Freelancing?

ExitYou may have noticed (or you may not…) that it’s been quite some time since I mentioned work here.

There are reasons for that.

Most of them were related to my not enjoying the job. However, I finished there on Friday and am now much happier – if somewhat lacking in disposable income.

Resigning without another job to go to isn’t something I’ve done before, and I couldn’t have done without the support (if not the happiness…) of my wonderful wife and family. Thanks, guys!

I’ve been job hunting for a while now, and despite coming tantalisingly close on occasion have yet to have any luck. But that luck seems to have changed following my resignation, just not in quite the way I expected, because I’ve now got some freelance work.

Freelancing is new to me. I have friends who are very successful at it and recommend the life to everyone. Their stories have always sounded marvellous, but while talking about tax advice, remarkable pay and choices of self-employment or limited company status, they always seemed to miss out the part where they find the work.

You know, the important part.

Luckily I seem to have stumbled onto some of this forbidden knowledge by accident.

In a couple of job interviews they loved me and my writing, but the job didn’t quite match my skillset. I shrugged my shoulders, thanked them for their time and was about to move on when the interviewer paused for a second.

“You know,” they would say, “we really did enjoy meeting you. Could we keep your details on file for the future?”

“Sure,” I would always smile, “that would be great.” And then close the door.

Well, this time, I’m pleased to say, they weren’t joking. In fact, they were so not joking that it might – just possibly maybe might – be a substitute for a “proper” job.

Only time will tell. In 12 months I might be king of the freelancers or I might be blogging from my ‘phone as I beg for money outside Albany Park station.

You’ll know it’s me because the cardboard sign will be properly spelt, grammatically correct and devastatingly effective in its call to action. 🙂

 

Meditations on changing jobs and being crap

Having changed jobs four times in five years you might think I’d be pretty blase about starting another new job on Monday (in fact, stretch the time to six years and it’s six jobs in six years!)

But you’d be wrong – I’m very nervous about Monday, for two reasons.

Reason one, the simplest to explain, is the four-day trip to Paris for training.  I’ve never been sent away for training before, let alone abroad.  I’m excited about going, yes; but being alone in a strange place where I don’t speak the language?  That’s quite daunting.

Reason two is more complex.  It involves producing work I can be proud of.

I started my present job eager and excited, ready to do what I do best, which is write.  The previous 2-3 years had been spent getting good at writing for a living (very different to writing a blog) and now a big company had taken me on as a writer and I wanted to prove myself.

Bill LumberghExcept…it didn’t work out like that.  Within a couple of months my job metamorphosed into repetitive data entry wrapped in an encyclopedia of ever-changing pettifoggery.  The only creative solace was in finding new ways to type the phrase “No changes needed”, which I wrote 40-50 times a day.

There are only 7 ways to write “No changes needed.”  Trust me on this.

After seven months I was put on antidepressants and realised that I had to find a new job.  Five months later and here I am: about to start a great new job with an exciting company doing what I love – writing.

And I’m terrified, because I care if I mess it up!  I care about doing well at this job.  But the fearsome flipside of is: what if I’m crap?  What if I fail?

I want people to say “Good work, Stu!“; I want to be proud of everything I write; I want to learn new things, attempt new tasks – hell, to revolutionise web writing!! 🙂

Being crap at complicated data entry is fine, it’s not like I put any effort into it.  The fear for the new job is: what if I’m crap even when I try…?

(Oh, I’m sure I’ll be fine – don’t worry!)