The Year I Bet on Myself

A journey from corporate to freelance.

Anna Burgess Yang

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silhouette of a woman in the distance gazing at an ocean, pop art
Image created via Midjourney

It’s that time of year… when The Internet is rife with lists like “Here are 22 things I learned in 2022!”

I hate long lists. And did anyone really learn twenty-two new things in one year?

I usually write some type of year-end reflection. Could I top 2020, the year I decided that I would quit a job I’d been at for 15 years? Or 2021, two new jobs later, thinking (mistakenly) that I’d found a great company to work for?

Turns out, something was stirring inside me. And this year, I made the leap from corporate to freelance. Could I have anticipated this at the beginning of the year? No. Was it the right decision? Absolutely.

I’m not going to list twenty-two learnings about the year. But here four things that stood out to me about 2022.

I can depend on myself.

For most of my career, I worked at jobs that tried to make me feel small in some way.

I was brushed aside by a self-important CEO. Overlooked by a dysfunctional company. Micromanaged and undervalued. No way to shine in a way that I knew I could.

After repeated disappointment with employers, I was just… done. I’m sure there are wonderful employers in the world. But I didn’t have the energy to keep looking. And even the best employers have seen layoffs this year.

But I knew that I could be successful on my own. I’m confident in my skills and expertise. I’ve been freelancing for a few years on the side and knew that I could scale up to full-time without a lot of logistical headaches.

I can create the working conditions that make me happy. Pursue work that I want to do.

A niche is valuable.

There are a lot of writers in the world. I had to ask myself: what sets me apart? What writing do I like? What’s easy for me? What’s hard for me?

Turns out, the work I enjoy the most and are easiest to do are closely related: they’re well within my areas of expertise (fintech, product-led content, tools + automation).

When I was a child, I wanted to be a writer. I went into banking instead, then banking…

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Anna Burgess Yang

Productivity geek + solopreneur. Niche freelance writer. #5amwritersclub frequent flyer. • https://start.annabyang.com/