Transition: From an employee to a freelancer

I haven’t written for a while. I’m sorry! There are so many things going on that I can barely keep up. As most already know, I had quit a full time employee job back in September 2010 to be a real estate agent. Recently, I changed careers again. Quitting on everything after a 4 year well established routine is considered to be something crazy for many, a mad folly in those times of recession.

I reached a point where the routine started to pull me back; a point where I woke up asking myself: “What the hell am I doing? Why?” I had to leave and find something different. At first, I thought it would be real estate. Well, it was was for a couple of months but the situation in Lebanon is not ideal for the time being and work is slower than I can handle. In the meantime, I coupled my interest in photography with workshops and related activities. Now, I decided to be a photographer. Did I finally find my calling? Only time will tell.

Getting out from the comfort zone of an 8 to 5 employment was not an easy task. A transition period was necessary to figure things out, meditate and think things through. I did not really know what I wanted to become when I was 18 although I clearly remember that during my childhood years all that mattered to me was to be a vet. I did not become a vet. I engaged in different studies: A bachelor, a masters degree… and here I am.

With time on my hands, I could do whatever I wanted to do, be whomever I wanted to be. Many do not get to experience that, I should consider myself lucky. How confusing! I decided to travel around with my camera looking for inspiration and answers. I took some time off from the whole world. Those trips were very important and brought me closer to myself and to world altogether.

I can’t deny that the worse part of the whole experience so far includes the transition from a steady income to money shortage. Family support and savings were crucial. At times, depression would creep in and play with my mind. There were tears. There were fears. Should I go back to what I considered a pointless employee status? Should I take the fight, go through with it till the end and see what comes out of it? What should I do? Questions only me could answer. During those nights, I would dream of a person telling me: “This is what you ought to be doing.” It was not going to happen.

I had to summon the sleeping fighter inside. I had to make decisions on my own for myself. I had to put an end to this madness. I love everything photography, I take pleasure in it. I crave the fast moving environments, meeting new people all the time and be my own boss. Finally a good reason for me to wake up.

From HR to photography. What the hell? Yeah, well, why not? I know it’s not easy, there is a lot of competition. But if I do not try myself, how will I ever know, right? From theory to practice, I have been working on a photography project since the beginning of Ramadan. I work at night and come home late. Challenges are different, but at least I’m happy, smiling and satisfied. I’m no longer having nightmares and that person who used to appear in my dreams disappeared. I hope I will be able to keep up with the pace and land on multiple interesting projects. I am learning a lot every day. It’s time to make a living; a happy one.

So if you need a photographer, you know where to find me!

Did you experience something similar? Are you happy with your current job; was that what you always wanted oi do?

Special thanks to every person who stood by my side during the lows, you are priceless and I hope I can make you proud.

10 thoughts on “Transition: From an employee to a freelancer

  1. What a great story!
    I have so much respect for what you did and what you’re aspiring to become. It takes courage and a lot of work to do what you did and I truly believe you will get to the goals you’re aiming for, the passion and drive are too obvious to ignore.
    I, on the other hand have been planning with friends to make a huge shift and start my own company on an international scale. Logistics are and will be worked out in the coming months and hopefully in a year’s time things will be ready to kickoff…I’m currently an employee, I hate it. I know what it feels like to be stuck in a rut. But just like you, its time to deal with it and make some progress towards the life I aim to enjoy.

    All the best! 🙂

  2. Going freelance is the best decision you can make. Provided you’re successful, the time you save from not going to the office, not to mention the stress you avoid can give you a new lease on life. Added to that, if you’re successful the money’s better too!

    Good luck from another freelancer!

  3. Im currently working as a graphic designer at an NGO. its kind of nice to have an office and work in such an environment, but i dont think i can handle 5, 10, 20, or 25 years as others are. I can’t be trapped like this forever.
    I currently working on myself to improve my social media and web skills, its something I’m getting addicted to. And I will be having personal projects to work on with businesses and companies.

    This is nice, but my all time dream since childhood is art, mainly acting and painting.
    Throughout my previous 6 years, i have worked with a theatrical group. This has fulfilled my needs for theater and performances.
    I still want to go big now in theater, but until i get the personal requirements and the chance, i will keep working for something i like too just to make a living.

    great post rite 🙂

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