Ending one chapter and beginning another; Where do I begin?
One week from today, I will begin work as Multi-Media Developer for Signature Brand Factory, a marketing communications company out of Milldale, CT. With the decision to join Signature, I will be ending my current freelance work and not professionally taking on any other projects.
The past few years have brought many opportunities to me, both from in-house projects and my freelance work outside of the office. I’ve met and worked with several great people and small businesses on logos, graphics, animations, websites, blogs, and shops, and enjoyed the process and interactions from them all.
During those experiences, however, all my freelancing work has occurred either after-hours on weekdays or during free time on weekends. In recent weeks, I’ve started to take on more work, side projects, and other responsibilities that would spread myself out too thin. Unfortunately, some clients have endured delays because of this, and, as a professional, that’s unfair to them.
For all my clients, I’ll work out exit strategies to fit each client’s needs and budgets. For some, I will refer to Signature for more professional development with a proper team. Others, I will help get what they need in place while they look for someone else.
There may be those who think that my transitioning from freelancing to an agency is a step backwards for my career. I absolutely disagree. As I mentioned before, working with local businesses and people as a freelancer has been great. However, not having the luxury of a standard 9-to-5 work week of freelancing and having to use nights and weekends lead to many compromises. Push backs, delays, and lack of focus from bouncing around too much from project to project and task to task. Mix that in with a full-time day job, other personal responsibilities, and squeezing in daily necessities (like sleep), and it takes its toll.
With this change, I will be able to work on shelved projects of mine while giving others either the attention they need through an agency or the ability to find someone to continue the work themselves. I’ll be able to move forward both professionally and creatively this way, and I see this as two steps forward.
If you’re thinking of actively freelancing, it can lead to excellent experiences and new, life-long connections. Yet, you should definitely sit down and audit yourself every so often to decide if it’s something you want to do or continue to do. If you find it can sustain you financially to turn into a full-time gig — and, most importantly, you love to do it — I say go for it!
But, if you find that you too are putting too much weight on your shoulders, listen to your instincts and remove what you can’t handle, even if it means taking a break professionally for restructuring. Sometimes, being a professional is accepting when there’s nothing left of you to spread for others — and yourself.
From here on out, you’ll continue to read my thoughts on design, business, tech, and anything else I want to share with all of you. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do so more often now. Exciting times ahead!
How about you? Have you recently started a new chapter of your professional career? Are there things you changed in your life to get there? Share your stories in the comments.