Last year I took a freelance development editing job on a whim. I had been feeling unsatisfied at my job for the better part of the year, and I was itching to make a big step in my career. It wasn't just about the money, though I was feeling the stress of a significantly raised rent and a significantly stagnant salary; I didn't feel challenged on a daily basis, and I could feel my work ethic eroding with the remainder of my 24th year. I was also getting increasingly dramatic.
So when presented with the opportunity to make some bucks on the side and to add to my slightly sad resume some real publishing experience, I jumped at the chance. I knew I had no idea what I was signing up for, and I even had to Google "developmental editing" to prep myself for what lay ahead. Halfway through the gig, I got my current job, and a part of me feels that having that listed on my resume helped me to appear a little more qualified for it. I ended up stumbling through the dark on the whole project--always second-guessing what fell under my charge and what didn't--but I learned a lot about myself and what I want from my career. I was able to get a glimpse into where I work today and I think I appreciate where I am now more because of it.
Long story short, I used the loot to pay off my credit card, #9 on my 26 before 26 list. I haven't made as much headway as I'd hoped, but we all know what they say about the best laid plans.