Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Life of a Freelancer

A fun part of moving to Rochester from Florida's sunny gulf coast has been meeting new people! Of course one of the first things they ask is "what do you do?" And when I reply that I am work for myself from home, I receive a variety of replies that inevitably begin with a blank stare and end with "You're so lucky!" I guess I am :)

For my first 25 or so years after graduating from college I worked in corporate America... beginning in human resources and ending in information technology. It was not an easy balancing act as I did not have family locally, but was very fortunate to work for people who (for the most part) understood the challenges of single motherhood.

After the tragedy of 9/11 when I was in my early 40s, my industry took a huge hit. As a senior project manager and one of the higher paid staff members on the corporate team, I was one of the first that was let go. What I learned was two-fold: my oldest was graduating from high school and I had missed a LOT while I was earning a living to support my three children, and it isn't as easy to find a job when you are 42 as when you are 22.

i taught myself web design and took on a few clients, but the work came in spurts. It was definitely feast or famine. One of my friends told me about this new website called "Mahalo" that might help to ease the highs and lows of freelance work and keep income on a steadier keel. Mahalo has changed a lot since its early days when my role was to find the best links about a wide variety of topics. Although my income is not what it was in my corporate ladder climbing years, I do enjoy more flexibility and still get to have "watercooler moments" in online chat... I don't think at this point that you could pay me enough to return to the corporate ratrace!

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