Is returning to work after being self-employed a huge backward step or a leap forward?

It’s a big decision and one I did not take lightly. The amount of times I heard “you should never go back after being self-employed” really outweighed the “you should do its!” but, like with every big decision, it has to be one you make for yourself.

Being self-employed is hard but then no-one said it would be easy. It takes grit, determination and resilience. It also requires organisation, self belief and time. 6 qualities I think I really learnt whislt working for myself. I was self-employed for just over a year and a half and during that time, there were so many highs, victories and milestones I’m really proud of. But, there were also times of real stress, worry and money-induced woes.

Self-employed means you are sole proprietor. You are freelance and you are in business with yourself. The biggest difference between being employed and self-employed is that you are both the employee and the employer. You are responsible for paying yourself, filing your receipts, sorting your taxes – the list goes on and it can be a lot to get your head around. Now don’t get me wrong, aside from the obvious, I enjoyed working for myself and being my own boss.

Setting my own hours, being flexible with the days I wanted to work and being able to pick and choose the projects I accepted. It was rewarding for sure. It also felt like such a huge achievement. I’d managed to turn my hobby into an actual paying job. And, one I could live off?! What’s not to love about that? Everyone dreams of being a full-time blogger don’t they?

In writing this, please don’t think I have brushed over or taken any of the opportunties I’ve been lucky enough to experience for granted. I am oh so aware how lucky I am and have been. But this whole blogging thing started as a hobby and unfortunately, the past couple of months, it hasn’t felt like that. It has felt really hard, overwhelming and like a chore.

For the past 3 or so years, I’ve felt so proud of my blog and Instagram account but as of late, I really haven’t. When meeting new people I’ve wanted to avoid the question of, “so what is it you actually do?” opting for the standard vague answers of, “marketing”, “social media” and “communications stuff”. I made myself a promise years ago that the moment I started to feel like that, I’d stop.

So, after a number of hard conversations with friends and family, I decided to consider going back to work.

Lockdown gave me a lot of time to think and reflect and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying it was probably too much time. Most days I’d find myself thinking about what I’d be doing in 5/10 years time. What did I want to do when I grow up? What would be my “dream job”? I got quite overwhelemd and naturally, stressed about it. I still don’t really know or have the answers to those questions and that’s okay. But what wasn’t okay is the fact I wasn’t feeling happy or satisfied with the work I was doing and completing.

I’ve always wanted to help people. I’ve always wanted to support and build others up ensuring that no one ever feels alone in any struggles they might be facing and I’m so thankful that my blog (or so I hope) has enabled that. But what wasn’t sitting well with me is the fact that I’m not sure where I’m going to go with it. I’ve said this before and this won’t be the last, but I’m not a personal trainer. I’m not a life coach, therapist or nutritionist and if i’m honest, I don’t think I want to be any of those things.

My love for wanting to help others isn’t going to stop and I’m absolutely still going to show up both on here and on my IG but, I want to put it on the back burner a little. I want to go back into a job where I can take a seat within a team even if that means at the bottom, working my way up again.

5 years ago, I worked in a super corporate Marketing role. 3 years later, I started a job that I knew wasn’t right for me. Since then, I’ve tried my hand at being my own boss and I know I can do it again if that feels right. But right now, I am happy to say and admit that I’ve got a new job!

It feels like the right time – the right time to take a step back and let someone else take the over the steering wheel for a while. So, Monday – Friday 9am-5:30pm you’ll find me working away as a Marketing Co-ordinator and all the other times that fit in around that, I’ll be doing my usual blogging-insta thing.

I’m not taking or accepting going back into employment as a negative decision. I’m also not taking it as a failed attempt at doing the whole self-employed thing. I’m going to keep hustling on here, but its going back to being a side hustle. It’s time to reclaim and re-find my love and passion for it. I want to be proud of this 17K community I’m so bloody lucky to have.

I’ve thought (and tried) to write this post about 13 times and it was much harder than I thought it would be because I realised it took me a bit of time to be okay with going back into working. I had to reflect and think about the whys. Why I started this blog and my Instagram account and the real honest truth was never for it to become a job. I didn’t start it with the intention of gifted products or paid posts. Those incredible luxuries have been a by-proudct of a lot of hard work which is quite often behind the scenes. Work which I of course, love doing but I know I’ll love it 10x more knowing the pressure has been taken off a little.

I guess my intention with this post is simply to say that if you’re finding self-employment hard, my goodness you are not alone. And if you’ve thought about going back into employment, once again, you are not alone. If I can start over almost 3 times, you can too.

This whole life thing is such a journey but its one that has to be filled with happiness and positivity. If something doesn’t feel quite right and you have the power to change it, do it. Back your decisions and go for it!

Oh, and one last thing from me, and I’m sure you all have guessed what’s coming, but it’s a thank you and a big one at that. Thank you for sticking with me whilst I navigate and re-navigate. Your support and kindess does not go unnoticed. I adore this community – 17K strong. How insane is that!

Amy xo.

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