Fleeing the Cubicle – Part 1

For the past five years I’ve worked a 9 to 5 {in addition to freelance} in the political field for the auto industry. It’s what I studied in high school + college and was really something I thought I would be passionate about in the long term to the point where it would ultimately become my career.

I thought wrong.

Working in politics actually made me, well…hate politics. I was all bleeding heart liberal ready to do what I could to make a change but in reality instead what I discovered is that its all about money, power + who you know. Not using your talents and abilities for the greater good but instead instant gratification that usually benefited a small, specific group of people. Gross.

Enter: design.

Though I’d always been a creative and outside-the-box thinker, I had found myself tinkering in graphic and web design in my spare time since high school. What’s that saying? You’re meant to be doing what you enjoy doing for fun, or something. Yeah, that. I knew I wanted to make a living being creative.

So, a couple of years ago I started planning and taking the steps necessary to “flee the cubicle” as I refer to it. Originally my goal was to be 100% freelance and work for myself, or alongside Glenn and open our own studio. I’ve sort of done a mix of both over the last couple of years {while still holding down my 9 to 5} and I still am not completely sure where I want to end up with that. The freelance life can be rough, let me tell ya. I even considered trying something totally different and go back to school and become a nurse, an idea I had entertained when I was younger and still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my education + career. I was registered for classes & everything, and then was notified I didn’t qualify for ANY financial aid. Apparently I made *too* much money {which is a joke}. I couldn’t afford school on my own, so it was back to square one. I think it was the universe trying to tell me something though, because obviously design is my passion and what I should be focusing on.

I started applying for graphic design positions both here in Sacramento and also San Francisco. I interviewed for my dream job in the city, but didn’t get it. That stung, but I kept telling myself it just wasn’t in the cards and to keep looking. One afternoon during my routine Craig’s List sweep I came across a listing that struck a chord. It wasn’t a straight up graphic design position, but it was still a creative one. And since it was related to the {auto portion of the} industry I was already working in, I figured I had a pretty good shot at the job.

After a lengthy interview process, I was officially offered the position last week, and I’m excited to announce I’ll be starting my new job after the holidays, as a local dealership’s Digital Commerce + Marketing Specialist. It will be my first “real deal” job in which I get to utilize my creative talents and abilities, instead of assist other departments. Its freaking scary, but also awesome. I know I can do this. While it may not be my *dream* job its still a helluva lot better than my boring old 9 to 5, and its a good transition towards whatever my dream job is, which I’m still figuring out.

This entire week I’ve had some much needed time off, some of which has been spent sleeping in, celebratory day drinking with my roommate, running errands which are next to impossible to do when you’re working all day, organizing and finally finishing unpacking my bedroom, and of course, working on client projects. It has been nice, really nice. I-could-get-used-to-this nice. I’m glad to have a little break before diving into my new job the day after Christmas.

Fleeing the cubicle…to an office {trailer?} phase one–complete. Bring it, part 2.


  1. Corinne says:

    Congrats on the new job & being able to do work you are meant to do. :)

    Happy holidays Liz!

  2. Daniela says:

    So excited for you, Liz! :)

    Happy holidays!

  3. Krysten says:

    You give me hope that I’ll eventually find something that will make me happy!

  4. kate says:

    I often wonder if that “dream job” really exists! I’m happy to read you’ve found something positive to move toward.

  5. Congratulations! I went back to school to make a career change a couple of years ago after also realizing what I thought was my dream was not. Good luck, I’m sure you’ll be awesome

  6. Liz says:

    Thank you all so much for your support! I am excited for this new chapter :)

  7. Tiera says:

    I’m so excited for you! Is this the news you hinted at the other week, but couldn’t share yet? I hope it is, cause this is SRSLY awesome :)

  8. JP says:

    Congratulations!! That is so awesome – glad you’re headed in a good + fresh direction after some troubled waters.

  9. Congratulations on moving one step closer to what it is you want to do!

  10. congrats on the new chapter of your career! change is scary, but i find sticking around in something that isn’t a good fit even scarier.

    i also started in politics and pretty much came up with the same result and i was working on issues very near and dear to my heart and still couldn’t muster the guts to stick it out.

    teaching school (and changing careers at 33!) was one of my best life decisions.

    looking forward to hearing more about the new job.

  11. kara says:

    very inspiring :)

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December 20, 2012 Personal, Srsly Liz