After 17.5 years working at the same job, I’m burned out. To be fair, the job has changed in several signficant ways over that time span. In short, I work in an advertising agency servicing some fairly interesting clients. I wear many hats (project manager, production manager, traffic manager, account manager, studio manager), and I’m quite responsible. This formula of personal commitment and a strong work ethic is a recipe for burnout. I’ve probably burned out a handful of times without knowing it, but this time it’s different.
Five years ago, I convinced my bosses to let me work from home in another state – Denver, Colorado, of all places. At that time, we weren’t the full gig economy that we are now, so it was fairly cutting edge. One year ago in 2016, our entire office closed down and everyone laid off. While most of us were scared and confused and angry, I realized that I was going to get a check for approximately $40,000. I must say, this was the best work-related thing that’s ever happened to me in my life. I mean, who else is going to give me cash for doing nothing?
At the time, many plans were devised and meetings were held behind closed doors. Turns out, a few of us could “keep” our jobs, but it would be behind the freelance curtain. Do the same thing, but now you’re not an employee and we contract you for the work that you were doing as a full-time employee. So here I am, freelancing for the company that laid me off, doing the same work, but finding that i just don’t care about advertising. I mean really, i just don’t care.
So, i’ve taken a plunge and decided that i’ll only do this for another 6 months. I gave my boss 6+ months notice, and I’ll be free on August 1. Why did I give such long notice if I am already burned out now? Not to toot my own horn, but I’m an integral part of the freelance team, and it will be very difficult to replace me. Yes yes, I know everyone’s replaceable, but it won’t be easy to find someone to do the job that i was doing. Plus, i do like my coworkers and i want the best for them.
How am I able to up and quit and semi-retire? Read on.