Career Shift - Thoughts/advice?

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WilliamRice
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:20 am

Career Shift - Thoughts/advice?

Post by WilliamRice »

As I posted a few weeks ago I was let go from my job. I am a graphic designer, 30yrs old with a wife and a 3 month old.

The job I was in was for a big corporation. I had been there for 6 years, 1 substantial raise in that time and every year a cost of living increase (I know, I am totally to blame for staying at such a place) I hated the job but it was extremely convenient and lax, come and go as I pleased and I became too disgruntled and comfortable. The month I was laid off I decided to start freelancing for extra money. We didn't need the money so I set a goal to make $100 the first month and see I can increase it by $100 each month and see where I can get too with the hope of one day in the distant future being able to do it full time. Well, I am in the middle of the 3 month and I am looking to do about $350 for just this week and it appears it's a trend that will continue and only go up.

I had always wanted to leave the job and try and do it on my own so being laid off kind of forced my hand. My wife (who is 100% supportive and has always wanted me to do this) had always made more money and we have lived off here income and used mine for the nanny and savings. Well, now we are in a position that I am staying home with the baby, we don't need a nanny so the cost adjustment for that, I would have to make $700 dollars a month to be in the position we were in before when I had a corporate job and we were paying for a full time nanny. I looks like not only is that do-able but I can surpass that. I had even mention to my wife that I perhaps in the coming months I would like to get a job at night maybe a few nights a week just to get out and be around other people just because freelancing at home is so new a different.

Ironically, I am making more money just on unemployment (not counting freelancing) then if I had a job. I guess bottom line is I have a taste for this and feel like if I have one chance not to ever go back to the corporate life and still make it work then I should embrace it. I am wondering people's thought's - maybe others have pursued this path and have a story, advice to share about it.

PS - we have plenty of savings, a years emergency fund, so a pretty good safety net.
jridger2011
Posts: 458
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:17 pm

Post by jridger2011 »

Graphic design is a tough business along with digital arts of any sort. A friend of mine is in a similar situation minus the wife and child who was let go at a firm he wasn't crazy about but stayed for many reasons, now he does freelance work fulltime. I consider his work good in that space but he says it has been a struggle getting paid on time because companies can really take their sweet time cutting checks out. Sometimes the work dries up, as well, for weeks on end. Since he is without a young family like you, he can take the risks involved and also the returns on being on big projects to build a portfolio.

I would probably search for another position at a company that does work you are interested in. Freelance design can be profitable for some, but not everyone.
marylandcrab
Posts: 358
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:51 am

Post by marylandcrab »

Not in the same industry, but that's pretty much how we got started.

Hubby worked in the medical sales industry, and his company kept getting bought out. Each time his commission would get cut. He believed however in a segment of the business he sold and kept thinking he could do it better on his own.

During the final buyout, he, as the #1 sales rep in the country was going to be getting a 50% paycut that we couldn't even afford to live on.

He started over the period of 6 months setting up to do it on our own. I was a sahm so I helped him organize and figure out the "office" side of things.

He got caught and terminated at the national sales conference - lol. I believe to this day he owes me that 2 week hawaiian vacation. They had already deposited the money in our bank so they couldn't get that back.

We had a $ figure in mind of how much we needed to survive without needing other jobs - he had taken a different sales job to cover us while we were going and when we consistently hit that number he quit.

What you have going for you is the wife earning money. We didn't have that to fall back on - which now from a distance I see as a real light under us that we HAD to make it work if we wanted to feed the kids.

My advice - don't limit your dreams to what you need to survive but how well you can flourish. If you need x to squeak by, and that's all you're worried about, it's all you'll do. Dream big and figure out how to get there.
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