What Being Laid Off Taught Me About Being a Full-Time Blogger

Back in 2013 I was laid off my job. Mind you this company headhunted me from another company, paid me 15K more and then laid me off 4 months later. But I digress, the layoffs started and everyone started whispering. I was one of the last people hired so even though I knew it was coming I was devastated when I was called into my managers office and told that this would be my last week. It was right around Thanksgiving too and I mentally started to calculate how much my savings would last me. I’m a Taurus and we really like our stability which means a steady paycheck biweekly. We also love money and lots of it because we like nice things. Perhaps a tad on the materialistic side but hey c’est la vie. I had been blogging for 3 years at this time and had just started making a little money from blogging. This was the time when blogger collaborations were actually becoming a thing and when sponsored posts and advertising on blogs where the most relevant form of collaborating with brands. It was time for my hobby to start making me some real money.

That saying could not have been more true for me than the 3 months I was thrust into being a Full-Time Blogger. Mind you I was also getting a $800 check from unemployment every 2 weeks to supplement my income. It was the maximum I could get being that I was making a pretty significant amount of money (which means it barely covered my living expenses). I have a Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy from NYU and my student loans are more than half of one of those checks monthly. I jumped head first into making my blog make money. It was definitely the hardest and most rewarding 3 months of my life. I went through all the stages of grief after being laid off. At first I was in denial thinking to myself: They just hired me and paid me all this money, they can’t possibly be laying me off. Oh shit, they actually laid me off. Like urmmm no this is not happening. Then there was the Anger.
I lingered in this phase for pretty long. I was pissed. My whole life was turned upside down. I remember having lunch with Karen from Where Did You Get That and pouring my lil heart out. She went through something similar and blogged about it and I knew I had to meet her. I completely skipped over the bargaining stage because I’m not gonna beg for my job back, screw that place. But I did fluctuate in and out of depression. Being laid off has a way of making you feel worthless and literally disposable. I questioned my abilities as a physical therapist and as a human being. Some days where better than others. Being in the house a lot was weird for me. I was bored out of my mind. Then there was acceptance.  Okay, Okay I said to myself: these bills are piling up and I need to make this blog pop off. So I did.

I have never worked so hard in my life. I was cold emailing brands (told you I am a pitch Queen since 2013, go ahead and cop The Perfect Pitch Template Packages). I secured my first multi-thousand dollar collaboration. And mind you this was just for a blog post and advertising on my website for 3 months. I felt like a rockstar. Mostly because that one deal paid my rent for 2 months and allowed me to allocate my unemployment checks to basic necessities like food, my cell phone bill and electricity. I quickly learned just how hard it can be being a  Full-Time Blogger. I was anxious about making money and making enough to not have to eat ramen and peanut butter sandwiches everyday. It was super stressful especially for someone like me who is very Type-A and needs consistency and stability. I’ve always admired freelancers. LIKE HOW DO THEY DO IT? One of my really good friends is a makeup artist and I just looked at her in awe during this ordeal. It takes a special kind of person to be a freelancer. The fear of having money one day and none the next is very real but somehow they are able to just keep on hustling.

Photography by Rose Lazard; Editing by Monroe Steele

Tibi Top & Skirt | ASOS Sunglasses | Vince Camuto Mules | Tictail Earrings

GET THE LOOK


For 3 months while I looked for a new job as a Physical Therapist, I was a Full-Time Blogger and what I learned from that experience is that I can do anything. I am thee baddest broad to ever walk down these streets. I am smart and determined and capable. Anything I want can and will be mine. It taught me that if I had 40 hours a week to pour into Fashion Steele NYC that it could sustain me and it could make me money. It also taught me that being a Full-Time Blogger is hard work and quite frankly I don’t wanna work that hard. It may look all glamorous on Instagram going from event to event working with top tier brands but what most people don’t see is the work. The hours you spend putting together 1 blog post (for me it’s about 3-4 hours). The nail biting anxiety from posting a brand collab photo on Instagram at just the right time and just hoping it get’s enough likes to continue a partnership. The stress of wanting to do and create so much but having no team (like most full time bloggers do).
You’re a stylist, a makeup artist, an editor, a content creator, a location scouter, a photographer, a salesman and your very own PR person 24 hours a day, 365 Days a Year. Being all that taught me to know my worth. Doing all those things even in 2014 was way too much for a free lipstick or a tee shirt. It taught me discernment and it taught me that being a Physical Therapist and using my 40 hour a week job to fund my blogging dream & hobby is OK. I like a steady paycheck and I love shoes. I am an excellent physical therapist and a bomb ass blogger. It’s ok to be multifaceted. What millennial do you know who only has one job or only does one thing? I’ll wait. I’m a much happier person when I’m less stressed and I currently love the balance I have between blogging and working my full-time job. Now my job has it’s moments too (I recently cried at work), but it pays the bills and I’m grateful for it.

