I graduated from college in the midst of a global pandemic, only to go back to work at the Dunkin' Donuts I worked at in high school.
Now there's nothing wrong with working at Dunkin' (I loved my time there and I met some of my best friends through this job), but when you go to business school for 4 years and you have this vision having a marketing job offer upon graduation and May comes, and then June, and then September, and then February... and then it's almost been a whole year since you've graduated and you still have no 'big girl' job offer, it can get kinda discouraging.
That's why when I got offered a full-time solar sales position in April of 2021 (a year after graduating), I GLADLY accepted. But this didn't quite work out for me the way I had hoped.
You worked in sales...?
If you know me, you know I'm super passionate about sustainability and the environment, so I figured this position would be great for me because of my focus in business + environmental science.
It was great at first
I had never worked with such an incredible team of people until this job, and it felt like I was truly doing something good for the world.
The money was great when I met my sales goals - but the time and stress that went into meeting these goals killed me.
But I knew that any great job required hard work, and sometimes extra effort needed to be made in order to really thrive. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, so I stuck it out. I accepted the challenge.
And Then It Wasn’t So Great...
The thing was, I was working way outside of my scheduled hours - early mornings, late late nights, and even sometimes on the weekends. I remember one Friday night I got a work call at 9pm.
Now you may be thinking, "Okay but I work more than 40 hours a week - that's what it's like to be an adult. Most jobs are like that."
And trust me, I understand that.
But for me, my mental health started spiraling down a slippery slope. I had no time to do anything - I barely had any time to do my laundry, make healthy meals for the week, or have any down time to just relax and recharge. My weekends were spent preparing for the week ahead - meal prepping, scheduling meetings for the week, and mentally preparing for the week I had ahead of myself.
And I had absolutely no time to crochet.
It really hit me when one weekend I was hanging with my boyfriend and he said to me, "Joc, do you even crochet anymore? I feel like I haven't seen you crochet in a long, long time."
It got me thinking...
I got super emotional and started to really think about what I wanted. Did I want to work for someone else? Did I want to just give up all of the time and effort I'd put into making The Cozy Tangerine so successful? When I founded The Cozy Tangerine in January, it had done so well. Did I really want to just quit working on something I'd put so much of my heart into?
Once the idea of not working here forever got into my head, I couldn't stop thinking about it. That's all that went through my mind when I walked into work every day for the next few weeks.
And then there were the logistics of it all.
When I accepted this full-time position, I truly did see myself working here for a long time. So when these thoughts crossed my mind, my brain did a lot of back and forth between wanting to stay and wanting to and leave.
I didn't have another job in my back pocket - it took me a year to find a new job, so if I did leave this one, who knows how long it would take to get a new one?
Oh, and did I mention that I had just signed the lease for a new apartment with my best friend that was right down the road from my job?
Yup. We had decided to get an apartment together, and now I'm over here talking about how I want to quit the job I just got an apartment to make my commute easier for - LOL.
Living at my dad's house where I don't have to pay rent is very different from needing to have a source of income to pay rent every month, so I knew that I really had to take the job search seriously if I did go through it.
Looking back, I'm grateful for the way this worked out (I'll get to this a little later!)
I'd talked to my mom, my dad, my best friend and my boyfriend about how I was feeling, and they helped me figure out what I really wanted to do.
My dad had said to me, "Joc, I can tell how unhappy you are. You wake up in the mornings and work on your business and then rush to work and get home late and do it all over again."
They helped me validate what I knew, deep down, I was feeling.
The next day, I resigned from my position.
I had nothing lined up, no plan in place. The thing was, I knew I wasn't going to have any time to apply to jobs if I continued working full-time. Part of me felt somewhat irresponsible, but in a way, knowing that I had to find a job to pay rent made me work harder to find a job. If I was still living at home, I probably would've taken the much needed time off to just chill and recharge. But that wasn't the case.
I applied to dozens of jobs a day...
focusing on remote marketing/communications positions. I started thinking about how awesome it would be to work remotely so I didn't have to spend any time commuting, which would give me more time to work on my business (Plus, with the new apartment, I had the opportunity to make such a cute work-from-home setup in my room with my new desk).
At first, I was applying to everything - full-time, part-time, temporary, contract based positions, you name it. I was super excited about this full-time, remote marketing position I applied for, and as soon as my interview was over, I said to my best friend, "I feel like I really don't want this."
I knew it was going to be the same deal - overwhelmed with work and having no time to work on my biz. So that's when I narrowed my search to part-time, remote positions, so that I would be able to dedicate time during the week to growing The Cozy Tangerine.
I had an interview for a remote content marketing coordinator position and as soon as the first round interview was over, I had this gut feeling - a good feeling. A week later I got asked to do a second-round interview which was actually really cool because instead of your typical Zoom interview, it was a sample project where I got a good idea of what the day-to-day responsibilities and projects would look like. I genuinely had so much fun doing this sample project and knew I really wanted this job.
I started manifesting and writing down my affirmations daily because I knew this was something I couldn't let slip away.
A week later, I got offered the position.
Today, I work between 5-10 hours a week from my desk at home while dedicating the remaining hours of the week to growing my own business (And I also dog walk, too!)
The transition from a 9 to 5 (or a 10:30 to 6:30 in my case) to a 100% remote contract based position was interesting to say the least.
Going from waking up early every day to make the commute into work to quite literally walking 10 feet from my bed to my desk made the world of a difference for me. I'm the type of person who loves being at home, so a remote job has been amazing for me.
I get to create my own schedule, I get to eat whenever I want or take breaks whenever my body needs it, and not having somebody there (a higher-up) to micro-manage me gives me this sense of freedom and responsibility.
Remote jobs aren't for everyone, though.
If you have a tough time staying focused or holding yourself accountable, working 5 feet from your bed cannnn be a little tempting. It's been a little over a month and a half since I started my new job, and it took me a bit of time to get into a healthy routine.
A typical day for me (even though every day is a little different) looks like:
One thing I've loved about my switch over to multiple sources of income instead of one full-time job is it's allowed me to plan out my day according to how I'm feeling and what I need.
Didn't get a lot of sleep last week? I'll sleep in today and just work a little later tonight.
Have a bunch of orders I gotta send out by this afternoon? I'll work on my biz this morning and work my other job later in the day.
Let's be realistic...
Will I make enough money?
One thing I was (naturally) worried about was if I was going to be financially set with only having about 10 hours of reliable income per week. I easily work 50-60 hours when we factor in the work I do for TCT, but I'm really only getting hourly pay for those 10 hours, plus whatever my business makes in a given week, which can vary so drastically.
Know what's crazy? I'm making more money now than I was when I was working full-time.
I guess you could say that quitting my 9 to 5 was one of the best decisions I've ever made.
I understand that quitting my 9 to 5 was a privilege. I fully recognize that not everyone may have this option, but with the support I have gotten from my family and close friends, this choice was the best choice for me.
If you've also ditched the 9 to 5, I want to hear your stories! Share your stories down below, or if you're looking for some advice, leave a comment and I'd love to chat with you!