…bar the accounting, natch. I left Clearleft about 5 months ago, with a really open mind about what to do next. Though my career had taken a decidedly ‘biz dev’ direction, I was still uncertain if it was really what I wanted to do, so when selecting where to focus next I took the easy way out, and didn’t. Freelancing, for me at least, was an opportunity to go with the flow of work. If I wanted to stay busy, I’d have to stay flexible, so I took every opportunity that came my way.
It ended up including R&D project proposals (with a light sprinkling of speculative UX), executive training in collaboration and innovation, and content strategy, plus a little bit of biz dev, and it’s this last which has turned into a full time gig once again, so closing the episode. I’m really grateful for all the opportunities that came a long, and I have to recognise what success I enjoyed was almost all down to the generosity of friends and ex-colleagues who I’ve enjoyed working with enormously in the past. Networks in other words.
It’s been great fun, but if I am honest, freelancing probably isn’t for me. Not because of the uncertainty (though that did at times scare me, but not so much as I thought it would) nor the need to do my own accounts (I actually enjoyed that *way* more than I expected- though the reckoning will be the year end numbers after I’ve been paid five different ways!). No these things we’re no bad thing at all, what I think put me off was the variety. In the end I’m too much of a gadfly to do freelance.
In most of my permanent roles I have flitted around the edges of the job – hackdays when in the archive, drones in R&D, all ideas that were parallel to my day job main focus. So when I lose that core responsibility, I go properly off piste! It takes a central focus to really let me bound my restless adventuring, so freelance was just too much freedom, for now at least.
Having said all that, Human Made is a generous employer, than they’ve tolerated a fair amount of parallel work on my part, so should the need arise for my random services, do let me know. Always up for a little bit more freelancery!