The short answer: to do good work with good people.
I always knew I wanted more from ‘work’.
Maybe I have high standards, maybe I value the experience of work more than others, or maybe I’m just an entitled Gen Yer (actually, no – let’s not get into that).
All I know is that the freedom and control over how I spent my days were important to me.
I got my first taste of flexible work in 2015 when I took an in-house copywriter role back in my hometown of the Gold Coast – I knew I was onto a good thing when I was able to travel all over Europe for two months (before I even officially started the job!) and still have the position waiting for me on my return.
It seems cliche, for sure – but having fluidity and flexibility has always been important to me. My husband is a general manager for a big hotel chain, so for the past 10 years I had prepared myself for the fact that travel and working interstate / overseas was going to be a massive part of our future.
And sure enough – it was. An opportunity came up for us to move from the Gold Coast, Queensland to Launceston, Tasmania in late 2016. T’was a new city, where we knew nobody at all (lucky the people here in Tasmania are super friendly)!
I got the full support of all of my direct managers, so I could continue my role doing everything I had done in the last 1.5 years – just remotely. So I found a place with a home office and the deal was done! With advances in technology and live video, as well as IM and email, it was a no-brainer to me that this would work…
Except it didn’t.
What was once a flexible working arrangement turned into something… less so.
The things I once glazed over in traditional employment now seemed like a burden: the meaningless meetings, the bureaucracy. My heart just wasn’t in it anymore. And one by one, the people I loved working with left the business.
You see, at the crux of it, my main driver was always that I wanted to do good work, with good people.
And I realised that it didn’t matter where I was in the world for me to do that.
I wanted to give tasks my 100% focus and attention, instead of being pulled in a million directions by ‘urgent’ requests (we all know they’re never that urgent).
The other thing was that, naturally – I didn’t want to be at the mercy of anyone with a power trip ever again.
So I got proactive. I had always wanted to run my own writing / marketing business, but I felt that I was nowhere near ready. This was little old me, being thrown into the deep end. I just really hoped I could swim…
I was supported by some great friends and colleagues who put the word out to their networks and gave me advice on what my next steps should be.
Then something amazing happened: my copywriting client list began to grow simply through referrals. At this point, it felt as though I was working two full time jobs (great for the bank, not so much for my free time). I was now feeling restless in my full-time role (that had an end-date looming over my head) and I was so ready for my next challenge – so I left the job I loved.
The silver lining.
Since taking the plunge into business ownership, I’ve been able to find everything I was looking for all along. I can travel the wonderful state of Tasmania on a whim, fly back to the Gold Coast for weeks at a time, visit friends in Melbourne… oh and decide to have a baby with my husband.
It’s all been done on my terms because I run my business, it doesn’t run me.
This whole ‘working for myself thing’ has opened up so many doors and given me so much joy. Not just because I can travel whenever I want or be home with our baby, but because it’s also given me more pride in my work, new relationships with people I’d otherwise have never met, more value than ever to those who need my services, and more excitement about clients’ passion projects as we launch new ventures out into the world.
Yessiree – I’m most certainly doing good work with good people now.