What has changed for me in 2018
Some time ago, I wrote about how I was unhappy with my career path (if you could call it that). I was stuck in a part-time job, where the management were bullies, the pay was not enough, and there seemed to be no way out. I was trying desperately to balance that job with freelancing, which was slow going, because I had little time to put into it, and I was becoming more and more depressed. A couple of years ago, I had a total breakdown, which saw me off sick from that job for a month. I should have been off longer, but with management being what they were, I felt guilty, so I went back. Things didn’t improve, and I was once again stuck in the same old situation.
In April 2018, I finally got a break, and was offered a full-time job in the sales office of another company. I was so exhausted with trying to fit in with the part-time job, I was at the end of my rope. So although I knew that taking full-time would out my copywriting on hold, I had to take it. And for a while, it was ok. The job was a bit boring, but the team was lovely, and for the first time in ages, I felt a bit more human.
The start of the school year, and what changed my mind
Soon, September was looming, which started to put a little pressure on me, because my daughter was about to start reception class. Of course, I’d done some research, and found her a place for both breakfast and after school clubs, but I wasn’t really comfortable with it. She was used to long days from being in pre-school, but the club wasn’t adjoined to the school, which meant she would have to have someone take her to and from school, adding to the already stressful time for the poor mite. But, I thought, it’s got to be done.
Then, one day, I was sitting at work, and a girl on my team who had children just slightly older than my daughter received a phone call from her children’s school, telling her one of her boys was sick. Of course, she immediately left to go and collect him. However, less than an hour later, she returned to her job very upset. Her son had got a severe chest infection, a high fever, and was in a state of confusion. This girl had collected him from school, rushed him to the doctors, and then dropped him off with her mother before returning to work. He had been begging her to stay with him, feeling very poorly and upset. And that made my mind up. I wasn’t going to have my daughter have to face that kind of situation. I wasn’t going to pay over £400 of my salary every month to have someone else raise my child. And I wasn’t going to feel guilty every time she was sick and I needed to be with her.
So I started to put some ideas on paper. I figured that if I could get a flexible part-time job, no matter what it was, I could work at getting some more solid freelancing projects in. So I scouted around the job boards, at the same time as marketing the hell out of my business. As a result of that, I was asked to go for a meeting with someone based fairly locally who wanted a copywriter.
A regular gig
That meeting, as it turned out, was the turning point. The company wanted me to write regular blog posts for them, along with a couple of other ad hoc projects. It wasn’t enough money to be able to quit, though, so I got a part-time flexible cleaning job to make up the money. And that allowed me to be able to hand in my notice in time for my daughter starting school.
The cleaning job ended up being a bit of a hassle – because it was a zero-hours contract, the hours they originally promised just weren’t there. Some weeks, I wouldn’t have any hours at all. My first months’ pay was less than £200 – and I had to pay my own petrol money out of that!
Needless to say, that job didn’t last long. And now? Well, luckily, the client I mentioned earlier has given me just enough work to be able to get by. And there have been a couple of other projects in between which have helped enormously.
I’m getting by, financially, but I will be working even harder in 2019 to get more opportunities. I’m feeling optimistic, but there is some hard work ahead.
I’m looking forward to putting some of my ideas into practice during 2019, and working with more marketing agencies and local companies. Most of the work I’ve been doing over the past months has been writing for websites, blogs, and brochures/guides, and I’ve loved working on every single one of them, and so I will be looking for the chance to do more of those kinds of projects.
I’m also planning on writing a guide of my own – more on that in the near future!
Things have changed such a lot in a short space of time – I hardly recognise my life from what it was this time last year. And now that I’ve got my head around it, my confidence is growing, and I’m excited for the next few months. I hope you’ll come on the journey with me, and subscribe to this little blog – there will be more updates soon.
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