Sometimes Quitters DO Win … Especially Now During The Great Resignation

Resignation letter being placed on the desk of the boss

I’m proud to say I’m a quitter! I know … that sounds weird. It felt weird writing it. But it’s true.

Hear me out …

Back in 2011, I quit my job running my family’s housecleaning business to work from home full-time as a freelance copywriter.

I wanted more money, more flexibility, more happiness and fulfillment with my work.

With 10 years of perspective, I can say that it was absolutely the right thing for me. And the right timing.

It was the right choice.

When the COVID-19 pandemic triggered stay-at-home orders around the globe last year, companies shut their offices and transitioned workers to work-from-home status where possible. Workers didn’t have a choice or a say in the matter.

This year, when things started opening back up, workers found that they do have a choice.

And there are so many that are choosing to quit their jobs that it’s being called The Great Resignation.

The Great Resignation

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3,992,000 Americans quit their jobs in April of 2021. A total of 14,573,000 quit from February through June.

And globally? In its Work Trend Index, Microsoft cites a global survey conducted by independent research firm Edelman Data x Intelligence as showing that 41% of employees are considering quitting their current jobs this year.

The time so many people spent working remotely from home has changed their perspective. Perhaps, like me, they want more money, more flexibility, more happiness and fulfillment.

They want more control over their work life.

And while some are looking for another job to replace the one they’re leaving, Business Insider reports that “10 million Americans are projected to be seriously considering the move to freelancing.”

Welcome to the freelancing club, my fellow quitters!

Good Timing for Writers

The Great Resignation is following “The Leap” in e-commerce, where 10 years’ worth of expected growth happened in just three months.

This makes it a really good time to be a professional writer.

Companies need writers to support this massive increase in e-commerce. They need web pages, product pages, sales pages, social media, and emails. They need so MANY emails!

Marketers have BLOWN UP the DirectResponseJobs job board with more than 1,200 current listings. The average used to be about 300.

Some of these listings are for jobs. Some are for freelancing gigs.

All are opportunities for quitters like me who are now living the writer’s life.

How to Win as a Quitter

The easiest and fastest way to transition into the writer’s life and win as a quitter is to leverage what you already know and use it in your new venture.

It’s what I did.

I knew how to run a local service business. I knew how to market that local service business to our target market of local homeowners. I knew people running other local service businesses.

As a new freelance writer, I easily could help these other local service businesses market themselves to local homeowners … and, perhaps more importantly, they believed I could help them because I already had experience doing it in the job I had just quit.

I also had a love for and interest in the wine industry. I could talk the talk when it came to wine. And I leveraged that to persuade some people I knew at some of our local wineries to give me a chance to write some promotional web copy and emails for a few of their tasting events.

You can do this, too!

You can take what you know — the experience you have from a past job, your interests, your hobbies — and leverage them into the start of your own writer’s life.

Like me, you can have more money, more flexibility, more happiness and fulfillment … and you can do it working remotely from home on your own terms … if you choose to do so.

Your Next Steps

Here are your next five steps to explore your own personal leverage points and get started living the writer’s life …

Step 1 — Make a List … Three, Actually

Take out a sheet of paper and draw two vertical lines from top to bottom, dividing the paper into three columns. Label the columns Experience, Interests, and Hobbies.

Now, in the Experience column, list all the things you know how to do and the industries you’ve done them in. Even if they’re unrelated to writing, write them down.

Make lists of your interests and hobbies in the other columns. They don’t have to be related, and you don’t have to see right now how they’re even relevant to writing. Just write them down.

Take your time with this. Take breaks. Let it sit overnight. You may find that you keep adding to your lists later as things come to mind.

For example, if I were doing this 10 years ago when I was quitting my job to go freelance, I might have put wine tasting, running, gardening, cooking, quilting, and reading on my list of hobbies.

My experience column would include local service business, computer training, label printing, sales, marketing, customer service, bookkeeping, scheduling jobs, scheduling workers, managing inventory, workplace safety compliance, etc. And, of course, writing.

My interests included networking, mentoring, parenting, and personal growth and development.

Step 2 — Check It … Twice

Once you feel comfortable that you’ve put everything on paper, look at your lists for possible connections to writing opportunities. Which of these things that you already have knowledge of and experience with would you enjoy writing about? Highlight them.

Next, look at the highlighted topics and think about what businesses and people are associated with those topics. Write them down on your paper, too.

If you have personal connections with any of those businesses or people, put extra sparkly highlighter on those. They are prospects or people who may be able to refer you to a prospect.

Using my examples, running was one of my hobbies. Stores that sold running shoes and gear are a natural first thought. Also, runners’ groups, organizations that hold fundraising races, coaches and trainers, etc.

Step 3 — Explore the Possibilities

I mentioned the job board at earlier. Head over there and take a look at the jobs listed to see some of what’s possible for writers right now.

You’ll need a myAWAI account to login to view the job listings. You can register for a free myAWAI account here if you don’t already have one.

Once inside, you can filter your search by type of work (full-time, part-time, freelance, or spec) and by category (copywriting, blogging, social media, research, etc.).

It truly is a treasure-trove of opportunity.

Step 4 — Polish Your Writing Skills

Now, granted, there is a difference between having experience, interest, or hobbies that touch a specific industry and writing for it. Taking the time to polish your professional writing skills will pay off in the long run.

Abraham Lincoln said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

And the same is true about becoming a professional writer.

The good news is you can develop the skills you need very quickly and be up and running in a short amount of time.

Step 5 — Go for It!

If you’re ready to be part of The Great Resignation … if it makes sense for you to do so … go for it!

Even though the saying is that winners never quit and quitters never win, I believe that now is one of those rare times when quitters CAN win. As long as you’re quitting what no longer serves you and saying yes to something else that does.

If it is right for you, I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be a professional writer living the writer’s life.

Are you ready to quit and take on the writer’s life? Share with us in the comments.

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Published: September 6, 2021

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