Wow… Alright, I’ll address the obvious. It’s been a while. My last blog post was seven months ago. I’m sure you can figure it out without me saying it, but a lot has changed since then.
I’m not going to go over every little detail, but I want to share with you the events that led to my realization that it’s time to start sharing again.
I Got Laid Off
This past July, my (now former) boss emailed me at 4:05 PM to inform me that I would no longer be working for him after that day. I had worked there for over six years and I had built some really solid relationships with my clients. The business had lost its largest client, so my boss had to let me go to keep his business above water.
I could go into more detail, but I have no interest in wasting your or my time on negativity and scrutiny of how to run a business. So let’s move on.
I Maintained my Bridges
The first thing I did after losing my job would eventually lead to where I am now. As I mentioned, I had built some very solid relationships with the clients and vendors I worked with. Because of that, I emailed most of them individually to let them know what happened and tell them I appreciated the time I got to work with them.
I got replied from each person overwhelmingly telling me they appreciated working with me and how hard I worked for them. It made me feel good to know they appreciated what I did for them, but that feeling quickly left for the next few months.
I Searched and Searched for a New Job
Seriously. I have applied for over 50 jobs since I got laid off. I applied for graphic design positions anywhere between Seattle and San Diego. If I’m honest with myself, I don’t think my portfolio is super strong for the jack-of-all-trades position that most of these jobs were looking for. I had curated my portfolio with scrutiny and left out projects that demonstrated my ability to create various project types because I wasn’t proud of them or felt like they were my best work.
Now that I think of it, by only showcasing the work that I was most proud of (which was also the work I most enjoyed) was probably a big the reason why I am where I’m at now.
I Acquired a New, Major Client
Eventually, things started to shift in my favor. I got hired by a new coffee company in Florida to create an Iconoflage piece, a couple of illustrations, and design their cups! Not only that, but we’re now in discussions about future projects. I’m super stoked about this opportunity and what the future holds for our relationship.
An Old Client Returned
Finally, six years of hard work is starting to pay off. One of my clients from the job I got laid off from contacted me about doing work for them again. They recognized the rapport I had built with their employees, vendors, and regulatory people whom I had worked with during our projects and missed the service I provided.
Honestly, this work isn’t creatively challenging, but it’s going to be the foundation for me to build my freelancing business. Since I have been doing it for so long, I have built a system and relationships that make it worthwhile despite not being in line with my creative goals.
Freelancing is Now Within My Grasp
As I mentioned at the beginning, there are details that I am leaving out, but what’s important is that these events have now lead me to a situation that I can dedicate all of my time and effort into building my freelance business. I can’t be more excited about this opportunity. It may seem like luck, but I put in a shitload of work over the last six years that have lead to this point in my life.
There have been countless times since I got laid off that I broke down sobbing because I had no idea where my life was going. I felt like I had wasted six years of my life to get nowhere. I wasted time working on projects that I wasn’t proud of. All of that time and hard work to get me nowhere in my career as a graphic designer.
But, as you and I now know, it was worth it. And pieces are still shifting into place. I have other clients from my previous job who are trying to help me get connected with more potential clients. I’m not sure how much freelance work I’m going to end up with to propel my business with, but it’s been very encouraging.
Without these people and the support of my friends and family, I don’t think becoming a full-time freelancer would have been a realistic option at this point in my life.
Here We Go!
In the next few months, I’ll be spending a lot of time getting my freelancing business in order. From choosing a business name to picking project management software, I have a lot of stuff to do and I want to bring you along for the ride.
So, that’s where we’re at. That’s why I’m starting this up again. I want to document my adventure, share my struggles, and disclose my discoveries. Since this is now a full-time endeavor, I feel like I will be able to share my experiences easier than when I was doing it with the limited amount of time I had to myself while also working a full-time job.
If there’s anything you’re curious about as I go through this process, feel free to contact me!
Until next time… stick with it.