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I Quit My Schmob

Today, I tweeted the following:

I just quit something. Guess what it was? HINT: Starts with a “J” and rhymes with “schmob.”

Some people responded with “Congrats!” and some with “Congrats?,” and some with other various questions. I figured I’d explain myself here to put it all out there. Apologies for the meta-ness!

For the past ten years or so, I’ve worked as a copywriter for various companies in various industries. My most recent position was working for a women’s clothing company, and before that it was a construction company. So yeah, I’m pretty flexible.

My current(ly ending) position could have gone on indefinitely, but the fact of the matter is that it is no longer fun. I know it’s a terrible economy and I should be worried about paying bills, but I’m just not. I want to have fun, travel, write things I want to write, and most of all, I want to focus on Skepchick, Boston Skeptics, and The Skeptics’ Guide. I wholeheartedly believe that each of those projects is important and deserving of focus—focus I can’t give while working (and commuting) 12 hours a day, Monday through Friday.

Will I go hungry? Maybe! I have savings, occasional freelance jobs, and a crafty way about me, so I suspect I’ll survive. What’s important is that I’ll be pursuing the goal I laid out at the beginning of the year: to rock even harder than ever before.

More news is coming soon about my immediate future and the future of my various projects. In the meantime, just know that I’m now going to be a full-time skeptic, so no, I’m not quitting SGU, I’m not shutting down Skepchick, and Boston Skeptics in the Pub will continue!

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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48 Comments

  1. It’s tough not having that steady paycheck but it’s really worth it to enjoy what you’re doing even if it means not making a lot of money. I could be making a lot more money than I am right now but I love being my own boss.

  2. Rebecca had her fun as a liberated “career” woman. But now she’s gotten that out of her system and gotten married, so has sensibly decided to stay home in order to take care of her husband, the household, and start working on a batch of little skeptics.

  3. Sounds fantastic! :) You being brave enough to do that is just awesome.

    Hope there’s enough for you to do and earn money from as a skeptic. Are there any other professional skeptics, if you could call yourself that?

    *thumbs way up*

  4. @Amanda: Dude, I already started one. You’re reading the official web site RIGHT NOW!

    @Muero: Yes, there will be more darwings coming!

    @Skept-artist: Info about my future whereabouts will be detailed in a post that will hopefully appear next week!

    @srekel: “Are there any other professional skeptics, if you could call yourself that?”

    Sure! I’d call Ben Radford, Joe Nickell, DJ Grothe, Phil Plait, James Randi, Michael Shermer, and many others pro skeptics. So, it’s not impossible!

  5. I wish I could do the same. My job sucks too- it is certainly not fun. But, I have a family, house, etc. by choice and must stick it out.

    I think we will all benefit from your choice! Just let us know if you are hungry and we will contribute via PayPal again. (maybe)

  6. @killyosaur42:

    I totally lucked out. I know Jen, and carpooled with another mutual friend, so I kind of ended up in Rebecca’s general vicinity on a few occasions over the weekend.

    If it makes you feel any better, (1) I’m totally jealous you went to the star party, and (2) I’m such a total dork I couldn’t think of anything to say to her, anyway. (I mean, come on: she’s Rebecca, and I’m just some square from Ohio.)

  7. I heartily second (twenty-seventh?) the congratulations.

    Being a self-employed/freelance person can really, really suck (I’ve been there for, gosh, three and a half years now), but not as much as working a 9-5 job you hate. And since you are your own employer, it’s almost impossible to get fired!

  8. @Frisby: Well, luckily for me I got involved in a conversation about the A-Team, so while I didn’t add a lot to the conversation (had it gone on longer I probably would have) I was able to make some kind of comment. But I get what you mean, I never seem to know what to say when I meet someone I admire in some way, shape, or form.

  9. @magicdude20: I have mad respect for anyone who throws caution into the wind and chases a dream or lives life on their own terms.

    I disagree. I have much more respect for people who consider their careers and retirement carefully and make prudent decisions. I’m glad some people do live their lives recklessly otherwise we’d have no actors, musicians, or other artists. I just don’t have a lot of respect for their planning and decision-making abilities even while I admire their other abilities.

    Many of the folks I work with are now mid-40’s and mid-50’s. It’s easy to see the difference between the boring planner/savers and the risk takers. Us boring types are contemplating early retirement and aren’t really all that concerned about getting laid off. The risk takers, except for the lucky few who struck it rich, are considerably more stressed.

  10. Yep, I fit davew’s description to a T: musician, in my 40s, always stressed about $$ but I have to say, my eyes are bright and I am loving what I do (and have loved it for 20 years now). More power to you Rebecca: sometimes you have to take the leap to reap the real benefits out of life and you are doing that! No regrets!

  11. @Rebecca: “Er no. The judgey bit is assuming someone who chases a dream isn’t making a sound, well-reasoned decision, and deciding that such a person isn’t happy based on anecdotal data and your own definition of happiness.”

    I never mentioned happiness. I haven’t seen any data to suggest that financial security leads to happiness. The only thing I maintain is that people who are financially secure don’t stress as much about getting fired. I think it’s obvious enough, but if you’d like me to try to support the argument with studies I’ll try.

    I don’t know your situation exactly so consider a hypothetical. My 18 year old son decides to quit college, move to California and pursue acting. I would call this a bad decision. It has an objectively low probability of success. I wouldn’t disown him, but if asked for advice I would recommend against it. On the other hand just because I do not respect his decision making I wouldn’t consider him a bad person. Indeed I think the world would be a pretty boring place if people always made the most prudent choices.

    And in case I haven’t been clear enough, from what I know of you I think you are a fine person. I wish you happiness and success in whatever path you choose.

  12. @Rebecca: Eh, no worries there, since my part in the discussion was cursory at best, you didn’t act weird at all around me. Plus, this would have been the first time we ever (sort of) met, and due to the fact that my part in the A-Team discussion was cursory at best (although I did totally agree with you on your position on the series, it being a favorite of mine growing up) I wouldn’t and don’t actually expect you to remember me if we are to ever meet again.

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