Thursday, 18 June 2009

33 years and more to come!

Today I turn the very fine age of 33. I'm also celebrating because I start a new adventure today. I wrapped up my work at PenQuin yesterday and today I am officially working for myself again. So what motivated this move if PenQuin was such a funky company?

There have been a number of factors, the most important being that I have to follow my heart and to do what motivates and inspires me to get up in the morning. Through PenQuin I've discovered that I am most motivated by working with individuals and small companies with their publicity, media and comunications - especially where they've reached a point where they just need h.e.l.p. I'm able to make a meaningful difference to what they do. This works for me. And I'm also a softie for getting involved with social responsibility initiatives.

I don't have a specific job title because I'm certainly not one to be defined by titles and I've got too many mixed experiences in various media and other elements - writing, reporting, scripting, tv, websites (building and editing), event media, event organising... I like to think of myself as a 'problem solver'. You got a communications/media/fun problem? I'll solve it; or I'll know someone who can.

Oh yes, it is scary going out on my own again, but it is something that I have to do - for me.

One very important discipline that I learned at PenQuin is the importance of having a separation of home and work, which I never had before. At PenQuin I had a work computer and I had my laptop at home for AR stuff and fun and games. When I previously freelanced I would work over weekends and every night and if client emails came in any time of day or night and I was online, I'd respond to them. This is something I will aim to avoid. Sure, I know that I'll be putting in more hours working for myself, but I need to maintain that elusive essential - b.a.l.a.n.c.e.

And there's another thing... 3 years ago I did 3 months of Spanish lessons at the Spanish Academy (Slade is an amazing teacher; I learned more in one lesson than in 3 months at Alliance Francais!). I love South America and I'd like to spend more time traveling there. I decided back then that I'd like to spend a month in Buenos Aires doing intensive Spanish lessons so that I can get to a reasonable level of fluency. Well, 3 years have passed and I don't want another 3 years to slip by! The internet allows one to work from anywhere in the world and as much of my work is communications based and can be handled online, working for myself allows me the freedom to do something like spend a month in Buenos Aires learning Spanish. So, I'm looking at March 2010... In the intervening months I aim to build my vocabulary in preparation for total immersion!

And, of course this move to freelance is also motivated by lifestyle, job satisfaction, training, community involvements...
To celebrate my birthday - and new adventures - I'm going for a late-afternoon run to take advantage of Jo'burg's beautiful winter days.

So, hip-hip-hoorah and here's to an exciting and challenging year ahead.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

On your birthday you should be getting gifts... instead you give away a gift - inspiration!

Good luck with your future ventures, there is no doubt that you have made a good decision and that your endeavors will be not only fantastic experiences but a great success...