By December 12, 2013 Read More →

Back to employment wasn’t the answer

Why Sarah decided not to go back to employment after all

Why back to employment wasn't the answer - Sarah CruickshankHave you ever felt that this freelance lark is just too hard?

That working from home is too demoralising?

And been tempted to give it up and go back to employment?

I know I have.

Sarah Cruickshank is a freelance writer and VA, and shares in this guest post how she went as far as the interview for a couple of jobs before deciding going back to employment wasn’t the answer:

In the late summer of 2013 I filled in some job application forms, sent them off and even went for some interviews. I was fully intent on leaving the self-employed life and going back to employment.

I’ve been working freelance since 2005 combining feature writing with supply teaching initially and in recent years as a Virtual Assistant. This summer though, after a year-long period of hospital treatment and feeling like I was really struggling to get back on the freelancing ladder, I thought I’d try something new.

I promised myself I wouldn’t just apply for ‘any old job’, that I’d wait for adverts that sounded interesting and would make use of the skills I really enjoy using. I mostly stuck to the plan, but I did go slightly mad and fill out an online application for a High Street store shop floor job.

I was actually invited for interview; I went and almost immediately regretted it! The interview was designed to give you an idea of what the job would actually be like, so quite a lot of it was on the shop floor.

I’ve done sales jobs before and I remembered that I hated ‘stalking’ customers trying to make them spend money. I was also struck by the fact that I really didn’t like the idea of having to work Tuesday to Sunday at set hours, with set breaks, whilst wearing a not very fetching polyester uniform.

I was not disappointed when they didn’t offer me what turned out to be a three-month contract.

The next interview I had was at a local surveyor’s practice about 20 minutes walk from my house. The interview was enjoyable, but it turned out that the job as advertised wasn’t really what they wanted.

The outgoing employee had told them that the actual job would sound pretty boring in an advert, so they had tweaked it a bit! Instead of the wide-ranging admin role advertised they wanted someone to do almost entirely audio transcription.

The typing test proved to me that I didn’t like the spongy PC keyboard, or the headset, or the foot pedal. Also I wasn’t keen on the idea of a daily 20 minute walk, as opposed to the 14 steps from my bed to my home office).

Or the fact that I would be required to work 8.30 – 5.00 Monday to Friday, or that somebody else would be setting the agenda of what I’d be working on.

When they emailed to say that “on any other day” I would have got the job, but there was someone already working in the sector they’d offered it to, I did a little happy dance.

I realised that being able to choose my work and working hours; being able to take time off with my partner and our son without having to ask permission; being able to take two weeks off at Christmas without any fuss; being able to work in my pyjamas if I choose; all those things and more are too precious to give up and go back to employment.

Some good planning and careful marketing soon sorted out enough clients to make working for myself pay again and the realisation that I don’t want to play the monkey to an organ grinder who isn’t me has spurred me on.

I am an awesome boss and an amazing employee and I don’t have to share the office Advent calendar with anybody!

Sarah is a freelance writer and Virtual Assistant based in Lancaster in the NW of England. She works with journalists, academics and writers and small child-oriented charities doing a range of admin and writing tasks.

Check out Sarah’s previous guest post 3 top time management tips for the home worker so you don’t wear yourself out as Christmas approaches!

Posted in: Making money

Comments are closed.