This is part of The Recession is Bullhonkey series, where I share stories of those who have gotten hired and/or started their own businesses (or sometimes both!) since 2008. This is the story of Andrea Jordan, who has quit her job (twice!), joined the contracting world and is now starting her own business. So inspirational!
I felt stomach-clenching nervous. Doing it in the morning was best, I thought. I checked my figures again. They worked out. I was going to be okay. I gathered my courage and walked into my boss’s office.
I resigned from my role as senior associate at a private law firm in May 2009. I had only worked there for 8 months, after moving back to New Zealand from the UK.
This was my second resignation since the Global Financial Crunch as I had left my role in the UK when I realised that I no longer wanted to be a partner in a large law firm. This was April 2008, the effects of the GFC were being felt in my area (corporate law) and work had been dropping away.
I’d made the decision to move back to New Zealand because I needed a break more than anything else. I had worked in corporate law in London for 8 years and the long hours and stress had worn me out.
My return plan had been to seek an in-house legal role working within a business as I really enjoyed getting to know how businesses worked. From there I planned to transition into a non-legal role. In 2008 in-house roles were few and far between so I accepted a role in a large law firm as a first step.
It was the worst, and best, mistake I’ve made.
It was the worst mistake because it quickly became clear that this wasn’t the place for me. I had a boss that I didn’t see eye to eye with so my excitement quickly turned to misery. It was the best mistake I made because it confirmed that private practice wasn’t right for me anymore and that I needed to find a new direction. I decided to save up enough to take a year off work and figure out what I wanted to do next.
Before I resigned I was fearful that people would think it was foolish to quit a “good” job in financial uncertain times. Instead I was uplifted when friends and colleagues said they thought I was brave to follow my dreams and they wished they had the courage to do the same.
My self-imposed sabbatical year was fantastic. I took a course on internet marketing, traveled for 3 months through the US and the UK, spent time with my young nieces, finished my training as a coach, wrote my first e-book, joined the house-sitting brigade and started my blog.
I decided to return to work as I missed being part of a team. This time I wasn’t seeking a permanent job rather I was dipping my toes into the world of legal contracting. Another “risky” move, according to some. Yet in over 3 years of contracting I’ve only had 6 weeks of not working when I wanted to and that was due to not tying down an end date after the initial term of a contract had finished.
Even now, friends and colleague say they wish they could give contracting a try but it’s too risky for them. Even as they watch their colleagues being made redundant. The reality for me was that each time I went looking for a new contract I was given a choice of two good contracts.
In fact I ended up earning as much as I did in my law firm days without having to give up all of my waking hours in return. I had no idea that was possible when I first starting contracting.
Now for my next adventure. I knew as I was contracting that there was something else that I wanted to explore. Something was holding me back from looking for a permanent position. I’d always wanted to start my own business. So that is what I’m doing now, and for an added twist I’m doing it while traveling and volunteering in South East Asia.
Some say it’s brave.
Some say it’s crazy.
I say it’s simply what is right for me.
Andrea Jordan wants to live in a world where everyone looks forward to Mondays and living an adventure filled life is the norm. With a rare combination of expertise in corporate law and business coaching, together with a degree in accounting, this woman knows her stuff! She’s worked with everyone from small entrepreneurs to 7 figure businesses. When she’s not helping entrepreneurs implement their ideas, you can find her reading anything she can lay her hands on, dancing up a storm, taking photos of the beauty she sees around her and travelling to far flung destinations. Her latest free guide – 6 Tips to Protect Your Business’ Good and Services – is now available from her website.