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Freelancing: a changed world

A question I regularly posed to myself earlier in the year, before making the decision to leave my current job, was: is going back into the world of freelancing going to be straightforward? In the time since I worked as a freelance copyeditor after I graduated, I’ve certainly gathered knowledge and expertise in abundance – an MSc in human rights, and two longstanding jobs in the prevention of chronic disease, most recently seven happy, busy years working in C3 Collaborating for Health – but how is it going to work out in practice?

What has become increasingly clear is that the world of freelancing has changed dramatically with the advent of social media. The list of what I now need to do to ‘get the word out’ about myself is the most daunting part of the whole process: a new Twitter account for all-things-health-and-environment (@healthkaty), this new website and blog, a logo, a revamp of my LinkedIn profile… and that’s even before I start to contact people with whom I’ve worked and built up relationships since 2005. But, somewhat to my surprise, I’m rather enjoying the process of ‘personal branding’ (a horrible phrase that belies some very interesting thinking). It’s a pity that pressures of Christmas (and the consequent seemingly non-stop carolling…) mean that not all the pieces of the jigsaw will be in place by the time I sign off from C3, but watch this space!

But I’ve been delighted to have had such a positive response to my plans from so many people. The New Year will doubtless bring opportunities that I can’t predict – I’m looking forward to finding out what they are. And as well as seeking out writing and consultancy work, I will be taking every opportunity I can to read and learn.

The chance to take stock and branch out is a rare thing in life, and I fully intend to make the most of it.

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