This article was submitted by Kristy a student with Samaschool. Samaschool is a San Francisco-based nonprofit focused on preparing people to succeed as independent workers. Learn how to start freelancing, including how to choose a type of freelance work, find real jobs, pay taxes, and stay safe. Free of charge and open for all. Enroll at samaschool.org/enroll.
I was sitting in a cold conference room with the big boss as he shifted uncomfortably in his seat and smiled thinly over his folded hands. What should have been a terrible day, left me feeling giddy inside. He just informed me that our office was closing permanently and I was losing my job. My smile took him by surprise as he confessed that he hadn’t expected the difficult job of telling me to be so well received.
I had known for years that a career in private banking wasn’t for me. I didn’t enjoy the long commute on a crowded train, endlessly sitting behind a desk and too many days of feeling tired, unmotivated and unfulfilled in corporate life. I was too scared to make a change and worried about what my family would think if I did. Suddenly, with the added security of severance pay and without the burden of blame from my loved ones, my time had come to make a change.
I was excited to find out what was next and had given myself a year to explore. Each time I scoured the job boards it became increasingly apparent that I no longer had the tolerance for interviews that could never accurately reflect my range of experience and interests. I was so tired of playing that game and instead wanted to be authentically me.
It wasn’t until I took a class on freelancing by Samaschool that a lightbulb went off. Freelancing wasn’t new to me, but I had no idea I could make a living doing it. It ticked all the boxes of what I wanted! And for the last couple of years, it continues to do so while paying my bills. As a house sitter, dog walker, caregiver and property manager of an Airbnb property I get plenty of variety, lots of physical activity and, more importantly, deep connections to my clients who also happen to be neighbors.
Purpose can be as simple as helping one another. From the quadriplegic skier that gives me lessons in how to really enjoy life while I help him with his morning routine, to my client who is an expert Crossfit coach and trades sessions for watching her dogs, my life is enriched daily in such unexpected ways.
The best part, not once have I had to submit a resume.
The beauty of freelancing means that no matter what you decide you need for your happiness, there is a job out there that is right for you. What I did can be achieved by anyone, regardless of age. If anything, being over 50 was a plus because it meant I honed many different skills that help me be a better freelancer.
If you would like to know more about how to become a freelancer, market yourself, and find the right kind of jobs for your needs, sign up for Samaschool’s next cohort for those 50+. It’s free of charge and open to all.
Signup at Samaschool.