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How I Left My Job and Started Writing Full-Time

I recently left my administrative assistant job to pursue full-time writing. This is not the “typical” career switch, and here’s why:

The Growth Potential

I started my career as a secretary, office manager, and administrative assistant, and in each role, I advanced quickly. Even after becoming a manager, my roles continued to grow, and now, at age 47, I find myself managing multiple teams and projects (mostly tech-related). I enjoy my work, especially now that I have the opportunity to be creative and use my skills.

However, during my ten years as an administrative assistant, I saw very little potential for personal growth. While I enjoyed using my skills and being creative, I assumed this was what all administrative assistants did, and I never really looked at other industries or job roles to see what other opportunities were out there.

The Creative Freedom

When I was in my early 30s, I was at a crossroads in my career. I was either going to continue working in a traditional role, or I was going to venture out on my own and start my own business. I was getting bored of doing the same thing day after day, and I saw the writing industry as a chance to be creative and use my skills in a new way. So I decided to leave my job and start my own business. I began writing product descriptions and marketing materials for small businesses. Not only did I have the freedom to be creative and use my skills, but I also got to develop my own schedule and work remotely.

However, while my role as a writer is very secure and offers great opportunities for personal growth, my role as an administrative assistant has limited growth potential. You see, when I left my job, I assumed my role would decrease, and my job prospects would become insecure. But, surprisingly, after I left, my role increased and my job prospects improved.

The Flexibility

Even when I was in my 20s, I found it difficult to secure employment because I don’t have a traditional job title or a college degree. This led me to pursue self-employment opportunities, which have provided me with great flexibility. I work remotely for several clients, and because of my flexible schedule, I’m able to provide clientele with my unique skillset.

While working remotely for Clients A and B, I found myself taking on new responsibilities, and because of my skill set, I was able to exceed expectations. I was promoted to Senior Account Manager after just three months, and because I had a flexible schedule and could handle both onsite and remote work, my clients were able to benefit from my skills. My roles continued to evolve, and now, at age 47, I find myself leading multiple teams and projects while providing administrative support to our CEO.

The Supportive Environment

The fact that I don’t have a conventional job title and am considered an independent contractor provides me with job security, but it also limits my professional network. Since I don’t have an administrative assistant title, I don’t get to participate in social events or gain access to membership programs that provide me with additional networking opportunities.

But that’s what makes me happy. While my schedule is very structured and I work long hours, I find that I make the most valuable connections through in-demand industries like technology. And because of my extensive knowledge, my technical writing clients feel supported and confident in my abilities, even when I’m writing for somewhat complex subjects like cloud computing.

The Opportunity To Be A Contributor

Even before I got my business card, I was considered an integral part of the team. My writing was mostly for internal purposes (like product descriptions and marketing materials), but I also contributed to blogs and websites on a voluntary basis. And because I don’t have a conventional job title, I don’t have to artificially limit my contributions just to be considered an “employee.”

I have the opportunity to contribute to Medium, LinkedIn, and other reputable websites, and I choose to contribute because I love sharing my knowledge and experience. I get to explain sophisticated concepts in plain English, and I get to provide unique perspectives on familiar subjects.

The Desire To Help

Even if you’re not in a career transition, you may still want to start your own business. You may want to do so for a variety of reasons – to be your own boss, to pursue your dreams, to support yourself and your family, or even to help others.

In my case, I wanted to help others just as much as I wanted to be my own boss. I found that when I started my business, I was confident that I could bring in enough revenue to provide for my needs. But after only a few months, I found myself strapped for cash, and I decided to return to work. After all, having a 9-5 isn’t exactly what freedom feels like!

What’s Next?

I can’t speak for everyone, but personally, I’m loving life as a full-time writer. I wake up every day, excited about what I’m going to do that day, and I look forward to going to work. While my roles have changed, my desire to help has not. In fact, I love being able to provide unique perspectives on familiar subjects and explain complex concepts to non-experts.

I would recommend that anyone considering a career switch to do so in a way that feels right to them. You might find that you’re not cut out for a 9-5, or you might just need a change of scenery. No matter what, there will always be a niche for someone who is willing to put in the effort.