Why I Quit My Job to Freelance Full-time

gretchen granka photography northern daisy

About a week and a half ago I quit my job.

It’s almost ironic - especially considering this article I recently wrote about how my side hustle helped me find my purpose. Except there was a problem staring me in the face for months I couldn’t see; I kept viewing my side hustle as just a side hustle, even when it was fulfilling me more than my 8-5 pm job at an agency.

I mean, who leaves a job with free health insurance, coworkers who are more like friends than coworkers, and a steady income? That’s what a tiny voice in my head kept repeating over and over again.

So I kept grinding. I spent nearly a year with a full-time day job, only to spend almost every night of the week and weekend working on content creation and creative social media projects. I know people tend to glorify being “busy” but looking back I pushed myself farther than I probably should have. I had taken on what felt like permanent knots in my neck and back, dark circles and a constant state of quick-to-react to stress and irritability. Only after quitting my job did I realize just how much damage I had to unravel. For so long, I had convinced myself that it was okay not to function as my best self when I should have been asking “What would happen if I believed in myself enough to take a leap of faith?”

gretchen granka photography northern daisy

It wasn’t until a couple days into my first week as a freelancer that I realized how much I was settling before by trying to “balance” everything. I started smiling more for no reason other than I had time to breathe and choose what I wanted to focus on. I’ve gotten re-acquainted with joy, relaxation and inspiration and it feels so luxuriously grand to have the opportunity to design a life I love. It’s not perfect and it’s still filled with loads of uncertainty and paperwork that’s yet to be organized, but it feels good to let go of a job that wasn’t truly fulfilling me anymore. And it feels good to believe in myself enough to try the harder path.

So, if you’re in a hustle season yourself, here’s my advice: don’t forget to check in with yourself about what makes you happy. Happiness should be a success metric in your life and since our work is such a big part of our lives, find work that FILLS YOU UP.  I’m currently reading one of Jen Sincero’s books and this quote really stuck with me: “Time wasted rationalizing the mediocre could be time spent creating the magnificent.” If you find yourself constantly feeling the need to justify staying at a job to yourself, take a step back and ask if fear is leading your life.

I’m well acquainted with fear but I’ve decided to not let it lead the direction of my career right now. I’m choosing to manifest what I want down a path slightly less certain, and even though that’s scary, there will always be new opportunities for those brave enough to take them (or create them). I’m starting to believe in that whole abundance-over-scarcity mentality and so far… I’m happy.

Gretchen Granka Photography

Gretchen Granka Photography

Gratitude helps, too. I’m crazy grateful to have had a wonderful job that shaped me into a passionate professional and then graciously sent me off to pursue my own dreams. I’m grateful for the amazing connections I’ve made through this blog and my Instagram that have opened up doors when I least expected it.

So, you can find me here, I’ll just be a *freelance* Content Creator and Social Media Manager instead of at an agency. I’m excited to refocus this blog and share even more intentional lifestyle and travel posts.

Thank you for sticking around and here’s to a new adventure.

All the hugs and high-fives