I Quit the 9-5…Forever

Follow Your Dreams That’s right!

As of Thursday evening, I will no longer be working the typical 9-5 job that I’ve had for so many years. In fact, I’ll only be “working” four hours/day in a traditional role. What will I be doing for the remainder of my time?

Working for myself.

My Choice to Can the 9-5

It’s no secret that I’ve been (consciously and subconsciously) planning this leap of faith for quite some time. Last year as I was transitioning jobs, I wrote about my back-up plan and why it’s important to always have options for yourself. I’ve also written about how to start a business while keeping your day job,  I’ve challenged my readers to critically evaluate if they’re using their time wisely, and I’ve discussed why it’s paramount to not sacrifice passion in lieu of paying the bills.

What do all of these posts have in commons? They’re all paving the way for strong foundation that would allow someone (me in this case) to venture off on their own professionally.

Evaluating the Past

As I was reading through my archives in an attempt to write this post, something jumped out at me: I’ve switched jobs two times in the last two years. Despite my initial love for each position, eventually the “honeymoon phase” was over and I returned to the idea of starting my own business.

Looking back, I’ve realized it wasn’t the change or the new, exciting nature of each job change that kept me happy in the beginning–it was me lying to myself. I was avoiding the nearly insatiable desire I had to chart my own course; to make a go of employing myself by forcing myself to “love” what I was doing. The truth was that I’ve never been happy in a traditional 9-5 marketing or office role….

Don’t Let Fear Rule Your Decisions

Essentially, I was letting fear rule my life. I was fearful of what striking out on my own meant. I was fearful of the potential for epic failure. And I was fearful of not living my life in the conventional manner I’ve been groomed to be accustomed to (go to college, go to grad school, get a good job, climb the corporate ladder, blah, blah, blah).

Thanks to some surprising events at my current job that I felt uneasy about (lots of restructuring, people shuffling and strategy changes), I came to the conclusion that it was high time I faced my fears head-on. This is my life, those are my bank balances and I’m ready now more than ever to be successful in my own way.

Staying Realistic–and Positive

Of course striking out on my own isn’t a rash decision, despite the lack of disclosure I’ve had about it here on The Happy Homeowner. For the past few months, I’ve been testing the waters with my new business–and I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the results.

As of this month, I’m making more money with my new endeavors than I am at my full-time job. And it’s certainly not all about money; I love every second of what I’m doing–from the mundane to the seemingly impossible tasks I’m faced with.

I have been burning the candles at both ends with transitioning out of my job and simultaneously building the business. The funny thing is that when I get home from the office and start the other work on my to-do list, I find myself more motivated than ever. It hardly feels like work even when I’m up past 2AM!

My New Gig(s)

So what exactly is my new business? In a nutshell, it’s a freelance writing, consulting and blogging support operation. While this description runs the gamut of online offerings, it’s important for me to diversify my income-generating options so that in case one thing dries up, there are others that can replace that income stream.

Also, because the nature of online work is highly variable, I’m not quitting the part-time job that I’ve had for the past 6.5 years. Having this job for so long has allowed immense flexibility and I basically work remotely on my own time. There’s a certain economy of scale built in after having a position for so long and I’ve become incredibly efficient with the time needed to perform the tasks of the job.

Additionally, I’ve picked up another part-time job, which is why I’ll still need to be in an office for 4 hours/day (I wanted to make sure I still had a stable, reliable income to cover all of my bills including my mortgage as well as retirement funding and health insurance).

Let’s just say that my new boss has been incredibly flexible with my scheduling needs and has allowed me to create a schedule that I could have only dreamed of in the past–my work day now “ends” by noon unless I want to change up the schedule to fit in other needs. The rest of my day will be spent on all things online, from the comfort of my home. Somebody pinch me!

The Future of The Happy Homeowner

No matter these new endeavors, I will always have The Happy Homeowner as my home base. I look forward to growing this blog bigger than ever now that I have dedicated, consistent time to do so, and I am so excited to have readers like you (both new and old) to be here with me every step of the way.

Viva la Work-Life balance!


Photo credit: renaissancechambra

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Freelancer; reformed spendaholic; risk taker; adventure seeker; world traveler; rose smeller; debt destroyer. My mission is to inspire others to live a healthy, balanced life one cent at a time.


I Quit the 9-5…Forever62 Commentshttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.thehappyhomeowner.net%2F2013%2F02%2Fi-quit-the-9-5-forever.htmlI+Quit+the+9-5...Forever2013-02-12+16%3A10%3A26Jenhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.thehappyhomeowner.net%2F%3Fp%3D2015

  1. Congrats! Have to let us know your progress :)

    It seems a lot of pf bloggers are jumping off the corporate world and into the freelance world. I wonder if there's any correlation between starting a blog, and taking the plunge!

  2. Congratulations!! I did it three years ago and it has been amazing so far. Wise move about diversifying your incomes, I had a couple of gigs that had lasted for 4 years before I quit and thought would always be there, turns out one year later they were gone!
    My recent post Big city life, is it worth it?

  3. Great for you Jen! I can attest to that fear as that was what had been holding me back for a number of years. Now that we've taken the leap head first I wonder why I allowed it to hold me back for so long. Sure, we may go down in flames, but it certainly does not seem to be the case and at the end of the day it is so rewarding know that what you did benefits you and your clients and not some massive corporation.

    • Thank you! It's going really well so far and I think it's because I pride myself on turning in high-quality work. Hard work, determination and dedication is the best mix for making this type of thing a success.

  4. Congratulations! That is very exciting. I am kind of on the same course. I recently went to averaging 3 days a week down from working almost all the time for the past 12 years. It is an amazing feeling and when I tie up some loose ends and finalize the sale of my practice, I will be free. I now enjoy the time I spend at work and cherish the time I have to do other things. Can't wait to see what your future holds.
    My recent post Free Money Finance March Madness, Please Vote!

  5. Congrats!!! I remember a few years back, I was working on some personal coding projects at home. I would work my 8-5, go home, eat dinner, and write code for personal stuff until midnight, go to bed, wake up, and repeat. I was so much more motivated to be writing the personal code than work code!

  6. Congratulations! I love seeing people achieve the goals they've worked at for a long time. It seems like you have a really strong support plan in place as well, so you've got stability even if one of the income streams fails. It's all quite inspiring!

    • Thank you, Alex! Yes, hard work is beginning to pay off but I still want some stability–it's refreshing to know the bills and insurance/retirement are still covered no matter any irregularity in my new income streams. Go big or go home, eh? :)

  7. Congratulation! That takes a lot of guts to do what you did. I would love to get there someday, but I am nowhere near that point yet!

  8. Congrats!

    Ever thought of getting laid off instead to get severance, COBRA, deferred comp of any, and unemployment insurance?

    I’ve been on a mission to encourage people never to quit but get laid off for these benefits. I left in spring of 2012 and the engineered layoff is providing for roughly six years of living expenses as I work in this crazy online entrepreneurial journey like you.

    Financial Samurai recently posted..Should I Ask Someone For Their Credit Score Before Getting Into A Serious Relationship?My Profile
    Financial Samurai recently posted..Should I Ask Someone For Their Credit Score Before Getting Into A Serious Relationship?My Profile

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