Monthly Archives

June 2016

Your Salary is Not Your Self-Worth (and Why I Gave Myself Permission to Earn Less)

June 29, 2016

Your Salary is Not Your Self-Worth (and Why I Gave Myself Permission to Earn Less)

It’s been an interesting first year as a full-time freelance writer. For starters, I didn’t even know that I’d still be out on my own, at this point. My last day of work was June 26th, 2015 and all I knew was that I had a bunch of cash saved up and at least six months of client work ahead of me. What would happen after six months, I could only imagine. Maybe I’d have another six months of work ahead of me, but maybe I wouldn’t. Maybe all my clients would drop me. In that case, if I had to use a little bit of my savings, I would. And if I had to get a job, I would. Even if I just needed a little bit of stable income and I had to get a job at Starbucks, I would and was prepared to do that. But I haven’t had to do any of that yet, which is one way I can measure my “success”.

In all my jobs before this, I would have, instead, measured my success by the size of the raise I got every year. When I was a teenager, I loved getting $0.25/hour and $0.50/hour raises; they proved I worked hard and deserved a little more money for my efforts. Once, I even told the owner of the coffee shop/bakery I worked at that I was going to quit and go work somewhere I could make more money. She offered me $1.00/hour more to stay, because she couldn’t afford to lose me. I was on top of the world. When I stepped into my first management position, I got a $4.00/hour raise that made me feel like a freaking boss (rightly so, I suppose, since I was one). In all the positions I earned hourly wages, getting a raise made me feel good; like people knew I was doing a good job and I was worth more money. But that mindset had to shift, when I worked for the government…

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What I’ve Learned After 1 Year of Self-Employment

June 27, 2016

What I've Learned After 1 Year of Self-Employment

What was your first grown-up job? One where you thought, “yes, this is the beginning of my career”. In the summer of 2006, I worked as a Jr. Communications Officer at what was then known as the Public Affairs Bureau for the Province of BC. There, I wrote media releases, briefing documents, and speeches for MLAs and a Cabinet Minister. And I was mentored by two smart, talented and driven women: one was a single mother, the other was married to a highly-respected health officer. At the age of 21, I thought I had found my career; this was the place I wanted to be and the ladder I wanted to climb.

At no time in the nine years that followed did I ever think I would work for myself. After graduating from college in 2007, I had a 5-year career in the government, followed by 3 years at a startup. I had always assumed I would stay at one company for a long time, like my parents did, or do 5-10 years at a few. Working for myself wasn’t the goal – until it became an option

It’s hard to believe it’s already been a full year that I’ve been out on my own. On June 26th, 2015, I finished all my work, reached inbox zero then logged out of the 9-to-5 world. At the time, I was equal parts excited and scared. I knew I had enough freelance work lined up that I would survive through to the end of 2015, but I had no idea what would happen after that. As you can see, I’ve obviously made it to mid-2016 and it’s been one of the most rewarding years of my life. I’ve grown personally and professionally, thanks to many life lessons learned along the way. Here are some of the big ones:

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5 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy Summer (Plus My Summer Reading List)

June 20, 2016

5 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy Summer (Plus My Summer Reading List)

While winter is technically the shortest season of the year, summer always feels short-lived. It’s been that way since we were kids and we got two months off from school – two short months that came and went so fast, you’d think “there’s no way school starts again so soon!”. It’s also the one season where everyone gets a little bit of FOMO – the fear of missing out on things. The good weather brings people outside, and fills parks and trails and beaches and lakes with more bodies than what was there all spring. We have learned to plan our lives around these two months of freedom and sunshine.

I’ve been asking friends what their plans are for summer and the answers always include the word “busy”. Birthdays, bachelorettes, weddings, baby showers, reunions, camping trips and vacations. Calendars are filling up fast, and everything feels like it’s being crammed into a tiny two-month window. If your calendar looks the same, my telling you there are just 78 days until Labour Day – or 11 weeks and 11 weekends – might fill you with a sense of panic. If that’s the case, I would encourage you to try to slow down and enjoy this beautiful season. Here are a few ways you can do that…

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