"Sixteen tons, and what do you get? / Another day older and deeper in debt." Tennessee Ernie Ford, "Sixteen Tons"
NEW YORK (MainStreet) I got my first job when I was 7 years old. I was living on a military base in Germany and hung out with the neighborhood kids. A couple of us approached the pizza place and offered to deliver ads and pizzas on our skateboards and bikes. By the time I was 9, I was putting fliers on cars in parking lots. At 11, I got a newspaper route. I've worked in food service (both fast and slow), retail (corporate, small business and mall), sales, marketing, call centers, the government (and its contractors), and several banking, loan servicing and insurance processing centers. I spent the last two years working as a freelance writer and consultant, and I couldn't possibly imagine myself going back to a cubicle ever again.
The best part about working as a freelancer and consultant is the freedom of schedule it allows me. There are certain assignments and tasks that require my attention Monday through Friday (and I do work weekends), but I can complete my work anytime that fits my schedule. This allows me a very important freedom in my life my personal calendar has more power than my professional one. It makes a huge difference in my level of job satisfaction.
This freedom allows me a few creature comforts to make up for my current lack of healthcare and a retirement plan. I'm dating a teacher, so during the summer (and a handful of times throughout the year), she has free time as well. We both have an adventurous spirit, so traveling and exploring the world is on the agenda. We're far from the richest people, but we live comfortably in a college town, stay active and enjoy spending time together.