Finally, Change

by sarahenni on July 30, 2013

imageFinally, things are changing.

I’m really excited to be able to share that my day-job situation is being mixed up. I’m not going to talk about the day job, old or new, in any kind of detail (I’m not about crossing my journalism and creative writing lives, and it doesn’t really matter). But after a long time battling inertia, weighing professional aspirations, and of course money stuff, I have found a new gig that will allow me to work from home.

I’m so, so happy. And I feel like I’m being given a chance to reboot my creative life.

I really like the coworkers I’ve had for more than four years now. The office is nice, the job was just fine, for a while I was even challenged to do some great work. But that fell away a while ago—years, really. I thought I could handle some monotony as long as I had time to write my book (and I did – I wrote three of them while working here*).

image_5This blog fell away. Some of my efforts with YA Highway fell away. Slowly even Twitter fell away, my lifeline to friends who would best understand a creative malaise. It was all I could do to get myself out of bed and to the daily grind of my office job with just enough juice left over to query and revise my manuscript. “How did I do all of that, once?” I found myself asking. “I must be so much busier now than when I was posting three times a week, or organizing the NaNoWriMo e-mail campaign, or tweeting with any degree of engagement or humor.”

Of course that isn’t true. Over the last year I lost the intellectual spark of my day-to-day work, and with it motivation and happiness. New challenges, novelty of experience, is necessary for many to feel happy, and I know that is true of myself.

It happened slowly, but at some point this spring I found myself bleary-eyed at work, upset at the total cliche I was for crying at work about the blah of it all. That was the day I started hunting for a new opportunity. With vigor.

The next step is scary! A new job covering a field in which I’m not totally comfortable. The challenge of working from home without driving myself, my cat, or my husband insane. But oh I miss blogging. And tweeting. And getting hair-brained ideas on morning jogs that I then have the energy to get home and pursue.

I thank everyone who has stuck with me as I slowly disappeared over the last year, and look forward to meeting new people with renewed energy!

What about you? Have you changed a job to spice things up before? Do you have any tips for working at home??

*For the record, I never, ever wrote creative fiction at my day job! I drew that line early and stuck to it.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Missy July 30, 2013 at 9:51 am

Congrats on the job change! I love working from home – hope it works out for you.

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sarahenni July 30, 2013 at 10:01 am

Thanks so much Missy!

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Windy July 30, 2013 at 10:08 am

Good for you, following your instincts. I admire your bravery and wish you lots of good times!

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sarahenni July 30, 2013 at 10:18 am

Aw thanks Windy! I appreciate it :)

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Jessi July 30, 2013 at 10:13 am

Congrats on the job change! I started working from home last last year. Big, biiig difference after working in offices for the past 6 years, but it IS nice that all those awful days I dreamed of working in pjs have finally come true. It’s been a big boost to my writing self, and it definitely helped me feel more like me again. Prior to now (I’m a caregiver to my SO), I worked from home for a couple of months as a marketing writer, and that was a big test run. Here’s some of the big things I’ve learned about working from home:

1. Know when you are most productive. I know I’m a morning person, so I get up extra early to write and then start my work stuff around 7:30. I work until my brain putters out around 3:30. I find this conducive to my creative work and non-creative work.
2. Keep your hours solid and your work space seperate from your life space. It’s going to get easy to brush off house work and other functional human chores to work (or write). Make your schedule, and stick to it. Don’t check your email on days/times you are not supposed to be working, and adversely, don’t procrastinate too hard (it’s easy – need to go to the market? Get some coffee? That can be done because no one is watching). It’s easy for it to spiral out of control and lose a whole day.
3. Make sure you give yourself time to unwind. It’s easy to go from WORK to WRITE or FUNCTIONAL HUMAN. Give your brain time to recharge, watch tv, enjoy the sunshine, etc.
4. Networking. I found that at my marketing writing job, I struggled to keep up with office stuff because everyone was there and I wasn’t. Definitely make sure you find a way to keep connecting with your coworkers because it will feel alienating, and that sucks.
5. Getting out of the house. Super, SUPER important. It’s so easy to find yourself being a shut-in, working and writing and anything else that needs to be done. Get out of the house – hang out with friends, spend the day at the library, do mindless chores. Be around other people. Also, eat well and excercise. I can’t stress this enough. It’s also really easy to eat awful food and never move for hours.

