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Writers, employment is not the stable option.

I’ve changed jobs an embarrassing amount of times.

I wasn't ready to talk about this until recently. Or at least not describe it as a pattern. I guess I first realized that maybe I was perceived as a nervous job hopper when an HR person asked me straight out why I changed jobs every couple of years...

The honest answer – which was not the answer I gave – was that not all the jobs I've had have been as fulfilling or as healthy for me to be in as I hoped when I joined the company.

Excuses chapter

Occupational hazards. Instability is the trademark of marketing.

We're always the first team from which heads roll if budgets get cut. The startup world is arguably worse. You could also argue that my punting for a career spent marketing startups was what foreshadowed a career of consistent change. It's not always you, and equally, it's not always the market. My relatively short career has managed to span two recessions and a pandemic, neither of which added to the stability factor. I also had to grow a lot as a person to be a better professional.

Explanation chapter

My dad was self-employed and always stressed so I clung to the job hunt. I was convinced “employment” was the way to avoid that.

It's not.

This is a different kind of stress, arguably better suited to a self-starter (you know that personality trait companies are always hiring for? If you fit it, take a good look at the bait…)

Morale of the story

So if, like I did more than once, you're staying loyal to a company for whom you're a hungry little snapper fish, no matter how senior your rank, don't hold back from going rogue because you seek “stability”. Companies die all the time, and departments get weeded out. No employee is untouchable.

If you're also a writer, learn from my mistakes: maybe don't look for a higher-paying job and then switch.

Look for a job alongside which you can set up your own thing. It'll hurt less if you need to leave and you'll hit the ground running as I like to think I did with Write Wiser.

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Great piece. Gives us lots to think about.

Nadine Heir
Nadine Heir
May 30, 2023
Replying to

I appreciate you saying that, fellow freelo!

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