From part-time to full-time soloist
When a colleague wrote about what it’s like going from full-time soloist to part-time employed a swarm of soloists sent their condolences. I’ve recently had the inverse experience, giving up my part-time job to become a full-time soloist.
The part-time job was only two mornings a week. I didn’t take it for the extra cash, but because I found it hard, being home alone full-time. In fact I was losing my marbles – talking to the cat about my clients and explaining what an orphan line was to the fridge magnets.
The job was great: straightforward administration tasks for a community health organisation. They had trouble finding juice money for their AGMs, so my pay packet wasn’t exactly bulging but I stayed in the job for well over a year. It was worth it for the office buzz and good conversation.
I also learned a few things.
Staff meetings began by asking each person how they were feeling at that moment. All sorts of things were expressed like: “I’ve got a heap of work on, so I’m pretty stressed” or “Yesterday’s group session was a nightmare, so I’m still recovering” or “My housemate stole my heater and corn chips again – I’m going to kill him.” Their honesty surprised me at first, but within three minutes everyone understood the tone of the table and was able to discuss important matters, and minor ones, with impressive success.
"To prevent unsavoury relations resuming with my fridge magnets, I have made a point of meeting clients face-to-face where possible."
Meanwhile my solo biz was really cranking. I realised, though, that I was having trouble finding time for business planning and the creative things I wanted to do.
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So I took a deep breath and quit the part-time admin job. The big-hearted staff sent me off with warm wishes after a buffet lunch of dips AND juice. I was so touched, I almost cried.
To prevent unsavoury relations resuming with my fridge magnets, I have made a point of meeting clients face-to-face where possible. I’ve also upped my coffee outings with friends and other soloists. And I’m writing this article to you.
The resignation was a good decision. I’m glad I don’t have to get up at 5.30am to beat the peak hour traffic and have more time to attend to my clients and myself.
Admittedly, I do forget to say how I’m really feeling like I used to at those staff meetings. Right now? Well, I’m a bit tired, but am looking forward to sinking my teeth into a great job from a new client.
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