self-employed

Saturday, July 18, 2015

full time instagrammer

I did it; I quit my day job. In the end it was sort of an easy decision – the web-based work was piling up and my day job, whilst lovely, was going nowhere new. I was trapped at the top of my pay band with no prospects for promotion or fresh challenges, whilst this leap into the unknown could potentially offer both.

It’s terrifying though – & not just because I’ve been in my NHS team for ten whole years! I still don’t feel like I have the slightest clue what I’m doing here; I’m a chimp bashing wildly at a wordpress dashboard, with a head full of questions. What is my job now? Am I a blogger? A photographer? Despite collaborations with Canon & Samsung & Kodak, I still hurriedly demur whenever anyone refers to me as such.

image

What finally made me take the leap was the simple fear of never finding out; never knowing where these opportunities might lead, and not taking all the fun and free stuff adventures that could come along the way. A wise friend said something quite radical to my thinking: it might lead to a couple of fun years, and then back to something else. And that’s ok! That isn’t failure; the world is not black and white, and not every step has to take us to our final destination. Mind, seriously, blown.

In between all the 3am panics, I’m very, very excited. I’ve got a plan; I’m making some changes to my sidebar ads, (look to the right!) and I’m playing around with a few new options for selling my prints and my skills.

I’m reluctant to take Orla away from her brilliant childminder, so for now I’m going to continue to work from the city for three days a week, but commuting outside of rush hour now, bringing our car-time down significantly. I’ll be working from cafes – because I genuinely work best when there are people around me – and because, as we established in this post, I need to continue my important work of eavesdropping on other people’s interesting conversations ;). This provides the coffee, though sadly not the pyjamas that the freelancer life should rightfully bring, but I’m swapping pencil skirts for sleepwear-inspired hareem pants, which is almost as good.
& because I came of age during our plague of consumerism, of course this new step requires new stuff; in my case, a gorgeous array of new planners, notebooks, pens and stationery, which I can totes justify to my inner minimalist by telling her they’re consumables and therefore totally not clutter. All the ones you see in the photos here are by lovely new Danish brand Kartotek (@kartotek).

Now I won’t be working 18-hour days, there’ll be time for the good stuff again; TV & pizza, walks in the woods. I’m hoping to drag my lazy self to some lunchtime yoga classes or swimming pools too, to break up all that cake-and-computer time on my desk-bound days. Maybe I’ll even try barre! Wait, what is barre? Perhaps not.

Wednesday will be my last day. I had my last team meeting at work; I passed around my new insta ‘contact cards‘, and said some heartfelt goodbyes. I grew up in that team – from a naive & occasionally quite stupid 20-year-old, to a mother, an autism & special needs pro, a colleague, a friend – though still, to be honest, quite frequently a bit stupid. I’ll miss them, and the job, more than I’d ever imagined at monthly-stat-submission time, but I’m also ready for the change, and excited to see what comes.

A big thank you to you, readers, likers, haters, friends. You have quite literally changed my life, and I still can’t quite believe it!

My lovely friends as Social Print Studio gifted me some of my images as greetings cards, and I’d love to send them out into the world. If you fancy one, just leave a comment below – I’ll pick a few names & send you a little note, & some of my new prints.

72 Comments

  • Beach Hut Cook

  • December 19, 2016

Saw this on twitter today and how poignant it is, feel that you’ve written it just for me. Thanks x. This week is my last week working part time and having to cram in my Beachhutcook work. It was supposed to be a safety net if freelance work was sparse or late paying but instead it made everything crazy busy. I am excited and nervous is equal measure. More excited tbh. It’s going to be fabulous, isn’t it? Elinor x

  • Sophie

  • August 05, 2015

I’ve only just got around to reading your blog and this post after a little holiday away and a chance to gain clarity again! I loved reading about your story and journey so far and I adore your quiet but humorous stream of thoughts style of writing. I wish you the best in your new role, even if you don’t have a name for it, I think you DO know what you are and it’s all of those things. i look forward to sharing your journey with you!

  • Anna-Marie Tooth

  • July 26, 2015

Very inspiring post, which inevitably will encourage others to reflect, re-evaluate and perhaps ‘take the leap’ as you have. Keep writing like this – your followers will connect with you and with their own minds – something we don’t do much of anymore….sending you much luck x

  • megan

  • July 24, 2015

So very inspiring and I love the wise words from your friend. I’m in awe of anyone who can quit their day job and do something they actually love and enjoy. I often daydream of quitting my job and doing something I love, but I am unable to push myself to that point because I’m always worried about failing…I always enjoy reading your blog and seeing your beautiful photos on instagram, so I would most definitely love to receive one of your beautiful cards!

