Josie Mumm, 23; markedasdone.net
My name is Josie Mumm. I am 23 years old. I am a wannabe park ranger and part time freelancer. I hope to someday be able to freelance full time so that I have the means to work seasonal positions in state and national parks.
My main project right now is the website and blog that I just launched.
The premise behind it is to work daily towards things that are on your bucket list rather than let them sit in the back of your mind and get to some of them occasionally.
July of 2018 is when I really got the idea [to start freelancing] in my head. I have been writing mostly for the non-profit I work for to get articles for my portfolio. I launched my blog 7/30/18 after one of my temporary jobs ended. Currently I work 20 hours at my local library and hope to fill the other 20 hours with freelance and blog work.
I graduated from Western Illinois University in December of 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and a minor in Non-profit management with the intent to work in museums. At the tail end of my time at WIU I got interested in outdoor recreation and cultural resource management. After a few different internships I decided I wanted to work as a park ranger for the National Park Service and have been trying to get seasonal work with them. With the way their seasons work it is difficult to get steady “normal” work during the off season when you plan on working seasonal again come May or June. So my hope is to be able to work the season with parks, and work the off season as a freelancer.
Why SHE wants to freelance
I really want to live my life in line with my own interests, and that just doesn’t include going to work in an office, sitting all day, coming home, eating dinner, and sitting in front of the TV until bedtime. The idea that we have to wake up, go to work, come home, go to bed, and do it all again the next day for the next 50 years doesn’t excite me. The idea that you can live your life, but only after you retire really gets under my skin, and worse than that, that people subscribe to that idea. I know a lot of people who consider this not actually working. And I have heard from a lot of people that I need to get a “real” job, and start getting serious about my life. But I wake up everyday exhilarated, and ready to work, for myself and at my part time job. I plan on working as a freelancer as long as it is in line with how I want to live my life. With my interests (and there are way too many to nail down to one job), freelancing and temporary jobs just make sense.
I did a lot of research after I got in my head that freelancing might be a good idea.
The first thing I really did was get a blog going.
Like I mentioned before, I work with a non-profit and have been writing content for them for social media, small magazines, etc. (all unpaid, which is a blessing and a curse). I hope I can use my experience with them to get more actual writing jobs, but I haven't moved into that market yet. I am hoping to spend the next 3-6 months working on the blog, then from there really focusing on applying for more writing positions.
Where She Plans to Work
Right now I plan on working from where ever I can. I currently live at home with my parents, which has been a financial blessing.
The dream is to work in parks for half the year then spend the other half of the year traveling and also spending time at home with my family.
I want to spend some extended time in Europe as I have some friends who are living there and I want to take advantage of that. I would like to be able to work from National parks for short periods of time then come home again. I want to be able to take advantage of the ability to work from anywhere. As I stay in Iowa for the winter season I work mostly from home, but do spend a far amount of time in coffee shops with a friend that just started graduate school. I like the idea of being able to work while I travel and since I only have to be accountable for 20 hours a week, I am hoping to visit friends around the midwest and still work.
Her Biggest Struggles and Apprehensions
Definitely the financial aspects of it. I do pretty well with a schedule, so not being guaranteed of a next job does add a little stress to the experience. In my opinion though, having the freedom to travel is worth it. Just being able to sit outside somewhere on a nice day and consider it “work” is so much better than the office alternative.
What She's Most Excited For
I'm most excited about being able to travel.
Personally, I feel like I haven’t seen even a little of the US (and to be honest I have probably seen more than most). But I like the idea of mixing work time and travel time; it doesn’t have to be two separate things. Traveling doesn’t have to be something I can only do outside of work, and that really excites me.
Resources She's Using
I feel like I have googled everything under the sun.
I have been spending a lot of time on Elna Cain’s site, as well as on The Millennial Freelancer!
That has been super helpful and sometimes it’s just nice to see people who are succeeding doing the things I want to do. The Canva app and website has also been really helpful since I have very little graphic design experience. I have also been working with friends around town to get feedback and guest bloggers. An old friend from high school even drew a portrait of me to use on my About me page. You never realize the resources you have at your until you start talking to people.