Anti 9-to-5 profile: Jen Guyer

March 9th, 2007

Jen GuyerThe anti 9-to-5er: Jen Guyer, Seattle (featured in The Anti 9-to-5 Guide!)

My job: Home stager. [Jen makes the rooms in houses for sale look nice so that people will buy.] I started a career in home staging so I could get out of the mundane lifestyle of a 9-5′er! So far so good, the staging career has taken off!

What makes my gig anti 9-to-5: I work for myself. It was important to change my lifestyle and workstyle when I had kids. I just didn’t want to be stuck at the office when I could be picking them up from school and participating in field trips. Never thought I would have kids or my own business, but I have found that the two really do work well together.

What I did in my former 9-to-5 life: Digital Video Editor and Video Streamer for TV and Internet companies in Seattle.

How I made the anti 9-to-5 leap: I made the leap by…GASP…moving my entire family into my parents’ house. Now THAT was a sacrifice, for my parents. Ha.

My biggest obstacles: Every day was a hurdle. It was hard to learn to sell myself in a new industry. I worked very hard on how to speak to others in an authoritative or expert manner. People were putting their trust in me and I didn’t want to let them down. Every aspect of owning a business was a hurdle! Filing papers with the state, getting a lawyer, putting together a website, getting a good accountant, making and distributing marketing materials…yadda yadda yadda.

My tips for other cubicle expats: If you read about a career and it is something you really think you will be good at AND enjoy, then DO IT.

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Entry Filed under: Anti 9-to-5 profiles

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Cheryl  |  March 10th, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    Hi Jen!

    I just wanted to say that I think it’s really cool that you’ve made the anti 9-5 jump. I wish to do that someday. My only problem is that I can’t decide what direction to jump! I design jewelry, but I would also like to be an image consultant and maybe even stage houses. There are so many things I would like to do. My REAL dream is to just to DESIGN my life. I want a life without the rigidity of the 9-5 day. I want flexibility…the ability to meet with clients for a few hours, sell some jewelry, maybe work as a trainer helping women to design their own lives…as you can see, I still don’t have it figured out. But I’m working on it. Well, thanks for the inspiration!


  • 2. Michelle Goodman  |  March 10th, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    hi cheryl, i hope you do make the leap. and i know a book that can help you out. ;)

  • 3. Jen Guyer  |  March 11th, 2007 at 9:27 pm

    Hi Cheryl. Keep working on your vision. There has to be a way to combine all of your ideas into one anti 9-5 career. I must say that I do love my job. I really enjoy the fact that everyday is different. For exampe, tomorrow I will be de-staging a house, shop and prepare for a staging job Tuesday, Wed & Thursday we are at a Realtor convetion, and Friday we are staging a model towhome unit. Everyday brings something new to the table. Good Luck. jen

  • 4. cindy@staged4more  |  March 11th, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    I am so glad that you wrote about stagers! I am a stager myself. When the San Francisco bay area job market got really tough, I eventually started my own business as a stager. And it has been very fulfilling in terms of personal and professional growth. Although I have to say, it’s great not to work 9-5 but now i work 10-2 (am-am….) (as small business owners probably know.. you never stop working!) haha BUT I work when I want to 90% of the time and I am in charged of my own destiny.

    I went on Jen’s website and it’s very inspiring to see someone who has made it and be successful at it. It’s what I aspired to be one day.

    Thanks again for this post.



  • 5. Michelle Goodman  |  March 16th, 2007 at 11:02 am

    you are very welcome!

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Who I am

Hi, my name's Michelle Goodman and I've been freelancing since 1992. I'm author of My So-Called Freelance Life and The Anti 9-to-5 Guide. Read my full bio here.

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