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Taking stock and moving forward – Freedom Road #6

This post was originally posted on WFA.Life. The Freedom Road series documents my transition to a more freelance, less corporate working life.

Message received loud and clear

In the last month, I’ve taken stock again. How many more times do I need to do this until it sinks in?

I’ve got the message loud and clear now.

Finally.

This life, this working current life, is not for me. It’s stagnant, stultifying and deeply unsatisfactory.

The message I received—loud and clear—is that I’m not stuck. I have options. And I need to take them, before I die a slow, agonising death of a thousand cuts in a drab cubicle somewhere, deep in the bowels of a government department, tortured by appalling leadership.

A woman with a plan

There is nothing like a knock back to force one to spring into action. I’ve had one too many, so it’s time. It’s time to plan that alternative life that I’ve promised myself.

And it’s this: I’m taking three months off work—I have pro rata long service leave up my sleeve—and I probably won’t go back. In fact, I’m counting on it. I figure time away will unshackle me from the golden shackles that have entwined themselves insidiously around my mind. I’ve become dependent on the apathy of my paycheck and I need to break my addiction. This time off will be a self-imposed intervention.

I tell you what though: it feels good to have made a decision, to have some direction instead of the limbo in which I’ve found myself over the last 12 months. And it’s a decision I’ve made: I haven’t been pushed into it.

What I’m doing

So this is what I’m doing: I’m going to Asia. First stop Bali and Sharing Bali, and then onto Vietnam. I plan to land in Saigon (or Hanoi depending on what I do) on 1 December.

But I won’t be aimless. I’ll be either volunteering at KOTO or doing a Workaway placement or finding a teaching English job. And while I’m there, I’ll check out the freelance work situation. I aim to build up my business networks and contacts with the view to continuing this work when I return home.

I’m keeping an eye on the job boards, and there is a huge need for qualified, native English speakers with my skills and experience. I doubt that my age would be an issue… in fact, I think it would be an advantage. Unlike western culture, the East respects age and wisdom, rather dismissing it.

It will nice to be somewhere where (I assume) I’m wanted.

Between now and then

I’ve got three months until I take my leave. I’ll be going to the WFA.Life Conference in Sydney first (see you all there!). That’s in November. My leave will start on November 1. Between now and then, I have a plan of action:

  • write lots and submit to paying sites
  • write lots and self-publish more books
  • devise info products, courses, services that I can sell (either actively or passively)
  • get my blogs ticking along nicely (with a view to driving traffic and capitalising on affiliate links, sponsored posts and products for sale)
  • apply for all the remote/freelance jobs I can (you should see the job boards I subscribe to!) with the view to snagging at least one regular clients
  • network and co-work my butt off here at home (see above point)
  • learn all I can about in-demand skills to upsell myself e.g. online community management, SEO, content strategy, content marketing etc.

So did you see this coming? Or did you predict as inevitable? I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts, and if you have any pointers and/or pitfalls you’d like to share… I’m all ears!

Photo credit: Konrad Lembcke via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-ND


Did this post resonate with you?

Collection 4: Working It Out of the Love & Other Brave Acts (Essays on Courage for Fearless and Fabulous Living) series is all about work, workplaces and organisational culture.If you liked this post, then you’ll love my collection of essays about work.

Part memoir, part analysis of workplace culture, I consider the world of work and the definition of career success. And anyone who has found themselves disillusioned about the progress of their career—and that’s a lot of us!—will relate to this book.

Grab your copy of Collection 4: Working is Out  from the Amazon Kindle Store for .99c.

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