I’ve waxed lyrical on and off social media recently about the benefits of going back to work on my mood (and sanity) and I think, in the process, somehow given off this impression that working for myself was the worst thing I’ve ever done and nowt but a bump in the road of my career.
The reality is that this couldn’t be further from the truth. The nearly two years I spent self-employed have taught me more about myself, my work, my career and my clients than all of the other years I’ve been working put together… it’s just that it’s hard to see this when you’re attached to a keyboard 24/7 (or what feels like it, anyway).
I’ve learned that I AM a people person, despite years protesting otherwise. I thrive off face to face contact, the camaraderie of office friendships, the opportunity to read faces and body language.
I’ve learned that despite my “don’t give a crap” attitude, in a professional capacity I work better, faster, harder if I know that I have peer support and the opportunity to show off what I’ve done. My ego likes being rewarded by positive feedback from superiors and clients. It’s harder to secure this when it’s just you and your laptop and the occasional skype conversation.
I’ve learned that clients are important. They are a pain in the arse at times (but so am I). Without clients, I have no work, and without work my bank gets a bit pissy. Clients don’t exist purely to annoy me & I achieve more and indeed more quickly when I work alongside clients rather than against them.
I’ve learned that it doesn’t always make financial sense to be a perfectionist. There are jobs that require a bit of anal over-eyeballing but sometimes you just need to ship things out of the door.
I’ve learned that I probably shouldn’t have launched a ‘business’ with a 2 week old but I’m bloody good enough to have made it work anyway.
I’ve also learned that sometimes a step “backwards” is actually a step forwards, and that ultimately I have to do what’s best for me every now and again.