The “safest” bet
A little more than 12 hours ago, I heard something that I’d known was coming for a long time:
That’s the company I used to work for, as an in-house copywriter.
And if you’re not familiar with my experiences there… I’ll sum it up as:
I learned an INCREDIBLE amount about creative production, running nationwide promotions, retail sales, building and managing a team, and copywriting in general. I had some of my biggest personal successes at that job… including the 3-email sequence that generated $8.4MM in sales.
I also learned what kind of boss I NEVER want to be (I’ll spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say it was NOT a pleasant place to work, outside the walls of my tightknit Creative Department). I learned that common sense is not common. And that all logic shuts down when ego is on the line.
I’ve been sharing this far and wide today, not as an “I told you so” to my old company leaders (because I totally called this happening), but as a reminder to folks of something I say pretty consistently.
In fact, I just wrote about this a couple weeks ago...
YOU. ARE. NOT. SAFE.
I don’t mean that Freddy’s after you.
I mean that taking a job as a “safe bet” is not as safe as it seems. That’s just what we’ve been taught to believe.
There are now 4,000+ more people who probably don’t feel like their job was much of a “safe” bet right now.
And it really sucks… my heart goes out to them. I remember that pain of having the rug yanked out from under you and having to figure out what comes next.
I say this because for anyone who faces the fear that I once did, of making the leap from corporate to freelance…
Those reasons for staying always seem pretty loud (not to mention pretty compelling)…
- I’ll just stay until I have XXX in savings
- I’ll just work my side hustle so that I have a softer landing
- It’s not as bad as it was… things have gotten a lot better so this is probably safer
- I like the safety of a steady paycheck and health benefits
Those are ALL good reasons to stay. Don’t get me wrong.
But that doesn’t make them true and/or the best choice.
This is national news. Lowe’s is taking a beating for its losses on my old co. And 4,000+ people (plus their families) are reeling.
I’m not saying be a pessimist or treat every job like they’re going to fire you, but be realistic when convincing yourself that a job is safer than freelancing.
Jobs are numbers games, by and large. And when it’s about numbers, sometimes it works out in your favor and sometimes it doesn’t.
At least in freelancing or building your own thing… you know your success is on you. You can always hustle a little harder or take on more work or create a new offer to goose cash flow.
I remember how scary it was to leave. But looking back, I can’t believe I stayed as long as I did.
If you’re an aspiring freelancer who’s working up the courage to leave the day job… good news! I’m sharing all the things I WISH I’d known before making the leap so that hopefully your journey goes a little more smoothly than mine.