Liminal Luminous

a wandering, wondering space of devotion, creativity and freedom.
Living well

Going back to paid employment

Very recently I’ve made a big and scary step to going back to paid employment, rather than being a full time freelancer.

There is a lot of rhetoric out there that being self employed is the only way to be happy, the only way to have control over your life. I absolutely believed this, but I haven’t been happy as an arts consultant for quite some time now, not least because there is just not as much work as there was a few years ago, and all my fellow consultants are saying the same thing.

A long time ago I worked in IT, in the marketing and PR side of things to be sure, but there was a part of my job which involved developing and maintaining a website, before CMS systems like WordPress were in place, I had to hard code it all and update using an FTP client!

When I first graduated I applied for IBM’s graduate programme, I had several IBM clients on my rosta at the PR agency. I didn’t get in because I totally messed up my A-Levels. But I had started to do a Maths ALevel before I swapped if for Theatre Studies. How different my life would have been if I hadn’t made that change.

To cut a long story short I have always been interested in IT, but very much on the sidelines, but a couple of years ago I got a Raspberry Pi from my husband, I love messing about with a computer without worrying that I was going to break it. I started to learn to code online and loved that too. I realised quite quickly that I was missing a lot of foundational information about computing and IT, and so I started to do a BSc IT & Computing with the Open University.

That was in April last year. I had a plan. I would work on my degree while continuing to do arts freelance stuff as it came long, with the longer term aim of joining a technology company and becoming a software engineer. I started going to my local tech networking event, and helping at a coding workshop for young people. Then I saw a job being advertised at a software development company who provide software to the arts sector. I thought this would be a perfect company for me to work for.

And indeed I was right, in the middle of January this year I joined them I love it very much, although it is rather jarring to be in an office four days a week, when I have been at home for six years! This has allowed me to jump my plan forward! I’m working as a Support and Training Consultant, but our clients are all arts venues, which means that they are lovely! Over time I hope to pick up more of the technical side of things, but right now I am learning an entirely new and large piece of software, which is taking up a lot of brain power.

This is a change in direction for me, I am no longer looking for any arts consultancy or photography work (although I am still taking on freelance writing), but I am focusing in on technology, through my job, degree and personal projects, as well as continuing to love playing and listening to music!

You may notice I haven’t mentioned the company name, and this ties into the fact that I am trying to keep this blog a space I can talk about stuff without being linked to my work…. I’ve not tried that hard, but I am making an effort!

6 Comment

  1. Ah, self employment, with it’s bouts of feast and famine, never knowing what work you can afford to say no to. Sometimes the only freedom in it is the freedom to decide on what terms you are going to be a pauper…. do whatever works best for you, and sod what anyone else thinks!

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