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.