are sure to find yourself caught in office politics. Unless you are an anti-social person and have completely cut yourself out from the scene, yet even the most introvert person in the room can still be the hot topic of conversations. People are funny like that. Being in the corporate scene, I had my fair share of office politics. Despite the demands, however, I am aware that I am blessed with a team who are down to earth and seated in a homely environment. Even though we had our disagreements, yet our friendship remains at the end of the day and we remind each other that as a team we are stronger like that.

"Never look back in anger."

With that I have found peace. The one thing I have learned from an ex-colleague of mine, is that to never look back in anger no matter how you feel about your employer or the environment. Everywhere we go, we learn, for we are all teachers & students to one another.


Lesson 2: Coming out from my Comfort Zone

As a copywriter for the past few years, I have built amazing friendships that I cherished dearly. I have watched so many people come and go, and it wasn't easy for me because I watched them moved forward in their lives and I often wondered to myself, 'will I ever find another life out there?'

In one of my previous posts, I talked about how I was being headhunted to join another advertising agency before. I turned down the offer because I prioritized my dream and want to learn as much as I can in my current job. I have to admit, that I was very comfortable where I was.

A month ago, I would probably tell you that it would be a crazy idea if I quit my job to take a leap of faith to work full time for myself. As much as I enjoy what I do, but I was relying on the idea that I need a fix income to pay the bills. I thought that it was impossible for myself or anyone to go full throttle self-employed. Until recently, I had a changed of perception. I was tired of the routine, and even though I felt safe, I also saw myself becoming mundane and lack of balance. That idea of 'safe' was also holding back my own goals to further expand my blog biz.

Let's be realistic here. Of course I am worried! I had all kinds of negative 'what-if' thoughts playing in my head, BUT each time I worried, I asked myself, "If I can spend so much energy worrying, why can't I spend the same amount of energy visualizing that I CAN make it?"

"Make it happen."

Some thought I was being impulsive, but the way I see it, I wasn't. Now, I am not being biased out of my own interest; but I have a plan, and if I want to make it happen, I cannot keep 'waiting' any longer otherwise it will just be 'all talk, no action'. So I said to myself, "It is now or never!"

Lesson 3: Be Prepared

The night I told my love that I have decided to resign, was probably one of the most awakening moments in my life. He asked me if I was sure about my choice, and I instantly said YES! It was as if every nerve in my body was guiding me, and I felt right in doing so. My other half was probably shocked at how quickly I made up my mind, and I assured him that I will do what it takes to make it work. It felt RIGHT to pursue my own passion or at least give it a shot.

So, instead of getting started on my plans after my last day, I decided to get to work right away, right now even before I leave the company.

In most situations in life, whether you have moved in to a new home, or just started a new job (ironic isn't it) or sent your kids to a new school, it takes 3 months for a person to settle in. That's just how it works.

"Start Planning."

If you have 2 months left, and you have an amazing plan already in mind; use that 2 months to kick start your plans. After all, it just 2 months of back to back work. The plan here is that by the 3rd month, you will probably be at Phase 2: that's when things start to roll, and you need to focus your energy into your new schedule instead and train yourself to be disciple at the "flexible hours".

Lesson 4: The Right Mindset (even if you have to tattoo it!)

Let us look at this in a logical perspective: I have been working for employers even before I graduated from college. I was working for extra pocket money even when I was in high school!

We were always told that the right thing to do after graduation was to land a 9-5 job with ONE goal: to put food on the table. Of course, it was the right thing to do, but after the same routine each day, 10 years later you are still doing the same thing and you find yourself forgetting what you really want to do in life. Plus, you also think that having a "dream" is child's play. You put all your efforts and invest your entire energy into that 1 company because it was the "safest" thing to do.

If you are happy with what you do, that is great. There is no right or wrong answer here, and definitely not about which is better.

However, if you are feeling as if something is missing in your life, and every part of your body yearns to do MORE with it, especially if you have a DREAM TO PURSUE; then ask yourself this question:

"If you can put in 10X the effort in your job because your boss has set the bar so high, can you do the same for yourself if you were to start your own business and be self-employed? Do you think it is possible to do the same for yourself?"

I leave that to you to answer. =)

Finally, give yourself that chance to try. Sometimes, you need to take a shot because you will never know that this might be 'it'. Plus, if you are really good at what you do, and you have skill, you need not to worry if things do not work out. You can always, always go back to work. Perhaps give yourself a maximum of 3 - 5 months at least, and give it a shot.

But if you are going to give yourself 3 months at the most, don't forget Lesson No. 3: things are only rolling at the 3rd month.


*This post was written based on my own personal opinion.
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