Welcome back to my career story so far – if you missed part 1, go give that cheeky little read first otherwise this part will be confusing af.
So last time I left you on an incredibly dramatic cliffhanger, detailing how I decided to leave my marketing job at a local theatre which was stopping me from growing…
Next up was an agency job, working a more specialist role in creating content. I would write blog posts day in, day out with a bit of client management and reporting thrown in.
I loved the people I worked with, but another 18 months in and I was spent. I knew I’d never progress, and I was starting to lose my love for writing. Agency work killed the content star. Oh, cringe, that was supposed to be like “radio killed the video star” but it was basically shit.
Where next then, eh? I scored my first big brand job! Woohoo! I started working for a global company managing their websites and mostly just uploading new products to their overly convoluted content management system. Still, WordPress is a piece of piss in comparison so *shrug emoji*. I basically went from writing blog content about sheds and car parts to writing SEO product copy about toasters and kettles. No regrets.
I also worked on a couple of new product launches which was v v exciting. What was less exciting was managing a project which was going nowhere, involved about a gazillion different people and oh did I mention I had precisely ~zero~ project management experience. In all fairness to them though, I did get to go on a fun PM course. My only regret is not pushing that further in order to get qualified as a PM. ‘Cos why not?
Due to personal circumstances which led to me moving back home with my parents, I ended up looking elsewhere for a new role. I went from global to national working as a digital executive for an estate agency.
Much like my agency job, I loved the people but the work itself wore thin quickly. It was here that I learned the value of standing up for myself and being honest when I wasn’t happy. In this job, I was also signed off for a few weeks due to stress and anxiety. I was terrified of admitting it but people were super supportive.
As much as I would list this up there as one of my least favourite steps in my career, you’ve got to take the rough with the smooth and it was during this time that I got introduced to my first freelance client. Moonlighting doing work that I loved was what got me through – and also helped pay for my driving lessons.
Oh driving. How I hated learning how to do you. But without those 6am starts, those many tears and cancelled lessons due to anxiety, I wouldn’t have taken that next step in my career.
I lasted at the estate agent for 18 months (there’s a bit of a pattern, eh?). I was sad to leave the people behind, but when a content and social media role for an assistance dogs charity made its way into my peripheral, it felt like a match made in heaven. It was.
Working at the assistance dog charity taught me so many things. I feel like it made me a more compassionate person, and allowed me to take a lead on my own areas of expertise. Having such an empowering mission to the work you do is so crucial to enjoying your job – plus sharing adorable photos of dogs on social media for a living definitely helped.
Which is what made the next step of my career all the harder to make.
One day back in August 2017, I woke up got ready for work and folded the notice letter in half before sliding it into an envelope. I put my manager’s name on the envelope and I felt that horrible stomach churning feeling of fear.
I’ve never liked handing in notice letters. But this felt all the more gut-wrenching. But mostly because it wasn’t like the others. This notice letter had a proposition.
Yes, I’m handing in my notice but how about I work remotely on a part-time basis?
If you think I was expecting them to say yes, you’d be wrong. But with some encouragement from Liam and my family, I knew I had to take the risk so I could ~try~ working for myself.
THEY SAID YES!
And so, as of 18 September 2017, I started the journey of self-employment.
One year later, here we are. I haven’t had to beg, steal or borrow just yet and I have actual, real-life clients and actual, real-life projects. I’m doing it!
But where do I see my career going next?
Well, being self-employed is riddled with uncertainty, but I really want to see where this business can go. I’ll keep at it while retaining my part-time, stable income from the charity and see where it takes me!
As for the future – I’m not sure.
Maybe one day I will grow the business to a point where I can take a step back from it and build a team. Or maybe I’ll go back to employment for a while, who knows?
For me, that unknown is what strives me to keep going. The picture my career paints so far is that this freelance malarky seems to suit me much better!
What’s your career story? Pop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment a summary below!