Just Because You Quit The Job You Like, It Doesn’t Mean You Failed.
You make love working for it but compromises have to be done to allow bigger opportunitites to come to you.
Remembering the times how I quit as a teacher and succeed as a writer is something I couldn’t imagine at all.
I grew up thinking I could be a successful person once I studied hard and got good grades. But it wasn’t the case for me.
I graduated in 2013 with “almost” flying colors. Like I only needed 0.22 of my QPI to become a Cum Laude (an honorable mention awarded to college students next to Summa and Magna cum Laude).
When I found out about it, I couldn’t understand how I should feel.
Should I be happy because I don’t have to face thousands of students looking at me as I go up the stage and receive the award?
Or should I bury myself because I failed to give my parents the award they want me to achieve… at the last stage of my academic life?
I thought that having 50 rejected job applications was enough for failure. It wasn’t as I got hired in a small school for $100 or less monthly salary. I was a full-time high school teacher at the time, teaching 8 subjects in 4 different year levels. Hence, I make 32 sets of lesson plans every night.
It was tough. Indeed, it was.
Learning there was no hope in my day job, I quit my teaching career and search for online opportunities. That’s when I discovered I could earn a living as a writer. Yet, it won’t be an easy feat. It wasn’t.
Free Articles on Lifehack
There was no way for me to gain some experience with online writing without seeking help from big websites and become a contributor without pay.
My parents thought I was crazy for working hard for an article without receiving a single penny at my account. (At the time, I didn’t know how PayPal works).
So, I started submitting posts with an assigned editor working with me. It was the first time I wrote about something I never experienced before.
In college, I learned how to create stories and literature because I was an English major. But I never wrote something about life or lifestyle. Not with a professional editor! I love writing, however, I never worked with an editor sitting beside me to edit my works.
I had to get used to having my articles edited that could affect the message I want to tell. And because of having no options, I was forced to comply with what they accept regardless if they destroyed the content fully. All I thought was having my name published on their website.
Fast forward, after successfully publishing my first few posts, the editor, who worked with me first, told me about my writing style.
She mentioned the areas I needed to work on and that my work somehow follows a Spanish accent. That’s because the Philippines was under Spanish rule for 333 years.
Given all the notes given to me by editors for months, I practiced on my own and made a few blogs for free at WordPress.Com. That’s before I got my first paid job as a writer.
Your first salary in a new endeavor may not be substantial. The important thing is that it proved it works. You simply to believe it will.
My First $50 In My Writing Career
I know it’s not that much. Yet, receiving my first $50 was big enough to prove my parents there’s something online. It’s proof that I could earn money without leaving the house, enough proof to never return with my previous job and collapse in front of my students again.
I may collapse in front of my PC after working for a long duration, at least, nobody could witness it, embarrassing myself. I’m not saying this is a good thing. For me, this is my way to keep my solitude, including the negative consequences of my actions even with good intentions.
Teaching was once a solace. But the constant control of the authorities contributed to my choice of quitting my job. I wouldn’t have minded if they pay me low, very low. If I would have felt freer to teach the important lessons, I wouldn’t have left and continued teaching the students.
It is not the reality for most teachers, unfortunately. As much as they want to continue to teach the basics to survive and the lessons to uphold, teachers desire recognition of their efforts but micromanaging them would hold them back.
Only two teachers were working with me. For a small private school, it could be enough. At least, in the eyes of the school owners. Yet, the harmony between the administration and the teachers were in constant friction. A gap between teaching the lessons and what I call the “truth” created confusion for me in my profession.
I love to teach people, young and old. This is the main reason for choosing the course when I entered college. The idea of being deprived to teach the real lessons was never in my mind until I started teaching in a real, unsupervised classroom. I wasn’t in an internship anymore but employed.
Everything was on my terms. And I have to be responsible for that. Initially, it was a good thing, earning some money to survive and pay my monthly bills. The more I worked more than 100 hours per week for a small salary without benefits frustrated me.
I stayed longer because of my students as the friction between me and the school authorities became unbearable. Finally, on the first of April, I submitted the final papers at the principal’s office before I left.
And I never returned. Not only to the school I first taught but teaching as a whole. Consequently, I scoured the internet to search for money-making opportunities, making an income without leaving the house.
I never expected teaching in a real classroom setting would give me a trauma.
