Struggling with work

3 Apr

A more relaxed way of working

One of the conclusions of my Asia trip(s) and of the job coaching sessions I did, was to take another step in my professional life (and hopefully the developments on the personal level would follow). I thought to take things easier, work less, enjoy life more.

Coming to Conclusions – Going Solo

My trip through Asia showed me that it was possible to be more care-free, to go with the flow and to enjoy the little (and big) things of life. At the same time, one of the conclusions of the job coaching sessions I did, was that I wanted to be more free & independent, and get more rewards for the work I’m doing.

  • (Because how come that all my friends -in the private sector- are paid much more than me, even though they only contribute a fraction of what SALTO Inclusion does to make the world a better place???)

But the fact is that I am working in this organisation where the only way to get ‘promotion’ or ‘rewards’ is simply waiting “to get older” (having said this,it is a wonderful job, besides this point). So if I wanted to progress more quickly than my age, I had to ‘diversify’. So I decided to set up my own copywriter company:, at the same time as reducing my SALTO job to 80%.

Getting ready for take off – marketing

The long awaited logo ;-)

It takes more than a VAT number to be ‘in business’. You need customers, for instance, who are actually willing to pay you for the work you do for them. And it takes time and lots of promo efforts to build up a client base. First thing I did was to develop a website or .com and a logo. The next step would be to get my new identity out.

I had it all worked out: I would do the communication for the Brussels Games LGBT sports tournament for free as a sort of sponsorship. I would get my logo seen by potential customers all over Europe – and it would some more good practice in my portfolio. The only thing is that by the time the sports club had decided to allow me to put my logo on the website or promo-material, I was busy with other things already.

  • So exit marketing strategy nr. 1.

Working anywhere e.g. on Thai train

Via via via, I came in contact with a youth organisation translating a book on cultural diversity into English. I’m not really an English native speaker (nor a translator), but I have written some publications in English, so that convinced them to work with me… The only problem was that they had to wait for the money to come in (subsidies, delays, dunno?).

  • So marketing strategy nr. 2 – on hold.

At the same time, miraculously (again via via via), I got a call for tender in my letter box. A big Brussels organisation was going to redo their website (maaaaany pages) and was looking for a web-copywriter that could spend 140 working days on the relaunch project of their website, over the coming 8 months. It would be lots of work (no more weekends or holidays for a while) but also lots of prestige (great for the portfolio). However at the interview, they came up with the surprise that the work had to be done in their offices (not really my idea of a ‘freelance’ job). Still working 80% in SALTO Inclusion, that would be impossible.

  • So bye bye, job opportunity nr. 3.

24 hours that change your life

IdeoScript - Full speed

And one lovely Friday in March, (working) life turned around vigorously.

The youth organisation had received the funding for the translation of their diversity publication. So whether I would still be available to translate 65000 words for them? That’s lots of words (especially into a language that’s not your own). In the mean time I also found out that there are 11 words per line (in Dutch, 12 in English) and 45 lines per page = so that made for 130 pages! Is that possible by the end of April?  You must be joking, me going to Thailand on 22 of April…

Another European job

The same afternoon I had another negotiation meeting with this Brussels institution redoing their website. I was actually going with the idea to just abandon the whole project, because I wouldn’t have the time, and even less to be in their offices to do the work. I had vaguely mentioned to them that I would be much in favour of carrying out the job shared with another web-writer (from the short list). And they agreed! (me 2 days/week, and a colleague the other 2 days/week)! And I could do one day/week (or 4 per month) in their offices, and the rest wherever and whenever. That’s another contract in the pocket.

And in the middle of this negotiation meeting I get a phone-call. When I call back later it was one of the organisers of the Belgian EU presidency. When I started working part-time as a copywriter, my boss had suggested that they needed someone to do quality-care of the texts (website, handouts, etc) for the youth events. And that seems to materialise.

  • Or how life can change in 24 hours…
  • From a sabbatical year of doing nothing, into 80% employee plus successful business man.
  • But what about my personal life?

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