I’d made a decision at the beginning of this year. Freelance writing wasn’t cutting it for me financially, so after trying to make a living by cobbling several jobs together, I was willing to concede that it might be time to look for full-time employment. However, there were still reasons why I wanted to have a flexible, freelancer schedule – namely, that I wanted time to work on my writing, and I wanted the freedom to network during the day.
It’s amazing how important being available for coffee is in L.A.
BUT, I was willing to seek 9-5 employment as long as that employment served my ultimate career goals. In other words, I wasn’t going to be looking for barista jobs, or office work in an accountant’s office or anything. I wanted 9-5 employment in The Industry. If I was going to give up my free time, I wanted it to be with a purpose. So, I started seeking and applying for jobs at studios, production companies, and literary agencies. I reached out to friends who already work in this sphere asking them to keep their ears to the ground on my behalf, and many of them gave me a heads up about some great opportunities and very useful resources for my search! In the meantime, I still had my day jobs at HotPixel and at the other company I worked for one day a week.
You read that right. I typed “worked.”
Because in a whirlwind couple of days last week, I was offered and accepted a new full-time job! Unfortunately, I can’t tell you exactly what it is until tomorrow. Here’s what I can tell you:
- It’s a 9-5 job, but I’ll be working remotely from home.
- It’s salaried with benefits.
- It’s a writing job.
- It’s related to pop culture.
I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t you recently go out of your way to say that you were no longer going to be doing any pop culture writing, because you were burned out on it and you wanted to spend your writing time working on your own stuff? Yes I did. But here’s what I’ve realized since then: I wasn’t actually burned out on pop culture writing. I was burned out on freelancing. I was burned out on having to hustle for each and every piece I wrote. It was exhausting, and made me not enjoy the writing I had to do. But once I was offered an opportunity to write full-time – for ONE employer – suddenly the topic makes less of a difference.
As for the connections that can be made with a 9-5 job in The Industry vs a full-time writing job outside of it…the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it doesn’t make much difference. After all, all of the Industry connections I’ve made up until now (and there have been several!) I made as a freelance writer. What’s more, I feel like the connections I’ve made, because of the nature of my work as a pop culture writer, were more organic and friendly than they might be if I were to become, say, a receptionist at an agency, or some executive’s assistant – jobs where you’re required to blend into the background. As a writer, I can engage with people on my own terms, which has served me pretty well so far. Point is, networks can be built any number of ways. There’s no one right way to “break in.”
I gave my notice at HotPixel and my other job last week, too, which was kinda sad as I really enjoyed working at both places. I wouldn’t have left the jobs were it not for a better career opportunity, as my bosses at both places were extremely kind, and just cool people. It’s rare that you have an employer you can hang with, and I feel like both places offered me that. And as sorry as they are to see me go, they were extremely supportive and proud of me, and they totally get why I had to accept this new challenge.
I’m thrilled about this new opportunity, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it tomorrow! 🙂 My days are going to be much more structured, and it will force me to get my personal writing done before and after my job, which actually might help me get more of it done. After learning the hard way, I’ve realized that unstructured free time is my kryptonite, and I think that this new gig will allow me to flourish in other areas.
I start tomorrow! Wish me luck! 🙂
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