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  • Writer's pictureAlex Rathbun

Jumping in: quitting my full time job for freelance

This week is my first week not going into my full time job. It’s been good, hard and confusing all at once so I wanted to share about my process to getting here as well as how my first few days on my own have been.

At some point a couple months ago, I realized that I was enjoying the side design and photography projects I’ve been doing more than my full time job. It made me sad to have to turn down fun project opportunities because I didn’t have the time.

One day, I came to the realization that what I desired most was to create my own creative lifestyle - have my own schedule, take full responsibility for my success (financially and otherwise), challenge myself creatively, interact with a wider range of people, get to chose my projects, travel and work. This secret desire filled me with excitement and fear.

When I nervously shared my dreams with my husband, his gracious, kind response was “Do it! Quit your job and go for it. Why wouldn’t you?” He helped me to realize that the only reason I would not take the jump into starting a freelance career was fear. So many fears: financial insecurity, too much alone time, disappointing people, people’s potential judgement of my decision. But I quickly was reminded that I am not someone that lets go of what excites me. Fear was the only thing holding me back and Eric and I decided that fear is not a good thing to let dictate your life.

So after seeking the wisdom and advice from others around me in the creative community, I took the jump and quit my job.

And here I am. I’m trying to establish routine from week 1: wake up early, drink coffee on the porch, pray and journal, paint, open up my computer (I still can’t believe that I get to have time for all these things - I feel like the luckiest person in the world). From here is where life has felt confusing: how much time to I spend on the projects in front of my face vs. marketing myself for new projects? Do I say yes to everything? If I spend two hours at lunch with a friend should I feel guilty? (no.) Am I going to stay busy next week? Will I be overwhelmed? What do I do in my free time? How do I value time with my husband and not think about that email I need to send?

So yeah, still figuring all of this out. Turns out I can’t answer all my problems in one week!

But on top of all this, I feel an extreme happiness. I’m sure this will somewhat fade, but I just can’t believe how much freedom comes with doing what feels right in this season of my life. I truly feel like this is what I’m supposed to be doing right now and I’m excited to discover more deeply who I am.

If you’re curious about details from any point in my process thus far, please email me! If you’re thinking about taking the jump, I’m a major newbie to this but I’d love to help in any way and share my experience.

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