I’ve lived the life of a freelancer for the past 8 years – the whole rollercoaster of highs and lows – welcoming new clients then saying good-bye to long term clients, through my role being outsourced to China and having another project being placed on permanent hiatus.
To say I had juggled many hats is a fair statement, my CV and portfolio attests to that.
My creative side has been expressed through Sparrow & the Rose – my love of vintage and gemstones in one – which has provided a return on investment through selling at the markets of a weekend and online through a number of sites. What started as a stress release hobby, quickly grew into something so much more. I love exploring with colour and creating one-off pieces that capture the inner business geek at that moment of time.
As a contractor, I have had the opportunity to push myself further, applying my knowledge into new industries and working with teams to actualise their HUGE goals. From working on the rebranding a National Real Estate franchise to launching a 200-page community services based website, the success is knowing that the roles were undertaken to the best of my ability.
And at times I have juggled my freelancing and creative interests with working in part-time or full-time roles.
Having had a 24-Hours/Week contract put on permanent hiatus the day before I moved to the Sunshine Coast, QLD for the first time in many years I found myself being greeted by silence from the business community. Perhaps they simply didn’t hear my daily call for their attention?
Over the last 18 months, I have spent life as the hardest working under-employed person I have ever met.
Between juggling the birthing stage of Barefoot Basics, with a smattering of freelancing clients, ill health, a miscarriage, a part-time role (with many off the book hours), a second part-time marketing/design contract with a client in Ipswich, plus tirelessly seeking some kind of validation that I had a place within the job market on the Sunshine Coast.
I recognise that there is a distinct imbalance between job seekers versus available roles, and my job search has been fruitless, to say the least.
Having applied for anything broadly related to my skills set, from office work to graphic design and beyond into my speciality of marketing, to date I have been invited to attend 4 interviews –
The First – Whilst part A of the role was ideal, part B I was a 85% match for, so I understand that I wasn’t necessarily the best candidate, however the job was then split and readvertised less than 8 months after.
The Second – A dream interview that then abruptly ended when I mentioned that I was 9 weeks pregnant (I heartbreakingly lost our baby the day after). The role was readvertised a couple months down the track.
The Third – I secured.
The Fourth – Cancelled the morning of the interview as the client had hired externally to the Recruitment Agency.
As for the others, common courtesy in 4 out of 5 applications has not even been offered. A simple email to say my application hasn’t been successful or that the role is no longer going ahead would be really appreciated. And I know I am not the only one who has experienced this.
So instead of hitting my head against the brick wall, I decided to do something about it.
I looked back to my career from Sydney to focus on my strengths and successes. My passion has always been in publishing (I started in the industry at 17, I’m now 32) and working with Entrepreneurial people, I love the pressure of deadlines, pushing myself to the next stage and sharing what I have learnt with others.
The two year birthing process for Barefoot Basics suddenly hit fever pitch in the last 3 months. My business has grown from an idea (hence the two year birthing period) to real (paying!) clients, real business partnerships, real results and a real future. In the process I have crawled out of my shell and begun to meet fellow Sunshine Coast Entrepreneurs that are creating their own opportunities also.
In facilitating the self-publishing process for others, I am realising my own goals to self-publish also. By networking and working alongside successful entrepreneurs, the success of Barefoot Basics has been fast tracked.
By successfully creating my own opportunities, I am driven to also provide local opportunities for employment.
It was for this reason I celebrate my lemons with margaritas by providing comment ‘Life After Redundancy’ in today’s Sunday Mail.
This Business Geek (and Book Nerd) is opening the door for you to celebrate your lemon moments, and would love to put a challenge out to the Sunshine Coast media, like Sunshine Coast Daily, to share more positive news stories that provide inspiration and motivation for others to create their own opportunities. And perhaps to the Council to look at setting up a series of ‘Activate Your Small Business Empire‘ workshops.
Create your opportunities xxx