Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Meanwhile... My Career

I saw a friend on Sunday night. I'd been planning to avoid the subject of X. Because...

No, that sentence isn't going to work. I need to explain what X is first.

Basically I, with the help of some savings and some frugal living, have set myself up as self-employed. With the Russian nut deal behind me and enthusiastic promises of more deals, and another nut design in the pipeline, and various other skills under my belt... I thought I might make it work.

And then I proceeded to earn... nothing. Nada. Zilch.

So. I decided recently that late this year, which is about when I'll run out of seeds, I would embark on a Brand New Career. It's something I've always wanted to do, but will be hard work and I'll have to stop nut-designing for a bit. But the hope is that once I get up to speed, I'll be able to do it on a freelance basis and alternate between X and nut-designing.

My friend already has a career in X. She is an Xist, shall we say. And she hates it. And she can get rather insistent and hectoring if she has an opinion on other people's lives (which she always does)...

But in the end the subject of X was just too hard to avoid, not least cos she started a conversation about X and what she should do about her career.

And now I realise my motives for avoiding the subject may not have been entirely healthy...

Interestingly my friend didn't try and talk me out of it, and ended up thinking I might be rather good at it and it may indeed be a good move for me. But in the process of discussing it she reminded me of some things I'd simply been blanking out and, to be honest, refusing to think about. I think I'd more or less decided that MY clients would all be nice. Which of course is nonsense. My friend painted a vivid picture of arriving at the workplace only to be faced by a load of stroppy clients. Every day. And whatever flaws my friend may have, she's very far from being a pushover. If they're like that with her, they will be with me. Of course I'm sure there are ways of learning to deal with all of this and to some extent disassociate from it all... but X is (as I knew) a very stressful profession, and I have a history of mental illness...

Oh yes, and my friend reckons Xism is much much worse when you do it freelance / on short-term contract, cos you don't build up a proper relationship with your clients.

I don't honestly think it would send me mad, but still. I need to think hard about it all.

One of the things we discussed was the various forms of Xism, the principle ones being A and B. I'd more or less given up on B, cos of I'd have to wait for a year to do this. But as my partner said, a career change is not something to rush into. Personally, being Mrs Impatient, I didn't think that making plans in April to do something in the autumn counted as rushing at all, but I see his point.

But that vision of difficult clients has made me think a lot more seriously about doing B instead of A. Also the enforced wait until 2010 would give me a lot more time to (a) think about it really carefully and (b) explore other income-earning options. There is a big problem with it though, re finances. It means I have to fund myself for another year, and even then the seeds available to starters in B are significantly fewer. But that may be a blessing in disguise re forcing me to explore other avenues, and also giving me more time to design another nut. Well, in theory at any rate. Given that I'll have to earn seeds, maybe not.

Anyway... mucho thought, and yet another rejigging of my schedule to allow more time to find proper paid work.

You'd think this might have depressed me, cos it puts my plans all up in the air again, brings seed worries back to the fore, and I do hate not having a definite plan. But actually I feel quite buoyant about exploring other options, and have reminded myself yet again that I have a lot of freedom and time right now, which are hard-won luxuries and need to be appreciated.

Oh, and another worry: Recession. I'm worried the economy is going to go awol in the next 12 months, the government is going to go bankrupt, things are going to decline to a very severe low. By autumn 2010, anything could have happened. What seems a pretty certain way of earning seeds now, may no longer be true. And in the meantime I have to find work / seeds... as unemployment goes through the roof...


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