The Big Shift

I received an email from Andrew Seaman at LinkedIn News. He wants to know my thoughts on the “Great Resignation” some are predicting will occur as a result of COVID-19. Lockdown, working from home and bereavements have changed perspectives regarding work. He wants to know what advice I’d give to those “making a shift right now — whether it’s landing a new job or making a career pivot?” I wouldn’t normally respond to such a request, but this one struck a chord. So, as I enjoy writing, and even though this is unpaid and the Sewing Bee final is on telly, here goes.

In 1998, having secured some freelance work, I walked out of a relatively well-paid job with a large company. It was a mover and shaker in the newly emerging business of internet retailing. You’ll have heard of them. You’ll have been a customer. They have a store near you. It was a good job with prospects, but a bullying line manager made life miserable, so I left. With a six-week old baby at home leaving this job was a heck of a risk, but I knew I could make it work. I could do this freelance gig, give good time to my own writing, and be a dad.

I then worked on a freelance basis for over 20 years. I had other clients and published some novels, but that first company was the main source of income. The work was somewhat boring and repetitive, but it paid the bills. Then, a few months ago, a more recent client asked if I could take on some additional work. This would take up most of my time for four months, was well-paid, interesting and fulfilling. Previous work I’d done for them was clearly valued, and they wanted me to help them out in unexpected circumstances. I jumped at the chance.

Now that work has ended. Although challenging, it was extremely rewarding and I got fantastic feedback. Now I don’t want to return to the uninspiring, relatively low-paid work I did for so long. So I’m not going to. I see significant alternatives, and have saved enough money that I don’t need to return to what I was doing before, or rush into another role I don’t really want.

I recently saw a video in which a 100-year old man was asked what advice he would give to young people: “Take a risk.” was his answer. So, although no one would consider me young, I’m taking another risk like the one I took in 1998. I’m determined to find more interesting clients who value my skills and creativity. I’m very lucky. I recognise that I’ve had a relatively soft upbringing and benefit from white male privilege, so what I’d really like to do is find some way of helping others achieve their full potential. If it involves writing, then that would be a bonus.

You only live once. If you’re unhappy, dissatisfied or frustrated in your work, make a positive change. It’s worked for me; with application, it can work for you to.

Take a risk. Make a Big Shift.


Want to benefit from my skills and creative thinking? Get in touch. Competitive day rate. Honest work. No bullshit.

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