  • Vyv

  • July 24, 2015

How incredibly exciting! It’s so inspiring to see people like you taking a risk to do what they really want to! Best wishes for all your adventures…which I’m looking forward to reading about! xx

  • Sara

  • July 23, 2015

Wow! Congratulations on your awesome new adventure! Your friend is totally right. We are taught to make decisions that guarantee some sort of security, so to step out of that box must feel a bit unsettling. I know you’ll do great though! Your photographs are gorgeous and although I’m one of your very new readers…Me & Orla has quickly become my favorite read. Sending you loads of happy creative vibes! You made the right choice!

-Sara xx

  • Holly

  • July 22, 2015

Congratulations! You’re such an inspiration. Thank you for always sharing. When my current contract is up in little over a year, I will be making a big leap into the unknown of something new. I have ideas but the possibilities are daunting and exciting. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Erin

  • July 22, 2015

I’m so excited for you! Best of luck on the exciting new adventure x

Erin | http://www.beingerin.com

  • Naomi Andrews

  • July 21, 2015

How exciting for you! Can’t wait to see your new adventure unfold!
And totally fancy one of your lovy cards! I love seeing all your beautiful images on Instagram ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lourdes

  • July 20, 2015

Congrats on the new adventure, so exciting and brave!

  • Sara Tasker

  • July 20, 2015

Co-working in cafes sounds like a dream! We can be official eavesdropping colleagues. (I was once with a friend in a cafe where we became so convinced a man opposite was writing about us in his notebook, that she went and peeked when he went to the loo! He wasn’t, obvs. Awkward.) x

  • Sara Tasker

  • July 20, 2015

Oh, thanks Mary! Wow, 24 days and counting – yes, indeed, the future is an open book, with endless adventures still to be written. Best of luck to you, and thanks for following & saying hello! x

  • Sara Tasker

  • July 20, 2015

Thanks Zoe! Yes, the ‘perfect’ trap seems to get me every time, until some kind person snaps me out of it. I love the idea of a leap like this leading to places unknown – meeting new people and seeing new things can never be a bad thing.
I feel for you, a lot. I often struggle with severe fatigue, and while I’m sure it’s nothing compare to full CF, I find myself so frustrated to be restricted by my energy levels. My joke to friends has been that I’m now one step closer to my dream of a job I can do from my bed, but I’m only half-kidding! The world is shifting though, and with city housing in the crisis it is, I don’t think we’re so far off a whole revolution of home working and flexibility. That’s my hope anyway! x

  • Zoรซ Power

  • July 20, 2015

What exciting news Sara! And very wise words from your friend – fear stops us from doing so much – as does waiting to find the “perfect” solution/job, which never exists. Best of luck with it all – may you have many fun adventures along the way – that’s what life is all about. I’m still trying to figure out a way to earn some money that works around my chronic fatigue – I left my big job almost a couple of years ago…it’s not easy, especially when I’m so up and down and frequently want to run away and hide….

  • Mary

  • July 20, 2015

Wow, congratulations! This is so inspiring, especially since I just have 24 days left at my office job. The future is an open book!
I’ve been reading your blog/following you in IG for a while now, and I’m excited to see more lovely content from you.

Best wishes!

  • TheDaydreamerDiary

  • July 20, 2015

Brave move and I am sure a whole new future of possibilities will open up to you. I will be looking forward to reading about your progression as someone who has actually done the opposite in her life: from freelancing to employee ๐Ÿ˜‰ Wishing you a steady and exciting new future, Sara!

  • Rose Tuffney

  • July 20, 2015

What an amazing thing to have done! I wish you all the best in your new adventure and I’m sure your bravery will pay off and bring some exciting new prospects. As someone who is only just beginning her career, I can totally under the need for a challenge and a bit of growth in your job (I seem to have a lot of it at the moment! Cant believe how much I’m learning in such a short time!)! Im sure that the leap into the unknown will pay off. Enjoy every minute of the new steps in your life, and I wish you all the best!

