So, it’s been a quiet week. The last two months, since I resigned from the full time job I held for five years, were a frenetic whirlwind of trying to get everything done that I had promised to do, and trying to put in place all the things I needed to start my own business. Some of those things I managed to do, and others not. Overall, it was a positive few months.
It’s hard to leave a job that you were not unhappy at. Yes, every job has ups and downs, up weeks and down months (a certain year in social media is not one I look back on fondly). But overall, my experience of the past five years was extremely positive, and I left in a blur of tears (mine and others), hugs, and an outpouring of love from my now former colleagues and friends. Yes, it was hard to leave.
Leaving has left me open, vulnerable to the world. When I went on maternity leave last year, I realised for the first time how much of my personality and self-worth is derived from my work. I had always imagined, before that, that I worked to support my life, but it was at that point, when I was not working, except as a full time mother to a newborn (which is, it should be noted, a pretty hard job without much in the way of positive feedback), that I realised that I need to have something that I do every day and something that I do well in. I guess it was a good time to learn that.
Knowing that now, though, means that I am not happy to simply parent my son and clean the house. God knows, that isn’t something I’m good at, anyway. So I have spent the last week signing up to all the freelance sites I can find, trawling job postings, and generally trying to hunt down something to do. I sent out my first quote, which was then declined. I have even offered to do some pro bono charity work, just to have something to do, so you must know how desperate I feel.
The anxiety behind selling myself, selling my skills – it’s high and it’s real. But I know that I am good at what I do, and that is what spurs me on. Setting a price to my skills and my time? That’s a whole other ballgame, and one I’m afraid it may take me years to figure out.
So one week in, and I’m not much further than I was when I started. A little greyer, a little more anxious, and all the laundry is done (until the sun stopped shining, and laundry had to be put on hold).
Have you got any advice for a budding freelancer? Anything I should do to keep myself busy? Any sites I should sign up to to find work? I’d appreciate all of that. Here’s hoping things pick up a bit next week. And now that I am unemployed (unemployed until I start earning money – then I will be self-employed), does anyone want to meet up for coffee?