Taking the freelance leap
- By Lisa Malone
This is my first year as a freelancer. It was a big decision leaving the comfy job to start a new, bold career. I’ll admit it, I felt a bit sick handing my notice in, but it’s all OK. Let me fill you in.
So, I went back to my private banking role after maternity leave number 2. I looked at the new hire who was brought in to cover me and who was now permanent. He was me 10 years ago; young, vibrant and full of eagerness and ambition.
The most vibrant thing about me that morning was my smug smile. I was simply chuffed to have arrived at the office in my grown up uniform of a dress and heels. I had even managed to get out of the house without the usual marks of parenthood that I usually accessorised with. That smug smile however was quickly distinguished when I logged in and felt my soul shudder in despair.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed my career in finance. It was full of challenges and I loved the interaction. Not to mention the comfortable salary and benefits. However that morning when I logged on, the ‘Corporate Wannabe’ in me died.
The truth was I had always wanted a family and my career had been a ‘nice to have’. The job was a great job but I was never passionate about it. Whenever I was asked the ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time’ question I could never think past my personal life. I wanted children and I hadn’t thought past that stage.
What I didn’t understand at the time was that having children would open my eyes up to a world of opportunity. I realised that these wonderful little people can go and fulfil whatever dreams they desire, they can achieve anything. And actually, I realised, so can I. In having my children, my drive to do a job that fulfilled me was reborn.
I thought about my dream job. I had always wanted to be an author and as a young girl my head was constantly buried in books. As a result I became a highly imaginative and creative writer. I don’t have the time for that right now, but I can at least combine my talent for writing with my professional experience. And so, the idea of becoming a freelance copywriter was born. It’s perfect, I get to make use of all the fabulous professional experience I have built up but make it work for me by doing what I love, writing. And so I am establishing myself as a freelance copywriter.
Believe me it is a little bit terrifying. I am used to security and the corporate comfort blanket. Now I am sourcing work, attending networking events and pimping myself out (not literally) to establish my own brand.
As part of this journey I came across By Day. I need to be able to work flexibly and at a rate of pay I am comfortable with for my all-important time. By Day has the perfect ethos; they will do the pimping out and negotiating. They will allow me to have input into my fee and decide if the job is right for me before I commit. Rhea and Nathalia have built their model around people just like me trying to work and have a family and do what you love.
It is a new chapter of my life, a pretty exciting one and I’m excited that By Day will be a part of it.
Lisa is working as a consultant copywriter through By Day.