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xx

Monroe

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34 Comments

  1. April 19, 2018 / 9:52 am

    This was so good!!!! Very insightful and of course witty. Thanks for sharing lady.

    • monroesteele
      April 19, 2018 / 10:37 am

      Thanks Jenee! I appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment. Can’t wait till you come to NYC to visit again!

      xx
      Monroe

  2. April 19, 2018 / 11:55 am

    Monroe, this post is truly insightful and most importantly
    Inspirational. I too am a NYC blogger with a full time job. I am still learning to balance my hobby and my 9-5 and it is hard work. Thank you for sharing!

    • monroesteele
      April 19, 2018 / 12:42 pm

      Thank you so much Nicole! I appreciate you reading and commenting. It’s definitely a balancing act. One I haven’t quite mastered yet but I’m learning.

      xx
      Monroe

  3. April 19, 2018 / 12:14 pm

    Love how you balanced the two, I am just like you a la Taurus, I love my stability too. It’s ok to do so many things, who says anyone has to to give for the other? Keep doing you hun btw, the outfit is so goood, love the styling, you’re a badass

    • monroesteele
      April 19, 2018 / 12:43 pm

      Thank you so much Nelo! I completely agree. I think its because the first boss I ever had really discouraged me from blogging and working my regular 9-5. But of course he just didn’t get it and was probably just afraid I’d eventually leave. Thank you for reading and YAS TEAM TAURUS!

      xx
      Monroe

  4. Nat
    April 19, 2018 / 12:54 pm

    If working a full-time job makes you a better, happier blogger, I’m here for it! Love your work. Btw, I’m Gemini on the cusp o Taurus so I GET need for stability and munnny.

    • monroesteele
      April 19, 2018 / 1:03 pm

      It definitely does. I don’t think I’ve ever been so stressed in my life than I was at that time. Thank you so much and I can’t wait to receive my piece! Haha you’re a Gemini I would have never guessed!

      xx
      Monroe

  5. April 19, 2018 / 1:36 pm

    Yassss, I love this! I feel the same about wearing many hats and not being relegated to one gift or passion! Keep doing your thing, such an inspiration!

    • monroesteele
      April 19, 2018 / 2:04 pm

      Thank you so much for reading. I totally agree. I don’t like being put in a box. We can do all the things we want.

      xx
      Monroe

  6. April 19, 2018 / 1:55 pm

    I love your entire outfit, and this post as well. A lot of bloggers like to talk about the glitz and glamours side of blogging, but I love how real you are.

    • monroesteele
      April 19, 2018 / 2:03 pm

      Thank you so much! I try to keep it real, I want people to know its not as easy at it looks. Especially people considering quitting their day jobs.

      xx
      Monroe

  7. April 19, 2018 / 4:44 pm

    Love this! Great motivation for me to continue pitching to brands with high hopes! I am currently a freelancer and you are right. Sometimes we have good months and sometimes we have nothing (I’m currently at nothing so if you ever need graphic designs or custom paintings hit me up lol). It is truly a struggle. Been a freelancer for eight years but only a blogger for two. This post was great motivation for me to step it up for both activities. Thank you so much for your transparency.

    • monroesteele
      April 19, 2018 / 5:40 pm

      I applaud you working for yourself and living that freelance life. Girl. I can only imagine. Thank you so much for reading and I’m happy that this has motivated you! I’ll definitely keep your info on hand.

      xx
      Monroe

  8. April 19, 2018 / 8:16 pm

    I absolutely love the photos in this post and I couldn’t agree more with people only seeing the glam without realizing the work that goes into all that content creation.

    • monroesteele
      April 19, 2018 / 9:05 pm

      Thanks so much Ifeoma! I love you’re instagram by the way and thanks so much for recently featuring me. yeah its can look super glam from the outside looking in, but what people don’t see is the work. I’m thinking of actually doing a video about what all goes into putting just one post together.

      xx
      Monroe

  9. April 19, 2018 / 8:56 pm

    This was so inspiring to read. Its sucks you got laid off but the silver lining is you hustled your butt off.

