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Knowing When to Walk Away from a Gig

Posted by Valencia on March 22nd, 2009

I can’t escape talk about the economy.

Every week I run into someone who recently lost their job, and I’ve spoken to countless people who fear for their future.

Towards the end of last year I started to get spooked by all the talk about the economy. In a week’s time, two of my regular clients gave me the ax because they could no longer afford to pay freelancers. I didn’t know if this was going to become a trend, so I did something drastic. I started applying for gig after gig, and I landed a couple of new freelance opportunities. I like having a backup plan - just in case. But I got in-over-my head, and I decided I needed to walk away from some of my regular assignments.

Even though I know this was the right thing to do - I question my decision every day. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. What if my husband gets laid off? We would lose a chunk of our monthly income - not to mention our health insurance. And since unemployment compensation is a joke, I would have to step up my game during this time. These thoughts were racing through my head when I decided to take on new assignments. I knew that taking on new assignments would require more time and energy. But at the time, I wanted to be safe than sorry - and I wanted to use this opportunity to increase our emergency stash. But in the end, it became too much - and I had to walk away.

You see, I have a problem. I have a gift for worrying, obsessing and becoming fixated on problems that don’t exist. And then I find solutions to these non-existent problems. I exert so much energy worrying about the future - and more than 90 percent of the stuff I worry about never happens.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get better. But rather than let worry turn me into a workaholic…I’m going to let whatever happens - happen. And then deal with things “one problem at a time.”


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