Ever wonder what it would be like to take that next step in your career, to jump into unknown waters or dip your toes into the freelancing world?

If you’re thinking of taking the leap from 9 to 5 to the freedom of freelancing, you’ll love reading this full-time associate editor true story of how freelancing went from “some day” to right now.

Pinterest photo via @Zandri Banks originally from snippetandink.com.

by guest blogger: Melissa Breau

A lot of people think I’m crazy. Just a few weeks ago I was working a full time job as an associate editor at a business-to-business magazine in New York City. I liked my job. I liked the people I worked with. Over the three years I’d worked there, I’d become knowledgeable about the subject–running a retail pet store–and was comfortable.

But comfortable isn’t happy. So I quit.

I thought about becoming a freelancer since college. But I always marked it as something on my list of things to do “someday.” Then, about two years ago, I needed some extra income so that I could make my student loan payments. I considered looking for a waitressing gig, but my boyfriend reminded me that I’d always wanted to freelance–and that it was as good a time as any to give it a try.

So I began taking on projects and marketing my services as a freelancer. I emerged myself in that community and found a number of amazing colleagues, who were freelancing full time and making it work. Several were supporting themselves and their spouses on their income. Their success showed me what was possible–and their advice, guidance and encouragement made me believe it was something I could accomplish too.

Still, freelancing full time remained in the “someday” category. It wasn’t until my boyfriend joined the Navy that I was given both the push and the opportunity to make that someday actually happen.

As I mentioned, I had reached a point at the magazine where I felt comfortable; but I’d learned as much as I felt I could in that position with that company. Freelancing part time, which required me to write a wider variety of pieces, helped me become a better writer–enough so that even my boss at the magazine had noticed and commented on it. I finally felt confident that I had the knowledge and skill to freelance full time, although I knew becoming successful would still require a lot of work.

When Stephen joined the Navy he relocated from New York, where he had been living, to South Carolina–and we began discussing the possibility of me moving too. He would be making enough to help me make ends meet while I got my business off the ground, and once he finished school, the Navy would pay him for housing–housing that we could live together, so once that happened I wouldn’t even have to pay rent. My lease was set to be up in August–basically, that left six months where I’d be out of an apartment but not able to live with Stephen.

I decided to go for it.

I saved enough money to cover my expenses for several months, arranged to stay with my Grandmother in North Carolina while apartment hunting in South Carolina and put in my notice. It’s only my second week freelancing, but so far I love the flexibility and the chance to do something different every day. There’s a steep learning curve, but it’s nice to exchange feeling comfortable for feeling challenged–and I haven’t regretted the decision yet.

BIO: After a year and a half of freelancing part time, Melissa Breau recently left her full time job as a magazine editor to take her part time freelancing business to the next level. She is a freelance writer, editor and a cheesy romantic who likes long walks on the beach and arguing about comma placement.  She is blogging about her freelance journey over at Jargon Writer (www.jargonwriter.com)–or learn more about the services she offers on her website, www.melissabreau.com.

6 Replies to “From Full-Time Job to Full-Time Freelancer: One Editor’s True Story”

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your inspiring story Melissa! I think people have a fantasy of what it would be like and you told your story honestly and beautifully. Appreciate it.

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