I've worked as a free-lance writer for the past five years. And I have absolutely loved the flexibility it has afforded me vis-a-vis my family as well as the various projects I've pursued during that time (e.g., writing a novel, starting this blog, getting super-involved in the PTA).
At the end of the day, however, it is incredibly hard to make a living as a freelancer, especially during a recession.
That was OK, for a while. I didn't really mind not making a ton of money, because I was investing in growing my platform and most importantly, I was having fun. But now that we are looking to purchase a home (and p.s., London housing prices would appear to be immune to the global economy), it has become clear that if we want to put our family of four into something larger than a bread box, we need to have a serious second income.
But it's not just about the money. I think that even if I were a gazillionaire, I'd probably be looking for a full-time job right now. For better or for worse, I was born to work. Call it an excess of energy. Call it an identity crisis. Or call it tired of doing pick-up every day after school. Whatever the cause, I'm at a point in my life where I really want to put my heart and soul into something outside of my family -- and my own mind -- and get paid for it.
I've always been a firm believer that -- to the extent that one has a choice (which most women don't) -- decisions about work/life balance should come down to your gut. When I moved to London five years ago, what felt right was working part-time and investing a lot of time and energy into the kinds of things -- like writing -- that I simply didn't have time for when I produced a daily talk show for public radio with two small kids at home.
But life is a pendulum and now it's swung the other way. My gut is telling me that it's time to go back into the work force, if not full time, then very close to it. (Wednesday's post will explain how I came to that conclusion.)
So these days, I'm busy hanging out my shingle wherever and whenever I can. The good news is that I may be one of the few people out there who actually enjoys looking for work. Part of that is my love of change. But I'm also one of those weird people who actually *likes* looking for jobs. I love the way writing a cover letter forces you to think about how your particular background and skill set make you suited to one job or another. Re-imagining yourself in this way also gives you more self-confidence going forward.
So off I go. I'm sure I'll have loads more to say about this journey as it kicks into high gear. For now, I just try to start every day with a healthy round of that 80's classic, Nine To Five...
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