All change

2 03 2010

There are some big changes happening in my life at the moment!

Ever since I finished my degree, my life has been conducted in one or two year blocks. In the first year after graduating, I studied for a one year PGCE. Then, I worked as a teacher for two years at a lovely boarding school in Kent. Not one to stay still for very long, I then left this cushty job in favour of homelessness for a year as I travelled the world. Upon my return, I fancied a change of direction again and stumbled into an editorial assistant’s job in central London. Having lived in London for 18 months, I’ve now got itchy feet again (not literally – that would be gross) and I’m about to make yet another big change.

Not only am I soon to move in with my boyfriend of 18 months, but I’m going to move out of London to do it. Much to the horror of hardened city converts, having tasted and enjoyed the London life, I’ve decided that it isn’t really for me. I’m so glad I’ve done it, and it was always one of my ambitions to move to the capital, but I always knew it wouldn’t be for too long. After all, I was born and bred in Kent, the Garden of England, and so it’s back to the countryside for me. Rather than Kent however, our new pad is to be in a lovely little town in Warwickshire, very near to where Tom (said boyfriend) lives.

Deciding to move to such an outpost had implications for my job. Having become really rather attached to the science publishing world, and discovering that I seem to be quite good at stringing two sentences of scientifically-focussed text together, I was left in a little bit of a quandary. There’s a lack of science publishing going on in the Midlands – it’s all happening in London, so what was I to do? I guess that most people would either not move, put up with long commutes or find another job, but somewhat unconventionally and perhaps a little foolishly given the state of the economy, I have decided to go freelance. Today was my last day of employment and tomrrow, I will be self-employed.

Fortunately, I’m not quite thrown in at the deep end (more like the bit between the deep and the shallow end). Having spoken to some very supportive colleagues at BioMed Central , I have been offered full time work on a freelance contract. It’s not exactly the same as what I was doing before, that is, overseeing the editorial content of the Biology Image Library, but instead I will be working with the editorial team for journals that the company publishes. I’m quite excited to be moving into the journal side of things and look forward to the challenges that I will face in this new role. I’ll also be continuing to write press releases as and when I am needed by the press office, and without the daily commute, I will have even more time to pursue external freelance contracts with my current (and hopefully new) clients.

One thing’s for sure, working from home isn’t going to be easy. While friends think I’m lucky that I will be able to watch daytime TV while I’m working, or that I could work from the comfort of my bed, I think I will actually be busier than I am now! I’m setting up an office in the spare room of our new house and that is where I will work – regular hours, not in my pyjamas, and certainly not in front of the TV! As I’ll be responsible for my own earnings, my own tax payments and won’t be entitled to paid holiday or sick leave, it really is up to me to make the most of my working hours. Equally, I don’t want to become a workaholic – just because I’m not going to get paid for holidays doesn’t mean I won’t take them!

I am nervous about venturing into the world of self-employment – I feel a little unprepared, but everyone assures me that I’ll be fine. I know that I have the skills and the drive to succeed, I’m just hoping everything will go smoothly! Wish me luck!

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