In another life, I worked as a charge nurse in a hospital. It was a nice facility, and I was reasonably fond of my co-workers. But 12-hour shifts were long, and somewhere around 3 a.m. I would find myself wondering about other work options.
That’s when I discovered online freelancing. And since I learned that I could use the skills I already have to earn a portable income, shift work has become a thing of the past.
Now, I get up refreshed and actually look forward to the day. I work for two hours in the morning, and then have lunch with my husband. At weekends, we watch our grandson play baseball…take road trips…or go to the beach.
All of this came about after I approached an educational company about writing “how-to” articles for their subscribers. Prior to being a nurse, I worked as an elementary school teacher, and my background in education made me a great fit for this role. The company likes the way I write and now gives me as many assignments as I want.
I also take on writing and consulting work that taps into my years of knowledge and experience in the medical field. For instance, I’ve written website blog posts for a dentist and a neurologist, and the neurologist has told me that more than half of his patients come to him because of the website.
While I enjoy writing, my favorite work is as an online freelancing consultant—showing others how they can make the transition that I did. I love interacting with my clients and helping them reach their goals and follow their dreams. Thanks to the internet, I can have a chat, send a video, show them what’s on my computer screen, and teach them exactly what they need to know…all from the comfort of my own home or anywhere else I want to be.
I no longer have to work as a nurse or third-grade teacher. Instead, I can use the knowledge I learned in these professions to make thousands of dollars working online. But the real benefit is not the money, it’s the freedom this gives me. I can earn on my own schedule (in agreement with my clients, of course), and from anywhere I like. My go-to spot is my garden porch or kitchen table.
But I’ve taken my online business with me to Costa Rica, Mexico, and Panama. We took some friends to Panama City once, just to show them how nice it is. Sitting on a 23rd-floor balcony across the street from the water, I watched the boats coming into the fish market, during my coffee break. Then, I finished my “workday,” got out of my robe, and went to brunch with our friends.
Transitioning from 12-hour late shifts to working when, where, and with whom I choose has been a dream come true. It has given me my family life back as well as free time to do things I thought I’d have to put off until retirement.
It’s been almost seven years since those awful night shifts, but I’ll never have to go back. I’m living my “great escape” and looking forward to many more stress-free, happy days doing what I love, with those I love.
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