If you’ve been following my career journey over the past few months then you will know that I am self-employed but what you may not know is that I have been transitioning from unemployed to self-employed. And as you can probably imagine it has been a huge change for me.
This post is inspired by the lovely Lucy’s blog post all about how she has been getting used to working a 9-5 job after university. I love Lucy’s content and I think she is such a genuine girl. So do go check out her post. It’s such a good read!
The reality of being unemployed
The whole reason as to why I was unemployed for the past few years is because of my mental health. I was never well enough to work and even when I was going through a really hard time I could barely even leave the house so a job was never really an option. I would have never been able to hold one down nor would I have been a good employee.
For a long time, I felt so ashamed and embarrassed that I was unemployed. There are a lot of negative associations with being unemployed like ‘lazy’, ‘a scrounger’ or ‘spoilt’ to name a few and although no one ever verbally said any of these things to me, I definitely felt a lot of shame not having a job.
It was especially difficuilt seeing all the people I went to school with starting their careers either going to university or landing their first full-time job whilst I was struggling to even get myself through the day because of anxiety attacks.
As I have felt better over the past year or so, the prospect of earning a living and making a difference became more like something I could do and therefore my confidence grew as well as my ambition.
The initial dream and plans
I began thinking about being self-employed around the summer of 2018 but at the time I wasn’t feeling my best so I kept putting it off because I wasn’t 100% sure I could pull it off. When January came around this year and I felt the best I had felt in years, I knew I couldn’t waste any more time not going after my dreams.
So in April 2019 I took the plunge and stepped into the world of being self-employed where I started my own business and therefore began transitioning from unemployed to self-employed. The past few months I have been working as a social media manager and I’ve honestly enjoyed it so much. I even kick myself for not starting sooner because doing it has honestly changed my life for the better.
I’ve felt my confidence and belief in myself grow massively. Instead of putting myself down and feeling worthless, I now feel like I have a purpose, I have my drive and motivation back that I have been desperate to feel again. My skills are constantly improving and I’m always learning which has just been so good for me all around.
But it has been far from easy and has been a huge challenge that I’ve been through.
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It wasn’t plain sailing
I always knew it was going to be a bit of a wake-up call going from focusing all my time and energy on blogging, socialising and getting my mental health better to still doing all of that and now throwing in this new responsibility of being a business owner.
Transitioning from unemployed to self-employed has been a huge challenge.
I’ve really had to learn how to prioritise and push aside the things I was doing before because my business had to become number one. Not that I was against this idea because I was finally doing something with my life and it does make me happy, but it definitely was a bit of a shock to the system.
In the first couple of months I tried to continue how I was with trying to blog three times a week, still have a social life, look after my mental health and all the other demands life throws at you but I soon began to burn myself out and I could feel myself feeling overwhelmed.
Taking a step back
I knew that I couldn’t keep constantly pushing myself and putting pressure on myself to try and live my old life with this new responsibility on top. I never wanted to give up blogging or not be able to see people or look after myself properly or any of the things I did before, but I knew I needed to figure out how I could balance everything.
So as I advanced further through transitioning from unemployed to self-employed, I took a step back and figured out how I could still make time for all the different parts of my life that I enjoyed.
I made the decision to cut down on my blog posts so that when I did work on my blog, I could still put the same amount of effort in, but for a smaller quantity which is why things have been quiet on my blog during the summer months. I’ve really had to take a step back from how frequently I used to upload which sucks but I know it will be better in the long run.
I make sure that I schedule regular breaks, take weekends off so I can chill or make plans with others and I make time for myself when I’ve closed my laptop at the end of the working day by carrying out my favourite me-time activities.
I’ve been so strict with myself and ensured that I seriously make the time to look after me because it’s important to me and I know I work better when I’m feeling my best.
So whilst transitioning from unemployed to self-employed has been a bit of a wake-up call and at times I have felt overwhelmed, I definitely feel more at ease now with a change of routine and like I kind of know what I’m doing which is always a good sign.
How have you adapted to a new change in your life?