After years of working as a journalist in New York media, Julianne decided to take the plunge and quit her job to travel the world, something she had wanted to do for a long time.
“I didn’t have a job lined up when I quit, but I did have a lot of savings,” she says. “I had enough money to get through about six months without work, which was important to me, because I didn’t want to move home with my parents. I naturally tried to budget myself and limit expenses that felt frivolous. I waited to quit my job until the start of the fiscal year, because then I could get my bonus for the previous year and make sure my 401k savings were all vested, which I think is important for anyone who is making a pivot.”
Beyond her savings, Julianne was able to find additional income by tapping into her contacts and online communities.
“I had nothing lined up, but one advantage was that I had tutored on and off during my early twenties, so I had a vague sense of how to find tutoring gigs through websites,” she explains. “Pretty much immediately, I started using those sites to reach out and send applications and cover letters to parents and students who were looking for SAT prep tutors or college admissions counseling. I was actually pretty successful in cobbling together some tutoring gigs, some of which were recurrent and all of which I could do remotely.”
After living in Argentina and traveling to places on her bucket list, Julianne returned home but knew she wanted to keep traveling.
“I got really serious about finding more tutoring gigs and remote freelance work, because I knew I wanted to be traveling for longer, and I still wasn’t ready to apply for another full-time job,” she says. “At this point, I joined a bunch of digital nomad and travel-writing groups on Facebook—basically any sort of Facebook group for anything remotely tangential to some kind of work that would fit with my schedule.”
It was through one of these online communities that she discovered a freelancing opportunity that later evolved into a full-time job. The company, LitCharts, was looking for people to write study guides for short stories and novels, and Julianne, who majored in literature in college, knew it was right up her alley.
She continued to travel and write for LitCharts while subletting her Brooklyn apartment. When she eventually decided she was craving a more structured lifestyle and was ready to return to New York, LitCharts offered her a full-time position. She happily took it.
“A Facebook group I joined was what led me to this job,” she says. “I never would have seen the job listing [without it], so that group was invaluable. I recommend joining any sort of community that can show you what other people are doing or just let you know what’s out there.”