I have just about 40 days left in my post-doc. Here are a few things I both am and am not looking forward to once I finally leave academia to expand my editing business.
-I can write more. So much more writing.
-I won't have to commute in my car for 2.5 hours a day.
-I won't have to work on a frustrating project that I don't believe will ever be of much value to the scientific community.
-I won't have to grin and bear the continuous snarky comments from some of my lab-mates, who are more interested in getting a laugh than being nice.
-I won't have to deal with comments that are borderline, or often straight sexual harassment. (To name just once instance, on my second week of work, some coworkers asked me to name my favorite sex shop...)
-I won't have to wear closed toe shoes and long jeans every single work day (I work in a lab. It's a safety thing.)
-I can wear a skirt or a dress on a Monday for the heck of it!
-I can do more art!
-I'll be my own boss. I can make my own decisions about time off and what jobs to take.
-I can choose my own projects and decide how important they should be.
-I won't have to pack a lunch every day. If I want an egg sandwich for lunch, I can cook myself an egg sandwich. (I don't know why this one excites me so much. Maybe I'm just really sick of eating cold food or reheated leftovers every day.)
-I can work wherever I can bring my computer: outside on my back patio; in a different city, etc.
-I can try different things to make money, like pitch and write science news stories, sell some paintings, work at an organic farm, however I feel like filling my time in between editing jobs.
-I won't have a steady paycheck, regardless of how productive I was or was not that month.
-I won't have a nice group of work friends to socialize with each day.
-I won't have paid vacation or sick days. A day I don't work is a day I don't get paid.
-I may make a lot less money. That remains to be seen.
-I may lose some professional respect. (I care about this one less and less every day)
-My parents aren't 100% supportive and I'm getting tired of defending my decision. (More on this another time.)
Even the cons make me happy right now, because they're the consequence of choosing my own life and not just accepting what's handed to me. We'll see how I feel when I'm actually experiencing them.