BLOGGING BTS: THINGS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE WORKING FOR MYSELF
Next month will mark the one year anniversary of me leaving my job in event management to work on my blog - and Instagram - full-time. Part of me can't believe it's been a year because it's seriously flown by so quickly, but a bigger part of me can't believe I've only been doing this full time for a year. Dare I say it, but I truly feel like this is what I should have been doing for years and years.
When I speak to other full-time bloggers, most of them say that their journey to full-time was a gradual process, cutting down hours of work to part-time before eventually taking the plunge. For me, it was very different. I had a real fire in my belly to just go for it, full throttle and that's just what I did. That, and I'm pretty sure my boss was probably going to fire me pretty soon anyway because I was blogging at work far too often ha. Either way, I quit my job, declared myself as self-employed and here I am - almost a year later, very very happy with the decision I made.
I must admit though, it was definitely still a bit of a shock to the system when I dived in headfirst with little savings to back me up and a ridiculously expensive/ridiculously small London room to rent. Although I have no regrets, and it, fortunately, all worked out, here are a few nuggets that I would pass on to any others that are looking to do the same...
You have to be brave and believe in yourself.
I'm not going to start making out that bloggers are martyrs, but anyone who is willing to give up a secure salary for a new business venture that could earn you a big fat zero one month, is brave, really brave. Of course, it's a risky move – whatever industry you’re in - and so you really have to believe in yourself and the decision you're making.
You will have people - most likely your parents - questioning your every move, so make sure you're strong and confident in your decision to make sure you're not swayed back into the 'safer' employment route by off-putting fire-round questions.
Be prepared to work, a lot.
You likely don’t need me to explain this to you, but being self-employed involves some serious hard work and dedication. When I tell most people that I work for myself, I can ascertain that most of them think I sit on my couch in my PJ's, binge on Netflix, and occasionally write an email or two. But, the truth is, I work even harder (and longer hours!) than I did when I had a traditional full-time job.
I remember for a large percentage of last year, I was working my fingers to the bone (slightly dramatic but whatever) for a pretty paltry amount of money. Yes, it could be a little discouraging but, you need to use that as your motivation to keep on hustling and trust that it will pay off.
So, needless to say, you should be prepared for the fact that doing your own thing is going to involve some serious elbow grease on your part.
You will have a new found respect for those who work a 9-5 and still manage to schedule appointments.
Seriously – how do you do it? How the hell did I ever do it? I have serious respect for those that still manage to go keep up with regular visits to the dentist every six months and hold down a 9 to 5.
You'll miss your colleagues - even the kinda annoying ones
Setting yourself up as a one-person band can be lonely at times and the levels of talking to myself are rapidly increasing, so if you currently have colleagues lap ’em up. Share lunches with them, go for after-work drinks and tart yourself up in the loos together before. I was lucky to work with some really lovely ladies and lads throughout my office work days and there are definitely moments that I miss having a bit of a moan to someone after an irritating call. Or even better, receiving a high-five after a success.
Explaining your job to strangers is interesting.
With jobs in the digital industry being more prevalent these days, sometimes when I explain that I’m a blogger/Instagrammer hybrid, people get it. Other times they’ll misunderstand and think that I run an eBay page, which I’m still convinced is what my Grandparents think I do, or even worse - do some weird webcam stuff...
It makes meeting people at weddings / social events a very interesting experience.
You'll need to make space for a s**t load of receipts.
For tax purposes, it's necessary for you to pretty much keep every single bloody receipt ever. In the long run, this will hopefully be bloody brilliant and it will be smiles all round when you get your tax return, but in the meantime, you'll have to just accept that essential storage space that could be dedicated to clothes/ shoes/makeup bits/other stuff will have to be used on filing receipts and other paperwork.
The moral of the story is that there are pros and cons to both sides of the career coin and I’ve tried my best to soak up all the juicy bits of both because you never know where you’ll end up in the future. But for now, here's to hopefully a prosperous future for Jasmine Cecilia Jonas - the blog, and the real life person haha.