As you may or may not already know, I spent practically the whole summer of 2018 without a job. On the 24th of May this year I went to work like any other Thursday only to have my manager to tell me that due to a company restructure, I was being let go. I had only been there 10 weeks and to be honest, it was a complete blessing. At first, a little blindsided by the decision, I soon got over it. I had been contemplating, since moving into a new flat in a new part of London for that job in March this year, starting my own blog so I could build up a digital portfolio and really develop my writing style, which I feel had somewhat stagnated since my graduation from journalism in 2016.
I launched myself into the realms of job hunting. Anyone that has ever looked for a job knows it is a lot easier to find a new job when you already have one, so I took a step back and reassessed what I was looking for. Since graduating, I had been working ‘regular’ 9-5 jobs, Monday to Friday in an office. Now, I had known since doing my work experience at age 14, that my future was not in an office and definitely not in administration. However, the jobs were easy to obtain and provided me with an income which enabled me to stay in London, so I took what I could find and dealt with the boredom later. Strangely, all three of the jobs I took up where all in the property industry, so I became well acquainted with property laws, tenancy agreement legalities, sales processes and even houseboat licensing rules and regulations (London really does have something for everyone). That aside, as a journalism graduate, it was not quite where I saw my career going.
After being told that I had lost my job, which evidently came into effect immediately, I literally sat down and tried to figure out what I wanted. After a lot of deliberation, I decided to look for something that was flexible. It was finally time to fit my work around my life and not the other way around. Within a few weeks of looking I was offered a role about 30 minutes on the bus from my house. The hours were 9-6, Monday to Friday and they were completely inflexible. I pondered accepting it due to lack of other options, but ultimately it did not feel right and I turned it down. 14 weeks ticked by before I was offered anything else – dragging myself on 2, 3 or sometimes even 4 interviews a week, for jobs dreaded recruiters thought I ‘would be great for’. Even though few agencies actually listened to me, I stood firm with my requests; I wanted flexible hours, close to home and a good salary. I understood that realistically I could maybe get the first two but the third was not going to be happening as I did not want to be commuting several hours a week into central London for the privilege of the pounds.
Just before the August Bank Holiday, I was offered a customer service role, working at the head office of a national gardening center chain. Not exactly the most glamorous job, but their headquarters was 10 minutes from my house, the working environment was super chilled, the people seemed lovely and the best part; the hours were pretty flexible compared to what I had been used to. I figured it was as close to what I was looking for as I was going to get so I accepted the offer. An initial 9 month contract, if everything goes to plan, I should be in a job until at least early June 2019.
I took the role in the hope that the flexibility would give me more time to write and allow me to finally launch myself (properly) into the freelancing world, so when the time comes in June next year, I can walk away able to confidently declare myself self employed as a freelance writer. Although the working hours are not as flexible as I would like, they are more lenient than I have been used to so I’m trying my best to make it work; meaning I am writing as much as I can
at my desk in the evenings, and starting to establish some sort of blogging schedule for myself.
How do you balance working full or part time with running your blog? Let me know in the comments.