My brother and sister in law have a fantastic band called Exit Project. This popped into my head today because I think that’s what I need next – an exit project to escape my day job.
I work as a freelance writer and editor. I am paid well for what I do, and have some expertise in my own niche. The trouble is, I have outgrown my niche. It has started to feel like a pidgeonhole. And I’m ready to spread my wings.
I’ve had a long freelance career, so I’ve parted company with clients a number of times before, almost always entirely amicably. Usually a project ends, funding dries up or they decide to hire a full time person rather than outsourcing. Almost immediately, a new project tends to show up.
This time it feels different. I edit a magazine for someone, I feel a fair bit of responsibility. I also, to be honest, need the cash.
So why do I need an Exit Project?
- I feel out of alignment with the audience I write for. We have nothing in common (beyond being human).
- I don’t enjoy the topics I write about.
- I feel constrained and limited in what I can do.
- My creative ideas to improve things have met with strong resistance, even though that was part of my job description.
- I have frequent issues with a disrespectful co-worker.
I get a feeling of deep dread in my gut every time I turn my attention to this work. It feels all wrong.
How have I come to this place of feeling wrong?
Well, to be honest there were some early disappointments. But I have also been doing a great deal of inner work on myself, including what I want to do with my time and talents. Some of the people or courses that have helped along the way are:
A visit to Portland to see Havi Brooks from The Fluent Self at her Rally course
Online work with Andrea at The Creative Magic Academy where I recently took part in the Creative Dream Incubator
And finally a beautiful piece of magical transformation at Jane’s Reframing Your Story, which I felt was the icing on the cake after the deep in-person and online group work from each of the other two courses.
After all of this work I am very clear on what I need more of in my life, and what feels good. I’m starting to work more intensively on some creative projects. These may or may not lead to some kind of income – but whether or not that comes to pass, I still have to acknowledge the deep discomfort I’m feeling in my current role. I’m just not a good fit.
So how do I plan to exit?
I have some creative changes to turn the business around that I want to attempt to implement. I want to create clear documentation – a few lists and processes – to leave the role easy for the next person to take on. And then in the New Year, I plan to leave.
I think it’s time for a new chapter to begin, and shedding this part of my career is the final step towards being really authentic.
I have a copy of Exit Project’s very aptly named CD Single, Healing Slow to give away. Leave a comment below and I’ll put names in a hat Thursday!