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Friday, March 16, 2007

Working Again

I'm new at the freelancing game. Less than a year at it. My knees are a bit wobbly and I've had more stomach acid than ever before, but I'm surviving. In fact, I'm working again, writing Web content for a client I've worked for before. But January and February were fallow and I was beginning to get desperate. If this job hadn't come along when it did, it would have been Walgreens. Or Green Apple Books. Or Borderlands (wishful thinking -- as that would be sweet). Or whatever I could glom on to. You see, other than writing, I have few, if any, marketable skills. I sent out a few resumes, but as the weeks progressed, there seemed to be fewer and fewer opportunites surfacing on the Web. A disturbing trend that employment hasn't seemed to lessen or deny.

My current gig is part time. And short term. Enough to pay the rent and dream about World Horror 2007. But strangely, after two months of nothing, I'm in the runnings for a couple other jobs. Those jobs are both through recruiters though, so they're stomping for other folks in addition to me.

So I'm still a freelancer. Or a contractor. Or a temporary employee. Take your pick - they all fit.

For a while I didn't think I'd have the stomach for freelancing (or contracting, or temporay employeeing), but the thought of losing what little ground I've gained seems silly. And sad. So I'm going to see how 2007 goes before throwing in the towel and seeking captive status again.

I love being on my own. Despite the need to be my own IT guy. Despite the uncertainty as to when the next job/paycheck will surface. Despite the constant need to job hunt. Despite the cold calls. Despite it all.

Every time I think I should go back to being a full-time employee, my thoughts  turn to "Run for Revenue", or "Team-building activities", or regular performance appraisals or playing Bullshit Bingo during an all-hands meeting. I think I'm done with all that. This has got to work for me. I just need to give it a little more time.


Malinda said...

Keep your chin up and do what you feel will make you happy.

Oh and Happy St. Patrick's Day. Don't forget to wear green! :D

Charles Gramlich said...

Freelancing must be the closest thing we have in the modern world to the old "Hunting/Gathering" lifestyle. You live by your wits, and often day to day depending on when the berries ripen and what beasty is migrating through at that moment. Exhilirating and terrifying. I admire your courage, man. Good luck.

Kate S said...

Good for you, Clifford! It's what I aspire to but haven't as yet taken the plunge. For inspiration, I turn to the book "Making a Living Without a Job" - it helps. :)

Sidney said...

I'm with Charles, I admire what you're doing. May 2007 be a great year.

I certainly identify with what you're saying - writing is pretty much all I know how to do too. Fortunately there are always new ways to redefine and reinvent. I've been studying direct mail writing of late - it's good training in many ways even though there seems to be a "Do Not Mail" movement.

Clifford said...

Thanks guys for the vote of confidence. Like I said, I'm going to give it 2007, then reassess. As long as things don't get worse...

That said, the job I'm on is decent. I'm working from a cafe right now, which is good, except they're playing an 80s station overhead and I KNOW and LOVE every song they've played (right now it's "Shout" by Tears for Fears) so I'm heading for less "get up and dance" environs.

Or maybe not (:

Malinda said...

Hey I just remembered you had the book Cell on your Pocket PC phone. Did you ever finish reading that. I just got done a couple of weeks ago with Cell. I liked it a lot. I'll never look at my Cell phone the same way again.

Thomas M. Sipos said...

Cliff, I told you freelancing s*cks., :-) I wish I had a fulltime gig. I may get a semi-fulltime editorial job later this month.

I the meantime, I got a Blogspot: http://hollywoodinvestigator.blogspot.com/

Josh Einstein said...

In 2004 I decided to leave my job and sell software on my own full time. I also have to supplement that with contract work from time to time. But take it from me, it's totally worth it.

Just make sure that you take every tax advantage that you can. Home office deduction, expense everything (including those coffee's at the coffee shop), and any travel. It all adds up.

In December I started working in New York City (I live in Philly and commute every day) and that's stressful, but it really does beat working for someone else permanently. Because I know when this is over, the next exciting thing is just around the corner. And I can work on things that I find interesting.

If you are a software developer, you should consider putting together a couple shareware programs. It really helps pad in between contract jobs and can even evolve into a full time occupation.

Clifford said...

Josh, I'm not a developer, but a writer. That said, I'm trying to teach myself to program so that I can write for a developer audience with a little first hand experience. By the end of the year, I want to have a beta of a word game that I want to make available to potential clients -- and hell yeah, it'll be ink-enabled if possible! Trying to teach myself "C#" using Microsoft's free software.

Anyway, currently working a part-time gig for Macrovision which I'm enjoying the hell out of. Working from home, but I've accepted the fact that some of my work will require I work from an office. That's okay -- not optimal -- but okay. As long as I'm working.

Thanks for the encouragement...my current job ends at the end of the month and I haven't dug up anything else yet, so I need it. I'm still passing all the "perm job" listings and seeking out the contracts and freelance opportunites. It's hard, but something I've got to do right now.

Thanks for stopping by, man, and for the FANTASTIC programs. Hope you get hired to do some tablet work in the near future!

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This is me and one of my two cats. His name is Cougar, and he’s an F1 Chausie. A chausie is a new breed of cat under development. Chausies are the result of a cross between a domestic cat (in Cougar’s case, a Bengal) and a jungle cat (Felis Chaus). Cougar’s mom is 8 pounds and his father is a 30-pound jungle cat. He’s about 16 pounds, super intelligent, spirited, and toilet trained. A writer without a cat (or two) is not to be trusted.