I’m living proof you never know where life will take you

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I am finally doing something I love.

It feels like a stroke of luck, but it’s not.

I worked hard at a job I loved for 18 years, but that ended when my employer wasn’t willing to increase my wage to keep me. A new and different position called to me and I made a big leap.

But that new position wasn’t flexible, and when the world shut down and I had to move into being a stay-at-home support parent I had to give it up, like so many other moms in the workforce.

The girls and I in spring 2020, trying to enjoy being at home all the time.

For the last five years, I’ve been honing my writing skills on my blog. I thought I might be able to make the move into freelance writing and make money while staying home to help the kids with school. 

I changed my website a bit and tried to shift my focus to blog articles about writing for the web. I found a few freelance opportunities, but none of them felt quite right.

Back in 2018, a friend of mine had mentioned a local media outlet was looking for writers. I got in touch and started writing very casually for them, covering some family-friendly events and writing library content. I did it for free because I saw the value in what Kingstonist was trying to do, and it helped me reach a new audience with my material. I know writing for ‘exposure’ isn’t how the gig economy is supposed to work, but I felt aligned with their mission, and I loved doing it.

Fast forward to our pandemic life, and they offered to pay me on a per-article basis while I was home with the girls. That felt great, but as the summer drew to a close, I had to find steady, full-time employment as we thought – at the time – that the kids would go back to in-person learning, and stay there. (Boy were we wrong!)

I advocated for myself as a writer, and the team at Kingstonist seemed to like my abilities, so I was able to secure a full-time position working from home. And at higher pay than any of my previous positions.

The bonus is it barely feels like work at all. Who knew I would be good at something I enjoy so much?

I suffer some imposter syndrome when I think about how I literally stumbled into this job. I have no formal media or writing training (my degree was a B.Sc. in Biology), and I am always so in awe when I’m praised for my work.

Every day is an adventure. Sharing the news and supporting local businesses feels absolutely worthwhile.

I am still open to freelance content writing gigs (preferably blog content for business websites), but I’m so happy with what I am doing right now.

It doesn’t hurt that this business puts family life first, and has a great vacation and benefits package.

So what is the moral of this story? Never give up. Do what you love, even if it’s only for a few minutes a week. Keep your options open and don’t be afraid to take a leap when it presents itself.

Jess

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