Monday, April 27, 2009

Why Being Laid Off Pays Off

Image found here.

A few months ago I was liberated from the 9 to 5 grind when the newspaper I worked for downsized and I became one of the millions of unemployed.

I experienced so many emotions at once. Sadness, relief, panic, nostalgia and determination. As soon as I heard those words, "We're going to have to let you go," it seemed like the worst thing that could have happened. But as I was sitting in that room with my former editor I had a change of heart. I chose to look at unemployment as the best thing that could have happened, because somewhere on my list of "Things I want to be when I grow up," was to be self-employed.

Sleeping in makes me all fuzzy inside. (I think this image is from the now defunct Domino mag.)

As a young adult, self-employment once seemed to me like a brass ring that was too high to reach. What were my qualifications exactly to do such a reckless thing as to carve my own path, swinging from one ring to the next without a safety net?

True, I haven't "made it" yet but I'm meeting my small business goals every day. One accomplishment leads to the next, and each month that passes the list of those achievements gets bigger until one day you wake up and think, "I've finally arrived. Look at how far I've come."

At least, that's what a successful musician I once interviewed told me. I think I'll take his word for it.

So here are my Reasons Why Self-Employment Rules:
* I get to wake up when I choose to. This is the honest to god, absolute most wonderful thing about working for myself. (That's not to say that I sleep until noon, because I don't. Not even close.)
* The coffee at the "office" is of good quality and is never burned.
* It's a short commute from the couch -- where I drink said morning coffee -- to my work desk.
* And I get to wear my p.j.'s all day if I so choose.
* Lunch breaks last as long as I please (as long as goals are met, of course).
* Any time the work gets too tedious I can take a break to play with my dogs, go outside and get some sun or watch some tube.
* This is one for my former co-workers. My office has windows. Yes! There are four of them.
* I call the shots on what to make, how much to charge, how my business effects the environment, what image I project and what I stand for.
* And last but not least, no one will ever tell me these two damning words, "You're fired."


KARA said...

OMG - sweet Monica I am so pleased for you. Sounds like you are having a great time and you go girl.
I am part time worker part time SAHM and love it, if I could afford to I would never go back to work and focus on the business I have been wanting to do.
I only hope all your dreams come true and that through your blog I get to see them