I don’t tell this story often (because it kind of makes me look like an idiot), but I’m going to share it here, if only to show how far I’ve come.
In 2008, I worked at a fantastic job with great coworkers and a boss I adored. I was approached by a recruiter for a job at another agency that would have meant a move up for me. I offhandedly mentioned to a casual acquaintance that I was thinking about taking it, and when she asked why, I said, “More money. More power.” This woman (who barely knew me) looked puzzled and said, “THAT’S not you!”
Indeed it wasn’t, but I ignored my gut, took the new job, and ended up miserable with a capital m. I made a pretty spur-of-the-moment decision to quit– without doing all the things good aspiring freelancers should do, like saving money or lining up gigs. Basically I just decided one day that I was now a freelancer and that was that. Oh, did I mention this was in October of 2008?
After about 2 weeks, I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to make the rent and that maybe this was a really bad idea. I hustled to get myself into a PhD program at the University of Michigan, where I would receive a monthly stipend– so that even if I didn’t get clients for a month (or six months), I wouldn’t starve.
And that’s how it all began!