  • Siobhan Watts

  • July 20, 2015

Congratulations Sara, how exciting for you! I hope it’s everything you want it to be and that you enjoy your new life working from wherever you choose. It’s a pretty good way to work! Even more reason for me to come and visit you now, we can co-work in cafes together too! Wishing you all the best, great news! xx

  • Faye Larsen

  • July 20, 2015

Well this is all just ridiculously exciting news, so very happy to hear you took the leap, just imagine if you hadn’t and spent your whole life thinking what if?… I won’t wish you luck because I don’t think you need it, you are incredibly talented and destined for great things. Now you just need to bag a big collaboration with an Aussie company so you can come over on a business trip (holiday) for meetings (to visit me so we can hang out and drink gin in the sun!) Enjoy that extra free time and look forward to hearing more from your overheard in cafes series xxx

  • Eleri Sydney McAuliffe

  • July 19, 2015

Hi Sara .. Been following you around for a while now but never quite found the courage, ‘is that the right word, to say anything to you other than in my head … “Oh that’s lovely” “what a god idea” etc … Anyway so here I am saying out loud .. Many congratulations and wishing you lots of fun enjoyment and satisfaction in your new adventure … I’ve been in my current post for 27 years so appreciate the big step you’re taking … We take such comfort in our familiar, our chairs get stuck to the floors of never changing … So if you can scrape that chair back.. BEAVO ! I so enjoy my job but sometimes, just sometimes, wonder what would happen if I spun that chair around! ๐Ÿ™‚ happy days for you x

  • Jax Blunt

  • July 19, 2015

I would love one of your squares, the very best of luck with your venture, and if there’s anything I can help with on the wordpress front do let me know, it’s what we do ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Little Jam Pot Life

  • July 19, 2015

You’re an inspiration to me Sara, Lovely post and I some day wish to be doing the same xx

  • CaliMel

  • July 19, 2015

Hooray! So happy for you girl! It’s been amazing to see how your life has developed and changed and grown over the past several years. This could not have happened to a more deserving person. You are such a hard worker, and such a great person, and it’s so exciting to see everything happening for you! <3 Missy

  • Jo S

  • July 19, 2015

What exciting times for you. And I am so pleased for you, from the heart! All the very very best.

  • Elizabeth Cosgrove

  • July 19, 2015

I’m jealous of your bravery! I hope it’s wonderful! And you totally *need* new notebooks-what if you forgot an idea because you hadn’t written it down?! A disaster ๐Ÿ˜‰ x

  • ร„iti

  • July 19, 2015

Good luck with your new adventure.

  • Jo Crawford

  • July 19, 2015

Amazing, what an exciting new chapter you’re starting! xx

  • Sarah

  • July 19, 2015

I too recently took the plunge. My little one starts preschool in September and I couldn’t face the thought of going back to an office. So now I class myself as a freelancer: artist, writer, blogger. It’s still hard to describe myself that way to others – it seems to make me feel very self conscious!
Love that sentiment about trying it and seeing how things go, and that there’s always the option of doing something else in a few years. Takes the panic out of things a little bit!
Good luck, from one stationery connoisseur to another ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Stacy Fajardo

  • July 19, 2015

What a beautiful lesson and example to share with your daughter – to have the courage to always be open to new dreams and to pursue them wholeheartedly ๐Ÿ™‚ Bravo and best wishes !!!

~ Stacy

  • rose

  • July 19, 2015

I would fancy one, they’re so pretty.

  • Zoe

  • July 18, 2015

Such an inspiring thing. I hope to do the same one day! I would also love one of these cards they look beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚ sincerely, Zoe (@zoecancreate)

  • Shrads

  • July 18, 2015

Go you! This is a brave, adventurous and amazing step. Not many people get to do what they love for a living (for whatever reason) so I reckon if you get the chance, all you can do is try. Also, your friend is very wise. But somehow I can’t see you doing anything but succeeding at this. You’ve def got a fan in me! X
Ps. Please can I have one of your lovely cardy-letters??!

  • Lisa

  • July 18, 2015

Ohh congratulations Sara!! Such a brave decision and I’m sure you wont regret it!! I’m hoping to do the same one day, but its so scary. Especially now that I’m a single mother, because if I fail, there is no one else to provide for my little one. Still, one day I want to do what I love.. The prints are gorgeous, selling them is definitely a good idea.. All the luck there is for your new adventure!! xx Lisa (@lillalinaea)

  • Shrads

  • July 18, 2015

Go you! This is a brave, adventurous and amazing step. Not many people get to do what they love for a living (for whatever reason) so I reckon if you get the chance, all you can do is try. Also, your friend is very wise. But somehow I can’t see you doing anything but succeeding at this. You’ve def got a fan in me! X
Ps. Please can I have cardy-letter??!

  • Sarah

  • July 18, 2015

Oh I am very very excited for you! (And only slightly – ahem, very – jealous.) Enjoy every moment!

