This year has seen me completely swap careers and make the move to fully working for myself. Previously, I was a busy special needs teaching assistant. I’m now a detail orientated, word-loving copy editor and proofreader. This post is focused on what my career change has taught me and what I’ve loved about beginning to work for myself. Moving from a busy school environment to the peace and tranquility of working at home has been exciting, and I have unmistakably discovered various things from it. If you’re wondering about swapping careers or swapping to working for yourself, I hope this helps you, there is so so much to think about, but for me, it’s been a great process.
I am capable of much more than I thought.
If you’d have told me a year ago that I’d have left the career that I’d spent eight years advancing and learning within, to trying something entirely different, I wouldn’t have believed you. In my mind, I was on the educational track for the long haul, and just didn’t think that I had the ability or qualifications to do much else. I was so wrong. Taking the leap into the world of reading and writing — a world that I have always adored from the sidelines, taught me that I have so much more going for me than I thought. I’m capable of doing more, being more and learning more. I’m capable of choosing and succeeding with a big career switch. It feels so satisfying to realise this, and I love being my own boss.
Sometimes you have to focus on yourself and do what you want
I’ve always been a people pleaser. I avoided having to say no to others, always more than happy to go with the flow of what others wanted. I would take the views and advice that those closest to me gave, and usually follow it. But taking this chance and changing my career has taught me the value of focusing on myself and my own priorities. I am actually in charge of my own life and the decisions I make within it. When I told people that I had decided to change careers completely, start fresh, a fair few were worried that I was making the wrong decision, and that my struggles would outweigh everything. But I disagreed, stuck up for what I desired and remained focused on it. It’s paid off, because things are going well for me, and I’m appreciating life much more now than I was in my previous job. It showed me that I do actually know what is best for me, that I am strong, and that I don’t always have to consider the opinions of others. *Sassily sashays away*
Working from home is fun
Just putting this out there: I freaking love working from home. I didn’t know how much I would, because usually I’m a sociable creature. I liked to think that I was well-liked within my workplace, with my loud, fun and caring attributes. Being this kind of person made me think that I’d really miss having a team to work with because I wouldn’t get to be as sociable, but actually, I’m okay. As it turns out, I’m more than content with my own company. Getting to have at least two small dance parties every day in my living room helps. The fact that I don’t have to get up before 7am for work for the first time in 8 years is glorious. My workwear is the comfiest it’s ever been, I set my own breaks, and I can blare Beyonce as loud as I need to. I love it.
How active my previous job was
So, it turns out that reading and editing doesn’t actually require you to walk much. Working from home means that I basically sit down for most of my day, which is pretty new for me. I was so active in my previous job, that it’s been strange to transition to a week where I’m not on my feet much, and I’m trying to make up for that elsewhere in my life. I won’t lie, I’ve been calling myself Homer Simpson lately, but luckily I’m okay with being a little more cuddly around my midsection. However, I am trying to figure out ways that I can become a little more active in my life, alongside everything I did outside of my previous job.
I have grown happier and stronger as a person
Following my change, I’m now much happier. I have more achievements to celebrate, I’m so much more comfortable with myself and my work life. I have so much passion and love for what I do. I have no management making me feel inferior, which has done wonders for my state of mind and confidence. I’m stronger for the change because I’ve actually dared to do it, I was brave enough to take the risk and overcome my mental barriers.
That I can be flexible with my time
In my previous job, I was much more restrained by my working hours. Most people think that a bonus of working within education is that you get more time off than usual, which in some ways it really was. But I was tied to having that time off, there was absolutely no leeway. If my friends planned to go away, but couldn’t do school holidays, then I couldn’t go. If my Mum needed help with something on a weekday, there was no chance that I’d be there. Haircuts and appointments were a pain. Working for myself has meant that I can be much more flexible, and it is so much better. I can get cheaper holidays. I can go to a concert even if it’s mid-week. I can meet a friend for brunch if I wanted. Obviously, I can’t have brunch out every day, but knowing that I have freedom within my schedule is so wonderful.
This is just a little taster of the bonuses I’ve experienced from changing my career and working for myself. Obviously there are setbacks too — but when isn’t there? To me, I’m so much happier now, and that is the main thing. My life is fulfilling, joyful, interesting and I do something every day that brings me joy. Hopefully this has made you see some of the things that you might learn if you were to do something similar. If you’ve any questions, just let me know!
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