The social media trends in 2022 and post pandemic have showcased many part-time content creators and small business side hustlers taking what started as a fun and creative outlet to full speed ahead. A career path as a professional content creator is now possible as the industry is reaching $100B and beyond. Brands are looking for ways to connect with consumers in a organic way and build loyalty outside of the traditional marketing methods used in the past. Learning to build a online community and monetize it is a topic that I can speak with confidence about as I made a big leap into being a full-time professional content creator and blogger in August 2022.
We are seeing this trend of leaving corporate life behind delivered via a fast pasted video of an online creator who presents what seems like an overnight success and into the spotlight with millions of followers. Or maybe it is a TikTok video of a content creator firing off the “I quit” email that so many of us daydream of doing one day. But how did this happen and is there a formula for an exit out of the corporate world that ultimately breaks you free from the golden handcuffs?
My departure from the corporate world didn’t happen overnight, in fact it was five years in the making. While my intent was not to leave a career that I had built, my content creation and blogging career started as a hobby and creative outlet outside of my day-to-day job. I was searching for a new way to connect outside of the small minded organization that I felt lost in and disconnected from for many reasons. As I started down the path of learning how to build my own website, take and edit photos and writing for publications it was a thrill. I was not only learning new skills that I could use at my day job, but it motivated me to keep moving forward and pursuing my passion of design and the artistry of content creation and writing. A sense of therapy came along with it as I endured the ups and downs of office politics and the realization that I should refocus my career path and pursue my dreams.
A support system was key to my career pivot. Growing up I watch my mother build two successful businesses and I learned so many important business skills from my father. The two were unstoppable and they helped me to build my confidence along my winding career path. In the middle of building my new career, I married a man who built his career as a full-time writer and creator. Not only did this help me to learn more about the industry of content creation, but it also fast tracked my exit from the corporate world.
Can you have both, a corporate job and blog? At one point in time, I thought I would be able to intertwine my day to day with my newfound love of writing and content creation. At times the two worlds overlapped and helped, but in the end, it was clear that it was viewed as threat and not an asset to decision makers of the organization. While there may be scenarios that this could be beneficial, I came to a crossroads in both worlds, and I had to make a choice. It was becoming too difficult to manage and navigate the level of commitment that both roles needed, and I found myself tired, run down and resentful of a full time job I once loved.
Writing my notice letter came easy to me. I wish that I could say that it was a difficult decision because that feels like what everyone would want to hear, but it not only was the easiest decision it was the best one I’ve ever made. Sure, it was a bit scary at first knowing that the stability of a monthly salary would disappear from my checking account and health insurance was no longer covered. This among many other factors are what I like to call the golden handcuffs combined with fear that kept me from pursing a life-long dream of owning my own business, creating, and writing full-time.
What should you do if you are burned out at your day job or simply want to make a career move into the world of full-time content creation? The following five tips are ones that have worked for me and have helped me to move my career forward. You might find that there are additional needs that are personal to you because everyone’s circumstances are different. Please use my tips as a place to start and evaluate your needs to make the right decision for you and your career path.
- Have the support system in place. This includes family and friends, trusted advisors and mentors who are willing to help you. Help can range in the forms of advice and moral support to financial investors.
- Finances need to be in order. At minimum you will need to replace your current income, plus the cost of income taxes and health insurance. The best place to start is to track your expenses and cost of living, if you haven’t already started this process. Consult with a financial planner or seek advice from the small business administration in your community to help you fully understand the costs of establishing and running your own business.
- Diversify your income streams. While full-time content creation from the outside looks easy, it is not only time consuming, but the income can come in waves depending on the brand deals and projects you have in que. My professional advice is to diversify your portfolio through other avenues such as teaching, coaching, or helping others improve their online skills.
- Create a daily routine. It is important to stay as organized as possible and have a clear system in place for running your business. You are now the CEO, the accountant, the administrative assistant and more. Prioritize import elements of your day such as daily exercise and meals, this is all important to helping you stay focused on reaching your goals.
- Make an exit plan. That’s right, map it out. Start by writing down your goals and dreams. Next, under each goal, write down what actionable steps you are going to take each day to reach your goals. Have flexibility and give yourself grace while climbing this hill but keep focused on your end goal. This could mean that you get up early in the mornings or stay up late at night to take that extra step. If you truly want to change your career path, it is in your hands and now is the time to take control of your future and start working towards your goals and dreams.