  • Mummywooly

  • July 18, 2015

Love that you have quit your job! You were wasted on them. Can’t wait to keep reading about your adventures. Oh and I NEED to make Orla one of my dresses so please can you let me know what size she is wearing xx

  • Jess @ alittlepartoftheworld

  • July 18, 2015

Congratulations. What a wonderfully exciting adventure!! How gorgeous are those cards!! Jx

  • Aisling

  • July 18, 2015

Congratulations on taking the plunge! I really enjoy your blog and Instagram feed. My elder sister is an Orla so I felt instantly drawn in when I discovered you. Xxxxx

  • Sally Boyd

  • July 18, 2015

Good luck lovely lady. This was me just over two years ago when I gave up a job (that I loved I hasten to add) to work for myself which had been a dream for a while. It’s been I ride for sure with two young kids and a hardworking husband pulling long hours but the flexibility and being master of your own destiny cannot be beat. And who knows I may venture back into the world of employment in the future. Anything is possible. I am sure you’re going to nail it! Ps do I get a card?!! Please…xxx

  • Hilary

  • July 18, 2015

Enjoy the thrill of not knowing what will happen. Its the best part of being self employed!

Love the wee Instagram cards.

Hilary xx

  • Denisa Brlรกลกovรก

  • July 18, 2015

Thank you for showing us what “stepping out of your comfort zone” looks like. ? Hope it brings you all that you wish for! โค

  • Melanie Whittlesea

  • July 18, 2015

Such an exciting adventure best wishes I’m sure it will work out just fine ?

  • Rachael Smith

  • July 18, 2015

It all sounds like a wonderful adventure! I can’t wait to see/read where it takes you!! Best of luck lovely xxx

  • Julia Williams

  • July 18, 2015

Ahhh loved this blog post so much – inspired!! I dream of the day of being able to do what you are doing!! When you say city – do you mean Leeds or Manchester? Please say Leeds so I can pinch you for one of your lunch hours asap xx

  • Rebecca Harrison

  • July 18, 2015

Congratulations Sara! I’m hoping one of your plans is a cookery book with your photos & stories as well as recipes. *camps outside bookshop*

  • beeniebuds&co

  • July 18, 2015

Enjoy! Looking forward on reading your adventures…

  • BritW

  • July 18, 2015

I do barre. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s so hard that I want to cry, but I love it all the same.

Congrats on your big change! Brave decisions always pay off. <3

  • Morganna Monk

  • July 18, 2015

Good decision…life is for living and making bold choices. Wishing you lots of luck x x

  • niki thomas

  • July 18, 2015

The very best to you Sara, looking forward to hearing all about the days head, the good and the bad. Yes, you are so right and so brave to fear not venturing forth into the unknown. I don’t often comment but I enjoy your little place here very much.

  • Mere Mai

  • July 18, 2015

Congratulations! I understand your fears but I think you’re doing this for all the right reasons. You’ll never know unless you try, right? I think the culture towards a traditional office job is changing and I think it’s just best to do what you love. Wishing you the best of luck and best of inspiration with your new endeavors! xx

  • Nicole

  • July 18, 2015

You tell tales, you share pictures, if you *HAVE* to label it all, I’d say that about you and that it’s OK that there’s no succinct one or two word “title”. Your personal brand and the world that you present on and offline tell us who you are and what you do, beautifully.

Theres such magic in the process of life inspired by work and the whole cycle that seems to be coming from inspiration in the every-day rather than a 9-5 and everything beyond it. I’m glad that with this new wave of “day job” that is becoming prevalent there is starting to be less of a need to define working hours and a title, after all, even in “titled” jobs we are never just one thing and very rarely finish for the day completely.

Wishing you a sterling journey and new chapter. Let the adventures begin xx

  • ewabakrac

  • July 18, 2015

I admire you for this decision (and not only for that after all!) and the way you deal with it. I’ve been living with such idea for some time now, and being stuck at home caring for my hubby kinda opened my eyes to new possibilities and gave me some ideas, so maybe when the time comes to go back to work I will go only to hand in the notice. and who knows, maybe I’ll jump and fly! I’m sure you’ll gonna be good and happy in whatever you choose to do. so good luck, you’re such an inspiration Sara.
and I’d love a handwritten card ๐Ÿ˜€
much love! @_ewabakrac

  • Mina Fagerlund

  • July 18, 2015

Wauw!! You did it! My dream ๐Ÿ™‚ Though, I’m nowhere near yet ๐Ÿ˜‰ I hope you will enjoy it, and get something really good out of it! Thought through decisions can never be “a fail” in any way. Congratulations, Sara <3 Oh – and I would love to receive a greeting card ๐Ÿ™‚

