Taking Stock

This morning my calendar had an appointment to “Take stock of MD.”

Today is officially 6 months since my first day of being “unemployed.”

I’m not unemployed, of course. I’m self-employed. But after twenty-mumble years of working for someone, on my first day of working for myself – June 6 – I felt decidedly unemployed. So much so that when I came on LinkedIn that morning and saw a job posting… I applied.

Setting Goals

When I started this gig, my husband and I had an agreement that we would check in after some time to make sure this was working. Was I getting business? Did I have the time and flexibility to help more with the kids? Was my stress level improved? Did I enjoy my work? And of course, was I making enough money that we can cover our expenses?

In hindsight, I actually feel like our goals weren’t specific enough. If you really want to take a go/no-go approach, there should be clear values to every item. But a goal like, “how’s my mental health” doesn’t lend itself to a quantity, even though it’s as valuable as the monthly cost of health insurance.

Changing the Rules

Six weeks in, the job I had applied for showed up at my door. There was an opportunity to work flexible hours and do work that I knew, with an employer and colleagues I was familiar with. It was tempting. Here I had many, if not all, of the things I had been looking for when I struck out on my own.

But in truth, it wasn’t even that hard to say “no.” Enough time had passed that I could begin to see what this job – my company – could be like. I was doing the kind of work that I wanted, and picking up my kid from school every day. And I remembered that I left my past employers for good reasons.

But I did still need work. So I talked to the hiring manager about how I could still contribute to the organization and their project. Understanding their longer-term vision for the role, I proposed that they hire my company to help them out in the short term. It took some time to iron out the arrangement, but they wound up hiring Marit Digital and are one of my first big clients.

Final Thoughts

I am not as successful as I feel I should be. I have a long way to go and a lot still to learn. Imposter Syndrome is the Elf on the Shelf, popping up in surprising spots to annoy me.

But six months in I have vastly more confidence that I can do this, and that this is the right job for me. And I can’t wait to see what the next six months bring.