Just gonna cut straight to the chase on this one. No ‘building the scene’ paragraph to ease you in because I have a feeling this post will be a rambling one. One that also may never actually be posted, like 6874848 others sat there, lurking in my drafts folder.
This month marks the anniversary of me deciding to leave my job as a night shift care assistant with the elderly. My job was making me unwell. A mixture of long hours, difficult relationships with colleagues and limited childcare meant that after 5 years I didn’t have much choice but to start thinking of other career options.
I had been starting to grow my Instagram and blog following in the year prior to making this decision and had started to receive the odd collaboration with brands. Mostly in exchange for product rather than paid collaborations. Si had been encouraging me to leave my job for about six months (because I was a tired bitch on the days running up to and following my shift) but the fear of being self employed and the ‘what if I never get any work again’ was crippling me.
I sheepishly left the resignation letter on my managers desk and literally skipped about work that night. In those initial few minutes I knew I was making the right decision. Admittedly I miss working with people, both colleagues and I actually genuinely did love working as a carer. I never know how to put it into words but when people are their most vulnerable and sometimes feeling ashamed with themselves, to be there to help and lift their spirits was such a magical thing to be able to do. It is such an intimate job to have and the bonds you sometimes form are so precious. (Sometimes form, but also sometimes they were dicks, no one turns into an angel just because they age so those precious moments weren’t everyday let me tell you)
I went into panic mode in the January and started contacting brands about collaborations, but because I had contacted them instead of the other way around I ended up being too shy to ask for payment. Meaning most work initially was on a gifted basis. I had cushions coming out of my ears and my stress levels were rising. Fortunately the rooms were becoming rapidly more and more padded.
As the year went on I started to form relationships with other bloggers. Sharing contacts and getting an understanding of what they typically were charging for campaigns. It was this that made me realise I needed to start to realise my worth as I was massively undercharging. Trying to overcome my fear of asking for payment one step at a time. I am getting better at it but I know that mostly I am still asking for very little compared to other bloggers. I think its because I am still very new to blogging and imposter syndrome comes knocking on my door more often than not.
This year has been one massive learning curve. There have been moments when the trolls have made me cry for days at a time, but the good always always outweighs the bad. I am now able to work from home. (the reason for this years weight gain) I am able to go to every one of the boys football games, I am no longer tired. I am so much happier and the feeling of learning something new has given me so much self belief. I am not computer minded and as I have mentioned before, learning about coding, widgets and affiliate links was such a headache! But I bloody did it, with no help and I am pretty proud of that.
I am now in a position where I actually turn down more work than I accept. Sometimes I regret the jobs I turn down. One I really regret was for a years campaign with a make up brand but I just didn’t feel good enough to do it. Maybe next year my confidence will grow and I won’t be so self critical.
Ultimately I am not here trying to be the best of anything. I just want to be a mum and earn a part time wage. I don’t want to take any of it too seriously. However, the dream would be to work with a brand to collaborate on a product. From start to finish. Something to put my name to. I’m pretty sure if I get to that point I will have completed Instagram! (haha).
Not the soppiest person on the block admittedly but I do feel so grateful that you have supported me over this year. I hope that I give back as much as everyone has given me.
Thank you from he bottom of my heart. Thank you for every like, every comment, every post you have read and for every person who sent me shoes that they think I should definitely be buying. It has been the best decision.