As you may have seen on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, I started a full-time job last week. I haven't really given an update on my freelance adventure since April, but soon after that update—well, to be honest, even before that post—it was evident that I wasn't happy being a freelancer. I was happy with the flexible schedule and with the ability to choose my own projects, but I didn't feel like I was furthering my career goals. I'd always been drawn to the office environment, imagining myself in a bustling workplace, getting stuff done. In sixth grade, I dressed up as a businesswoman for Halloween (mom's suit, dad's briefcase).
Even after I'd made my decision, I wanted to see the one-year of freelancing through. The plan was to begin looking for a job when the year was up in August, but I saw a very enticing job posting in May, and I knew I'd regret it forever if I didn't apply. So I went for it. I didn't get the job I applied for, but we started a really interesting conversation that led to a new position, which I started last week.
There were a lot of factors that influenced my decision to go back to 9-to-5 work, but here are a few of the big ones.
Coworkers with common goals
Sure, I've bemoaned all types of annoying coworkers before, but I missed my downers and oddballs. Especially in my communications work, my piece of the project was usually just that—a piece. It was passed to me with clear directions (though sometimes open-ended), and it was handed back when complete, never to be seen by me again. I was part of the work, but not part of the team. And for me, that made it a little less fun. I yearned for true collaboration, for differing opinions, for seeing things through from conception through the end.
One of my favorite things about graduating from school and hitting the working world was getting off of work and having the rest of the evening to myself. No homework. No required reading. Being a freelancer put a damper on my me-time, or at least having regular hours. Though I'm on the East Coast, my "work hours" were still more aligned to West Coast time just because that's where my clients were. This did give me some before-work time to myself, but also meant I was sometimes doing phone meetings after dinner.
Stability and once-a-year taxes
Though I've cried and moaned every April as I've tackled taxes, I never knew how easy I had it as a regular employee. If your tax prep involves waiting for your W-2s and other statements to come each January, consider yourself lucky. A regular paycheck doesn't hurt, either, especially as we save for a house and I continue driving my 11-year-old car into the ground (I'd like to be able to pay cash when it comes time to replace it, and that kind of savings takes pre-planning).
I have plenty more to share about my decision and all the other considerations that led up to it, but I'll spare you today and spread it out over the next few weeks. As with before, I won't be discussing the details of my day job here. On the plus side, you'll be getting more outfit updates on the Facebook page (if you're into that kind of thing).