So nearly 7 months ago I waved farewell to my old job and company smiled sweetly at the generous redundancy settlement and wandered off into the sunset. In the intervening time I've pondered on what I would like to do, what I can do and what people are likely to actually pay me to do?
Firstly I thought about a complete career change but frankly some of the options I looked at there had issues, I wasn't completely sure of my commitment to them, saw difficulties possibly with starting on the lowest salary etc. In the end I struggled to with it and realised without that 100% commitment I was going into something that I'd end up with regrets about, it wasn't worth that. Who knows I might still come back to it at another career junction in the future having had a look at it.
I've tried being a professional singer/songwriter... well that has been my only source of income for a while!! However unless we have some unbelievable spell of mammoth deflation what I earn isn't going to pay to get us to the shops let alone buy the weekly groceries! Still I've got the CD out, done some gigs, had some royalties and won the RTYD award. So it was a great 6 months on that front!
Oh yes - I also got a shed load of decorating done around the house.
So into the new year. What was 2011 going to hold for me? A longer period of unemployment didn't seem too appealing. I was very aware that the longer you leave these things the more difficult it is for people not to see you as someone who is a risk as an employee plus you yourself can lose the rhythm of work life. I'd put as I say some thought into where I ought to go, some people suggested being an independent contractor, great as you can earn a lot more, however no security, you have to look after the pension and all that stuff. More importantly you have to look for the work all the time and when one job dries up so does the income. So I'd decided to try to get into a consultancy company where you get the variety of working for multiple clients, you know whatever you are on has an end date and therefore a chance to move to something new. However whatever happens you have a steady paycheck at the end of the month and more people in the company as well as yourself looking for new assignments. Also you are in the client company to do a job and not have to be in the politics of their organisation.
I've been very lucky as having adopted this as the forward strategy at the end of 2010 for implementation in the new year I have already been through a series of interviews with a company over the last three weeks and was offered a role this week. The company is a really great one, English, privately owned, no venture capital or public shareholding, really good client base, nice people working there and HQ is local to me. Really excellent all round. I've accepted and waiting on getting all the paperwork sorted but I expect to start early next month.