Those are my helpful tips! :) I don’t have a whole lot of friends who work from home either, so if you want to gripe and stuff, I’m here!

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sarahenni July 30, 2013 at 10:20 am

Wow, Jessi these tips are SO helpful!! Thanks a ton for sharing! I’ve been concerned about lots of the items on your list, so I’m going to keep these in mind! You rock <3

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Jessi July 30, 2013 at 10:23 am

Happy to share what I’ve learned! :) Welcome to the interesting, fun, weird world of working from home. It can sometimes be a struggle to connect with 9-5′ers, but doable. You might need to fight the resentment from others! To pull it off, make sure you have a lot of self-discipline. It’s definitely not for everyone.

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WordNerdErin July 30, 2013 at 11:08 am

Girl, here’s what I KNOW: You’re going to rock it out. ;) Congrats on the new gig!

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sarahenni July 31, 2013 at 6:10 pm

YOU ROCK AND I LOVE YOU. Thank you so much Erin!!!

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Krispy July 30, 2013 at 11:24 am

It’s so fantastic to see you back and even better to hear you’ve made such a change! Good on you, and congrats on the new gig! I admire your bravery for going for the change and getting yourself out of that funk-inducing situation. (Girl, just a few weeks ago, I was that crying-in-office cliche. So I think I get it.) You’re going to do great! :)

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sarahenni July 31, 2013 at 6:10 pm

AH you totally get it, friend. And thank you so much for your support!! <3 <3 <3

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Amy Lukafish July 30, 2013 at 11:30 am

SARAH reading this filled me with happy! ILY and am way excited for your new chapter (see what I did there) of life. Woot to the WOOOOT!

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sarahenni July 31, 2013 at 6:11 pm

AHH ILY so. Can’t wait to spend more time online with the likes of your lovely, awesome self!!!

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Lola Sharp July 30, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Oh Sarah, it kind of wrecks me to think of you feeling so sad and frustrated this last year. <3 But what I love is that once you found yourself really down, crying, you DID something about it, even if it scared you. Super proud of you. And excited for you! :)

I work from home, too, (and a mom, and we have a house on over an acre…and 2 dogs, cat, etc., etc.) and I think Jessi gave you some really excellent tips. I agree with every word she wrote.

Enjoy this next phase of your life! I know you'll make magic.

<3,
Lola

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sarahenni July 31, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Thank you, lovely Lola!! I am super excited for the next step, and glad you agree with Jessi’s awesome tips!

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Jessica Love July 31, 2013 at 12:43 am

Yay for change! It sounds like it’s just what you needed right now, and I hope it shakes your life up in all the right ways!

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sarahenni July 31, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Thanks girl! I know you know the plight of a difficult day job <3 <3

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Erin Bowman July 31, 2013 at 12:19 pm

YAY! Congrats on the new job, Sarah! And I know what you mean about slowly disappearing–I feel I’ve let my own blog fall to the wayside, as well as slacked on the twitter front. Sometimes certain things take priority. I wish you the best of luck with the new job and eeeee working from home! You will love it. Especially the sweatpants. Also: sweatpants. ;)

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sarahenni July 31, 2013 at 6:58 pm

HOORAY SWEATPANTS!!! Thank you so much Erin <3

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Tracey Neithercott July 31, 2013 at 12:27 pm

CONGRATULATIONS! I’m so happy for you, Sarah! I’m so glad you feel like you’re in a better place right now, and I’m positive you’re going to love working from home. (I mean, the workplace attire alone is THE BEST.) <3

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sarahenni July 31, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Thank you Tracey!! You are definitely my main work-from-home mentor as I know you’ve kicked butt at it for a while! <3

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Megan O'Connor August 1, 2013 at 7:38 pm

So proud of you my dear!

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Ghenet Myrthil August 15, 2013 at 3:45 pm

I’m late to the party, but congratulations!!! :)

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