After the trauma I had experienced with my first teaching experience, I desired to be alone, socially isolated for years. At least, I have a big reason to stay at home without being seated at the hot seat in front of my parents.
With a lot of second thoughts in my mind, I rushed into seeking job opportunities as a writer for the first time. After a long search, I landed my first online job as a news writer. They hired me but then they weren’t satisfied with my job because of my terrible writing. In the end, they paid $50 through my PayPal account and fired me. (The website was shut down not long after I left.)
My First $250 Monthly Salary
I never ceased a day to practice my writing craft and continued. I spent a few months searching for a new job until a company called me to work for them. This time, I was a news article writer. Again.
But then, there would be a team working with me and a copyeditor, who’ll guide me throughout the process. In exchange for, $250 per month.
Yeah, I know. It’s not that much. But for someone who’s earning $100 in my teaching career, it’s already more than I asked for. So, I learned the technical side of writing with an extra hour spent on practicing my writing, too.
In these kinds of websites, time and speed matters. They asked me to write 5 articles per day. In each article, I should write 350 words at least. All of them should be submitted within the deadline. Otherwise, the editor will scold us badly. I did.
For 6 months, I worked and worked and worked until I burnt out. So, I quit. Before I did, I realized I could earn more.
From $250 as my initial monthly salary for a few months, I went up to $350. From there, my mind ticked with an idea that something is out there for me online. I knew back then that an online opportunity was waiting for me.
My First $500
I feel frustrated every time I change from one job to the other because of this and that reason. It sucks.
From 2014 to 2016, I worked in 5 different companies (as far as I could remember) and had to adjust with different work protocols and with different coworkers. My application was never attractive to most I applied for. If I were to return for a full-time teaching job again, they wouldn’t bother looking at my resume.
In 2016, I quit my work altogether and became an official unemployed. I spent my years in the house, surviving with whatever my parents have on the table.
Imagine a 24-year-old achiever without a stable income, living with the parents, makes me ask myself, “Will I end up like this until I become 40 years old?”
It’s frustrating. Of course, I disliked the idea of being dependent on my parents, given that I was already old enough to start my new life alone. I know.
By the time I got married in 2017, my schedule was filled with hectic schedules from processing one paper to the other because of the Embassy, etc. So, I didn’t have the time to work at all. Plus, I had my running Etsy business back then, too. It was a headache.
At the end of 2018, I got hired as a content writer for a Japanese guy running online business (lead generation) and hooked me with a great idea. Lead Generation.
His business introduced me to the whole world of business. From a news and gossip writer, now I have my chance to learn about business. Though I never graduated from a business course.
But then, he wasn’t content with my work. So, I left and earned around $300 or so before I searched for a new job. This time, a Finnish businessman hired me for a $500 monthly salary. That’s per the agreement, excluding bonuses.
His generosity made me say yes and work for him until now. Today, I’m still writing stuff for him and still making money while I run my websites, too. I didn’t have to work 9 to 5 as my previous jobs require me to as long as I accomplished my tasks. That’s it.
You may find yourself changing from one job to the other. Don’t see it a bad thing. Instead, treat this as a good, worthwhile experience as you explore the opportunities you never knew existed.
You know what, believe it or not, I was an overachiever. I had straight As from grade school until college. If not an A, I had B as my lowest grade. I thought those grades were enough to impress someone in the corporate world. But it’s not, apparently.
Success in any career doesn’t rely on grades and how well you performed academically. It’s about your tenacity, determination, hard work, and patience.
Also, you have to be humble enough to accept all the ridicule people will bash at you simply because they thought you’re doing nothing at home. But you know yourself, you’re working hard. So hard.
For me, I succeeded as a writer because I worked hard for it. It took me years to get out of the prison of employment and proved to my parents and everyone that being a writer isn’t that bad at all. Never.
It took me years to have them accept my newly found craft. I was born to be a writer and I love to write anything I want to write about. Be it technical or not. Writing is about loving the process even though you’re a beginner and you’re clueless in the industry.
All you need to do is to keep going and never quit. If you have a big dream that would cause a riot in your family, chase it as long as it doesn’t lead to trouble (with the police if you know what I mean).
Even if your close family would discourage you, keep dreaming. Never allow anyone to stop you because they think it’s unimaginable. That only proves the level of their beliefs. Yours are way bigger. Go for it.
How about you? Have you ever thought you’d become a writer and earn more in this industry than in your 9 to 5?