3 Signs It's Time for a Change
I’ve been freelancing part-time for more than two years, and I’ve recently taken the leap into full-time freelancing. Initially, I started doing so just because. I met editors here and there, and they offered me the chance to freelance for them.
In the beginning, it was just a way to earn extra money while I interned or worked full-time elsewhere. But as I moved in and out of positions, I realized that freelancing did two things: built connections within the industry and gave insight into how different publications worked. You could build relationships with different editors, and be among the top candidates for job openings. This works two-fold. Editors can see your raw reporting and writing capabilities, and you get insight into how they treat their writers and editors without fully committing to the outlet.
As I worked for others, I realized my longing for working for myself. Most recently, I landed a contract writing gig at an insurance technology firm. While I enjoyed learning more about content creation, I came home from work feeling tired and relieved. But then I found another sudden burst of energy when doing interviews and writing pieces for various publications. I love reporting and writing. It didn’t feel like work to me. After a while, I started to feel burned out working all day producing content and then writing articles at night.
I knew that at some point I’d have to make a choice: either find a suitable full-time or part-time job or pursue full-time freelancing. I’m keeping my eye out for part-time work, but I’m freelancing full-time in the meantime. As a person who has had to make transitions multiple times, here are the signs to look for when you’re deciding whether to leave:
You feel sad on Sunday and happy on Friday.
When I took a managing editor position after college, I was thrilled at first. But then the work environment started to drag me down. Every week, I call my grandparents and I call my mom several times a week. On Fridays, I had a wave of relief. But on Sundays, my family could hear the sadness in my voice as a retold the week’s events. If you dread waking up on Mondays, it’s probably time to seek work elsewhere.
Your body is telling you you’re stressed out.
I started having mental and physical health problems. My body was trying to tell me that I was unhappy. And once I found a part-time job to dedicate more time to freelancing, I left. Two months later, I got my first byline in The New York Times. Don’t be afraid to listen to your body. Your health comes first. And a job is not worth your wellbeing.
You’re bored at work.
In this era, you should never stop learning. If you feel like you’re plateauing, that can breed complacency or even resentment. I knew it was time to leave a job when it started to become monotonous. I mostly did copywriting and some email marketing. If you’re not pushing yourself to perfect new skills or you’re not being given new challenges, it’s probably time for you to change your role within that new company, advocate for more responsibilities in your current role or move on to something else.
Change is scary, but it’s good. And if you embrace it, you may find your path to success.
When did you have to make a change in your life? How did you handle it? Tell me in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Yes, your email will make it to me.)