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Why going freelance is not a brave move

Updated: Mar 5, 2020

When I decided to quit my job and go freelance, the thing most people said to me was "what a brave move!". This comment often made me blush but also confused me a bit. I actually didn't see it as a brave move, it felt like the only step in my career that made complete and total sense to me. After working in various jobs in marketing, I noticed something about 'building your career'. A career is not something that you can plan as meticulously as I once thought in my early twenties when I graduated. At the time, I didn't realise that your career is a combination of so many factors. Of course there's skill, expertise and talent. But it's also a matter of seizing opportunities. Some people call this being lucky, but I don't. I don't see finding a job that fits you and landing it as being lucky. You saw an opportunity and went for it. It's creating a climate and environment for yourself to see that opportunity and recognise it for what it is; your next step. This is also how I realised it was time for a new step when it came to my own career. Being in a growing and expanding company for many years and actually taking part in that growth made me feel good. I was in the right place at the right time. It was in a company where I worked as a first-time mother and also had my second child. A company that kept me on my toes, offered an environment of freedom and comfort, and where I grew into a role of manager with global ambitions.

There was quite some struggle at times to get a seat at the table. Then finally, the seat was there for me, I reached the top of the mountain and yet it felt unsatisfying. The top of the mountain was not were I wanted to be. Was Miley Cyrus right when she say that it '"Ain't about what's waiting on the other side, It's the climb"? I came to the realisation that she hit the nail on the head. Something had to change. I needed more freedom, I needed to be creative again, I needed more time for what really matters. It was time for a different balance in my life. Though work gave me stability financially, it didn't offer me excitement anymore. While I was in the process of saying goodbye to the comfort of a fixed contract, I was listening to a podcast by actor David Tennant, he was talking to presenter James Corden. James started to talk about how you can do something for a while and then can feel numb almost, as if you don't feel connected anymore. He quoted radio host Chris Evans who had the same realisation and decided to quit his job to pursue new things. Here's the quote and I'm paraphrasing here: “I’m a mountain climber. But now I feel like a mountain observer. I need to climb those mountains again. And I like to thank my husband for giving me the certainty to go for the uncertainty." This gave me all the feels. I needed new mountains to climb. But, and this is very important for me too, I also needed the support of my significant other and loved ones. The moment I told them I needed a change and that going solo was the step I wanted to take, they all supported me. It made complete sense to me, and for those near me. They gave me the certainty to create new clear yet uncertain career path. With the strength of feeling completely backed-up and supported, I didn't feel brave for going freelance, it felt completely natural. So it's not about luck or about being brave when you do something new, it's about doing something that's the right fit. If you know who you are, what you want and especially, what you need, now that's what I call being lucky.

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