When I finished grad school, I had nowhere to go but back home.
I had no job. I didn’t even have a job prospect at that time. I’d graduated with an M.A. in Religion from a progressive seminary with no clue what was next. I knew I didn’t want to go into professional ministry. My parents lived out of state and while I didn’t want to leave my community, I knew what I had to do.
So, I accepted the fact that at the age of thirty, I’d be living with my mom and dad. They’re good people and we get along well, so I knew I could count on their support while I got my feet under me.
That wasn’t the end of my problems, though. I was still jobless. And now, I was friendless in a new town. I’m an introvert, but I rely on a community like a hiker relies on her water bottle. I need to feel that I belong to a group of people, preferably local. (Though since the pandemic started this year, I’ve been investing more time in virtual communities.)
I’m thirty-five now, and I’ve moved across state lines five times so far in my life. The good thing about this is that I know how to make friends. What I didn’t know was how to find work. I knew the basics — write my resume, apply for positions, etc. — but I’d never actually landed a “grown-up” job with a salary and benefits and everything.
As it turns out, that doesn’t matter.
Because eventually, I did land that job. And it wasn’t a good fit. So, I quit. And I was back to square one for a while. I realized that I didn’t just need “a job.” I needed work that was fulfilling and that paid the bills. (Notice I put “fulfillment” first in that sentence.)
I realized that I wanted to write full-time for a living. I realized I needed to take a risk. So I decided to pursue freelance writing. I quickly grasped that I had a lot to learn about finding work as a freelancer. About a year later, after some decent-paying gigs, I landed a job that paid me $175/hour. From a client who approached me on LinkedIn. I’d learned a lot by then.
So don’t worry too much if you find yourself in the position of having to move back home for a while. Don’t be hard on yourself, at all. It’s so common these days, and if you’re lucky and your parents support your decisions, you can find the freedom to go after the life you really want. Even from home.