    • monroesteele
      April 19, 2018 / 9:03 pm

      Thanks Sophie, it was probably the best thing thats ever happened to me in hindsight. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

      xx
      Monroe

  10. April 19, 2018 / 11:21 pm

    Such a great post. Even as a baby blogger juggling a 9-5 and a blog is a lot of work. Watching you grow is so inspiring.

    • monroesteele
      April 20, 2018 / 8:57 am

      Thank you so much for reading and YAY to being a baby blogger. It is a lot of work but if you’re passionate about it it never feels like work.

      xx
      Monroe

  11. April 20, 2018 / 8:15 am

    I love this!! I recently started a blog and people don’t realize how much work goes into just one post. I’m keeping my day job too lol.
    Sometimes it takes a big disappointment for us to really tap into our worth. Keep being a badass and do what makes you happy!

    • monroesteele
      April 20, 2018 / 8:57 am

      Thank you for reading. It’s true. Being laid off was the biggest blessing.

      xx
      Monroe

  12. April 20, 2018 / 10:37 pm

    So real and so raw! That anxiety that hits when posting sponsored content is so real!

    • monroesteele
      April 21, 2018 / 12:50 pm

      Thanks so much for reading. Yes, that anxiety can be crippling but its all a toss up.

      xx
      Monroe

  13. April 21, 2018 / 11:17 am

    Thanks for sharing. I found similarities in our stories. I was laid off before too in 2013 and it took me 10 months to find another job. I poured into blogging at that point and I learned a lot about what it takes to be a great blogger. At this point in my life I’m balancing a full time job that I enjoy (yasss steady paycheck) and being a blogger (yasss still doing what I love) and I wouldn’t have it any other way right now. Keep doing your thing!

    • monroesteele
      April 21, 2018 / 12:49 pm

      Thanks you so much Pamela. It’s indeed a balance act but I love it so much. Glad you found your groove too.

      xx
      Monroe

  14. Tracy
    April 21, 2018 / 12:01 pm

    I always love reading you!! You writing is excellent.
    Anyways I can relate! I’m a taurus too. It can be challenging sometimes but eventually everything falls back in place.

    • monroesteele
      April 21, 2018 / 12:48 pm

      Thank you Tracy that means a lot to me. Team Taurus!

      xx
      Monroe

  15. Brittany H
    April 21, 2018 / 9:15 pm

    This is amazing! It helps me to remember that things always work themselves out, as long as we keep putting our best foot forward. I am, unfortunately, that millennial who only has one job, but am working to change that. I am a stylist for a major company (love my job), but I also love writing. It’s just hard to make myself do so because doubt gets in the way. I don’t know if people will be interested in what I have to say. But this post made me realize that I can do both, and although the blogging world is saturated, I can still thrive and be awesome. As long as I touch someone in a positive way, I have done my job with my talents. Thanks again for sharing this. You’re an inspiration. -Brittany

    • monroesteele
      April 22, 2018 / 9:35 pm

      There’s nothing wrong with having one job Brittany. Just remember most millionaires have multiple streams of income. I’m all about making as much money as possible with the least effort. LOL. We should all be so lucky to make money even while sleeping. But definitely if there is a passion you have or something you want to do, what are you waiting for? Go for it. Who cares if it’s saturated. If it’s your calling its your calling. There is space for everyone. Good luck and thank you so much for reading.

      xx
      Monroe

  16. Ashley
    April 22, 2018 / 6:39 pm

    This was a good read and a honest one. I don’t think I’ve ever came across a blog where someone admitted that they didn’t mind working a 40 hour job (for stability) and using that income to fund their blogging/hobbies. People are always speaking on that “be a boss” and walk away from your job. They never enforce that stability is needed in order to focus and build on your dreams and or hobby.

    • monroesteele
      April 22, 2018 / 9:32 pm

      Thanks so much Ashley. I agree sometimes its absolutely necessary to just take the leap but I’m all about planning and doing it with purpose. I’m glad you finally found a difference of opinion about keeping your day job. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

      xx
      Monroe

  17. April 25, 2018 / 12:40 pm

    Love the new layout. This article was so inspiring. I had a full- time job but I just could not balance the demands of blogging with the demands of my job so I have very much respect for those who can do both well. Now I am on maternity leave and will attempt to blog full-time which already has been hard work. I total underestimated how difficult it is caring for a new born. I blog while she naps when I can.

    • monroesteele
      April 25, 2018 / 1:05 pm

      Hi Jackie, first off congrats on motherhood! Caring for a newborn is a hard job! Its definitely a balancing act. I’d say put your family first and just blog when you have the chance. You can also include motherhood topics which may make it a little easier. Good luck and thank you for reading and commenting.

      Best,
      Monroe

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