The Genesis: The Great Resignation

There comes a time when one realises there has got to be a better way to live, work and play. We are at an amazing time in history as technology provides more ways to make money and work from anywhere. But how does one make the leap from comfortable office job and reliable income to location independent freelancer, entrepreneur or solopreneur? For me, I found the answer in the gig economy.

The following story, and turning point in my life, took place way back in 2015. Why am I only writing about it now? I chose to write about it during the global pandemic, some 6 years later, as I believe there is a fundamental shift taking place in the way we work, and live for that matter. I titled this post, The Great Resignation, for a reason. There really is a great resignation taking place!

As the post-pandemic reopening begins, people across the globe are reassessing their jobs. After World War II, the modern office was created on a military model, for men by men, assuming they have a home-wife. But fast-forward to the 2021, it’s becoming apparent that the model doesn’t work anymore. As such, millions of people have spent the pandemic redefining their relationship with work. After Government-enforced work from home measures, people ask themselves:

  • How much time do I want to spend in the office?
  • If I can work remotely, then what’s keeping me in the big city?
  • Do I even want this job anymore? A new career, perhaps?

Anthony Klotz, an associate professor at Texas A&M University, studies the exits of hundreds of workers says:

“The great resignation is coming. The numbers are multiplied by the many pandemic-related epiphanies—about family time, remote work, commuting, passion projects, life and death, and what it all means—that can make people turn their back on the 9-to-5 office grind.”

For the younger generation, I believe the shift is even more significant. The trend of freelancing and entrepreneurism is only going up as more and more entering the workforce seek more freedom and flexibility in the way they work.

For these reasons, I believe the time was right to write about my personal journey to location-independence, and becoming a free agent. I hope to provide value, inspiration and help for those also looking for another way to live and work.

The day I fired my boss

I distinctly remember the time my life had hit crossroads. I had just come out of a challenging time; A period that I now think back on as “the dark ages”. I had spent two years in rehab and halfway houses. Thankfully, I came out the other side intact and ready to play the game of life again. Only, I was not that employable. So, when a friend helped me get a job in sales, I took it. I’d had several sales jobs pre the dark ages. You know the ones, inside the office cubicle, wearing a phone headset with your sales micro-manager validating his role by constantly annoying you about your KPI’s.

This particular job wasn’t like that. I was out on the road a bit but spent half the time inside the office. It was a good re-entry back into the workforce but not what I wanted. I didn’t want to become an office zombie again. I started researching online ways to make money remotely, work for yourself, etc. I did a few courses on Udemy, one on entrepremneurship, one on WordPress blogging and one on creating passive income.

I had an idea of what I wanted yet wasn’t sure how to make the leap. Even though I was underpaid in my current role, I replied on the income to pay rent. My boss wasn’t exactly leadership material and would constantly disappear for days on end on drug and alcohol benders, definitely something I could do without in my life at the time. I had to get out, but how?

Then, the universe sent me a sign.

I saw an ad on Facebook to make $1000 per week with your car. The company was Uber, a new App on the scene from the US. I heard they were somewhat controversial for challenging the taxi industry. I liked them already because from my experience taxi’s had abused their monopoly on the industry for too long.

So, I bought a new car and applied to drive for Uber. I didn’t know what I was going to do in the long run, as Uber would just be a steppingstone, but I had set the wheels in motion… see what I did there?

The first night I drove Uber I made around roughly one hundred dollars in 2 hours. The following day at work went something like this:

Me:       I would like to hand in my resignation.

Boss:     Why?

Me:       I decided to drive Uber.

Boss:     What’s Uber?

Me:       It’s an App that connects me with people looking for a ride so that I can drive them.  

Boss:     Like a taxi driver?

Me:       No. Not a taxi driver.

Boss:     Sounds like a taxi driver.

Me: It’s not. I’m an Uber driver.

Boss: Why would you wanna be a taxi driver?

Me:       … Because I can make almost three times the amount that you pay me.

And with that, the conversation was over. I thanked him for the opportunity he had given me and was out within the week. At the time, I didn’t know for sure that I would become a freelance copywriter, but I had just taken the most important step for redesigning my life, a concept Tim Ferris calls Life Design in his excellent and ground-breaking book The Four-Hour Work Week.

Driving Uber was not never intended to be a forever endeavour, but a side hustle and bridge to something greater; creating a lifestyle that suited me. Taking the leap of faith towards a better way of life is hard, because of fear and the unknown. How I came to alleviate some of that fear was by entering the gig economy to support myself towards a life of self-employment.

If you are considering joining the great resignation and transitioning to self employment, freelancing, or entrepreneurship, consider using the gig econmy as a safety net as you take a leap of faith and you pursue your dreams. In the following posts, I will explain exactly how you can do it.

Published by Tim Roberts

Tim is a freelance writer, blogger, digital marketer, creator and author.

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