Freelance Life – Because I'm Chilled, You Get Great Content

Roll back time to 2006 and I was in my final year of fifteen years in traditional employment. I’d just moved from a lovely job where I was left more or less alone for five years to ‘do’ marketing, and had very little contact with my fellow employees. I was not enjoying my new, more senior role, which involved lots of everyday people-handling as well as travelling to London a couple of times a week to liaise with a team up there.
The commute was fine. I love trains. I could sit on one all day, for days on end. Weeks, maybe. But the ‘dealing with others’ side of things was a nightmare, rich in negotiation and management skills that I just wasn’t interested in acquiring. While I’ve always been perfectly happy working for people, I dislike working with others. Because I found teamwork extremely difficult I hated it. I dreaded it.  It made me miserable. Sunday nights were the purest hell.
I can’t tell you what a relief it was to leave employed life for good, go freelance, and drop all the tricky people-stuff. The way I felt about my working life improved more or less overnight. I felt alive again, free, enthusiastic, keen, inspired, all those good things, the things that make work – and life – worthwhile.
Twelve years down the line I’m still remarkably relaxed and happy. I genuinely look forward to my working day. I don’t have to go on courses to learn how to deal with difficult people, or acquire negotiation and management skills. I don’t have to explain, justify, convince, figure out how to treat different people in the different ways they like to be treated, or end the day all upset because I’ve failed – yet again – to avoid irritating my colleagues. Or, perhaps worse, bitten my tongue when I really should’ve spoken up.
It took a few years to realise that what I’d started to see as failings were not down to me being a difficult person, or bad at my job, or just pigging awkward! It’s a personality thing. I’m a natural loner. I’m the opposite of a team player. And I’m an ‘asshole in the room’ according to David McRaney’s wonderful book, You Are Not so Smart as You Think You Are. In other words I’m someone who will actually stand up and say so if an idea is crazy, pretentious, poorly thought through or illogical. And there’s plenty of that around in the magical world of marketing.
The upshot of all this past angst is you get a copywriter with massive amounts of marketing experience who self-motivates, takes huge pleasure in her work, and dedicates considerable time and effort to make every single piece of writing absolutely perfect. And I’m not a yes-man either. I’m not scared to let you know politely, kindly and calmly if your marketing thinking is off the mark. If that sounds good to you, we’ll probably make a wonderful cultural fit.

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