I have been back in the capital a while now, and a couple of weeks ago decided I’d aim for a three day working week, just as I had been doing a few months ago in Campbeltown.
Some think it’s lame, lazy even, but if I’m to try and hold onto what little is left of my sabbatical, it seems worth a try - at least whilst there is still some folding in the bank.
Last week, my three days in the office were spent setting up my machine and getting it to run right. It’s slightly older than the laptop I’ve been using so I had to retune my head a little. I also spent some time putting feelers out, contacting old colleagues, and generally looking for work.
LinkedIn, for the unaccustomed, is a fabulous website rather like Facebook but for professional contacts. You can hunt down old work contacts and see where they work these days, as well as target new ones who might be able to help you in some way. In return, you too become targeted by individuals who might be looking for your particular skill-set, or to make contact with someone you know. I think they call it ‘networking’.
References from various key working relationships help sell your offer, both those that you hold, along with those that you write for others.
A combination of other sites and blogs as well as keeping my own up to date, have helped get my ball rolling, and very quickly at that.
By the end of the week, it seemed I’d had a spot of luck.
Firstly, out of the blue, an email from a magazine looking for someone to undertake a rolling illustration commission for a new publication - 13 issues a year.
The money isn’t great, but the work is - exactly the calibre I’ve been gearing myself towards with my personal illustration work! It seems all that hard work could be paying off, and I’ve yet to find out how they discovered me. I’ve been so busy in fact that I’m currently not really paying attention to the hunt for more work - the biggest error in business.
That’ll come in time though.
The other interesting potential project around the corner is one for a couple of entrepreneurs who need help building their brand - the other calibre of work that is right up my street - mainly because I’m well practiced in this line of work. I approached them after seeing a call for input, and they seem interested in speaking to me.
It’s of huge personal interest too, so fingers crossed, the planned meeting in a few days turns it into something more solid.
So this week has been spent basically working on the commission to agree direction, and pulling a presentation together for the other guys.
For the latter, I spent the best part of yesterday at the all new Canada Water Library, a fantastic resource that is well used by the community.
Not only is the architecture amazingly cool, but the facilities inside are cutting edge!
I sat up in the gods of the building, overlooking Twinkle and Rhettstar in the toddler group far below, working away with a great coffee and slice of chocolate fudge-cake at a workstation with wifi and a power outlet along with some trendy student types.
I don’t have to stress about setting the alarm, I can avoid the rush hour, I’ve yet to work late (although I do work through lunch often to balance the time out), I can choose to work around the corner or go into the office, or indeed just take the day off without having to sign a form or beg to the boss (although technically, I guess I do beg the real boss - Twinkle)
I'm not entirely sure I can claim to be 'on sabbatical' any more, but if I can continue to pull this gig off, I think I might have found the perfect work / life balance!