  • ewabakrac

  • July 18, 2015

I admire you for this decision and how you deal with it. because it’s a bit of my situation now, stuck at home caring for my hubby, on the other hand knowing what kind of mess the place I work for normally is and will be when I finally go back, so I’m thinking of just going there one last time with a notice and… and then what? so much to think about but hey, you’re such an inspiration I might just jump and fly! much love
@_ewabakrac

  • Ewa Markiewicz Bakrac

  • July 18, 2015

I admire you for this decision and how you deal with it. because it’s a bit of my situation now, stuck at home caring for my hubby, on the other hand knowing what kind of mess the place I work for normally is and will be when I finally go back, so I’m thinking of just going there one last time with a notice and… and then what? so much to think about but hey, you’re such an inspiration I might just jump and fly! much love
@_ewabakrac

  • Sara Tasker

  • July 18, 2015

Hi Simone! How brilliant that we’ve both come to the same decision at the same time. I’m so excited for you! Looking forward to following your journey, and perhaps we can share with one another along the way? We’re basically colleagues now! haha! xx

  • Sara Tasker

  • July 18, 2015

er, infectious. Oops! x

  • Sara Tasker

  • July 18, 2015

Yay! Your enthusiasm is infection, Susie! Thank you! xx

  • Sara Tasker

  • July 18, 2015

Thanks Julia! Yes, new adventures, and hopefully a fun ride. I can always get off if it starts to make me feel sick, right? xx

  • Sara Tasker

  • July 18, 2015

Thanks Rebecca! Lovely to ‘meet’ you. It IS exciting, and its really nice to hear it’s inspiring too. I suppose I was inspired by other people who took this leap before me, but I never considered I might be one of them one day! Eep!

  • Sara Tasker

  • July 18, 2015

Thanks Emily! Yep, you’re right – plus I finally realised that my anxiety means I’m scared all the time anyway, so I might as well do some actual scary things! haha! Thanks for your encouragement xx

  • Sara Tasker

  • July 18, 2015

Oh thanks Karen. Just what I needed to hear xxx

  • Sara Tasker

  • July 18, 2015

Congratulations to you too, Imogen! What will you be studying? I’m sure you’ll never regret it – this is the hardest time, isn’t it? Waiting for the big change, saying goodbye to the old. Best of luck with your new direction, and thanks for all the encouragement! xx

  • Sara Tasker

  • July 18, 2015

Yes! Perfectly put Nicola. I’m so used to the conventional one-career-for-life path mindset, but I love the idea that all this could lead me in a whole new direction. Thanks for being so supportive lovely xxx

  • Nicola

  • July 18, 2015

It’s really brilliant news. Well done you. Your friend is so right, there are many paths in life and we should wander up as many of them as we have the opportunity to do so. x

  • Imogen

  • July 18, 2015

Congratulations, what an exciting time for you! I am in my last month at a secure job before taking the leap into four years of postgraduate study. It’s terrifying making a huge change and leaving something good behind, but I completely agree that it’s better to give things a chance rather than have regrets!

  • Karen

  • July 18, 2015

That’s amazing Sara! I think the words of your friend are very wise – better to go for it than always wonder. Good luck, not that you need it x

  • Emily Hogarth

  • July 18, 2015

congratulations! Big leaps can sometimes be a little scary but the rewards will make it worth it! So happy for you! Xx

  • Rebecca

  • July 18, 2015

Congratulations! Such exciting news, and so inspiring too. I recently found your blog through nuffnang and I’m so glad I did. Enjoy the ride!

  • Simone Hawlisch

  • July 18, 2015

Dear Sara,
First of all congratulations on this very wise decision, you are such an inspiring person and I am sure that you will not regret that step.
On a second note I really had to smile when I read your post as I am just about to do the same! My last day at work will be end of July after having been in people development for 9 yrs with my current Company and overall in HR for 17yrs.
Through Instagram I met amazing people like you which helped me to make that decision and I am also giving myself a couple of years to make this work and then I still could be doing something different, we just have to trust the universe.
I also have been using this ‘excuse’ to be piling up on new beautiful stationary and I love the one you got.
So having said all this, all the best to you Sara and sending much love your way from Berlin,
Simone xx

  • Old Fashioned Susie

  • July 18, 2015

Aw I love this post! You’ve made the jump and it’s so exciting. A portfolio career is what I’d call it. Honestly I’m really thrilled for you. *appludes* xx

  • Julia Smith

  • July 18, 2015

Hooray for new adventures! Enjoy the ride and best of luck with your new ‘start’ (which I know isn’t really a start but a continuation of sorts…)

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