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Day 31 My career and TMS

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Adventureseeker, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. Adventureseeker

    Adventureseeker Peer Supporter

    Since today's question to ponder was about how this program is affecting my career, I thought I'd share this here, since I think that my job plays a great part in my TMS symptoms.

    I am a freelancer and over the last years I've built good relationships of trust with some clients. I value these
    relationships so much, that I hate to refuse jobs, even when I'm overloaded and feeling very demotivated. So I accept them anyway most of the times, and then have to deal with stress, anxiety and fear of not meeting the deadline, and of course aggravating symptoms...

    Since I discovered I had TMS I told my clients that I am taking less work for the moment due to health problems. Some empathized, but I am starting to feel that one particular major client is getting tired of my lack of flexibility. Unfortunately, I worry about this a lot. I keep reminding myself that some people will still keep asking the impossible of me, even if I try to accommodate their every need in every way, so might as well stick to my refusals and my reduced workload. Money thankfully is not a big issue - I would rather earn more and be less stressed on a day to day basis. At the same time I do fear losing all clients and becoming poor!

    I am also beginning to realize the rage stemming from my job. I get paid late, with some clients I cannot even set my own fees, and I don't get paid much for a professional - the market I work in is just like that - everyone is trying to save money on freelancers. If I refuse to do a job for an X amount, I shall be excluded and the job will be given to someone who accepts to work for pennies.... I am starting to wonder whether I should let it all go and look for another, totally different job. However, I know that it will be difficult since I am not experienced in any other industry and jobs are limited where I live. So I'm faced with this dilemma, of whether I should keep on doing my job, acknowledge the symptoms as TMS and try not to let it stress me so much, or whether it's time to forget it and turn over a new page completely - or at least keep trying to look for a job until I'm broke...

    Thanks to anyone taking the time to read this!
  2. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Adventureseeker, you exactly describe the reasons why I gave up my own consultancy 20+ years ago and went back to being a working stiff. I knew that my nervous system will never handle late payments, downtime in between gigs and never knowing when the demand exceeds my capacity. If you got to the point of having TMS symptoms, would you consider getting a straight job?

    When TMS hit me like a brick a year ago, I was so thankful that I had been in the same job for 8 years and nobody would throw me out because my productivity dropped at times by 50%. I am back to a 100% at work, but I have not given it my 150% as I used to. No long hours, until I fully recover. It has been a blessing to me - otherwise, I would have been out of a job 8 months ago. Just a thought.....
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, you guys. I have been a fulltime freelance writer for the past 40 years. I quit a regular job as a magazine editor with a big insurance company because )I hated the company. It has not been easy surviving all those years but I'm still glad I have been on my own and not tied to the corporate life.

    Adventureseeker, you might consider finding a part-time job and continue freelancing, if that's possible. Otherwise, look for a fulltime job that you would like.
    Think of how great weekends will be, away from any work!

    TG, you sound like you've found the right thing in a fulltime job but not knocking yourself out at it. 100 percent is more than most people give their jobs.

    Freelancing never was easy, but is harder now because of the economy and competition from others who have left their jobs for one reason or another and also are freelancing.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm also self-employed, as a tax accountant, which is different in that my clients generally come back year after year, which creates job security. But we have some of the same issues - clients who don't pay, clients who demand too much and don't want to pay for it, and increasing complexity of the tax laws (thanks to the U.S. Congress) which means my work load during tax season keeps increasing even though I haven't taken new clients in a long time - as does my stress level when faced with a return that I know is going to take hours to prepare, while others wait in line to be started.

    I needed to get rid of some of the losers and also some of the returns that were for really good clients, but that were starting to exceed my ability (and desire) to prepare them - but I felt too guilty - some of theses clients had been with me for many years.

    Finally, I remembered to ask myself the time-honored question: "What's the worst that can happen ... ?"

    The answer was generally: "The client could go away, happily or maybe not - but that would not only free up some precious time, but also relieve me of a serious source of anxiety and/or aggravation. Is it my job to make sure everyone is happy? I don't think so!" Hmm...

    So I banished the guilt and the fear, and I engaged in some difficult conversations, some of which were ultimatums. And doing that freed up some time which was nice, but more importantly, it relieved me of a number of sources of anxiety and aggravation going forward. In other words, there were no downsides. My guilt was of my own making, and I decided I didn't need it.

    AdventureSeeker, you might start with that question, and then sit down with the other time-honored technique - a Pros and Cons worksheet. You probably also need to figure out which of your fears and concerns are real, based in outside forces, and which are creations of your negative fearful brain. Once you throw out the fears that are of your own making, concentrate on the real ones and decide if they are even relevant to your situation.

    Good luck!

    Ines and TG957 like this.
  5. Adventureseeker

    Adventureseeker Peer Supporter

    Thanks so much for your insight guys! None of my close friends or family are or have been in the same situation, so it's really difficult for me to find support from people who know what this entails... You're all so right on a number of points. I've decided to take a trial and error approach: I won't give up on the job yet, and will try to get rid of those emotions that I don't need, like guilt, and see how I can best manage my workload. Then if it continues to make my symptoms worse or if I still feel this sense of helplessness, I might decide to turn over a new leaf altogether and see what else life has to offer in terms of career ;-)
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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