Every parent will know that the first day of school is exciting and daunting for a child, it’s like an adventure. In fact, most people will remember that mix of eagerness and fear of the challenges that lay ahead and the scary new people that lay in wait. I’m sure some of that anxiety remains whenever most of us go to a new place or try something new. We must still make new connections and deal with new challenges. Either way, we are not alone.
I moved to Barton-upon-Humber and set about building up a new business base nearly a year ago. I was a journalist with a fair bit of experience of freelance writing, but up until that point, I had never settled down in one place in the physical or professional world.
I set about doing this in my new home thinking that it was a task to be achieved alone. This was completely the wrong mindset as I was surrounded by supporters – friends, family and potential connections. I was just ignoring them while I felt sorry for my lonely self.
Does this sound familiar to you? If it does then don’t worry, you have all of the support I just mentioned plus me, who understands exactly how you feel. You can even get in touch. If none of that seems familiar, then you may well have an extrovert type personality that could come in useful when building your network of connections. Great.
Either way, there are a lot of challenges to setting out on a new adventure and settling into a new situation and all are easier with support.
My first and foremost source of support has been my fiancée. I’m not going to go all Oscar acceptance speech / book dedication here but those who are close to you can often support you in ways you didn’t even know. For example, my fiancée introduced me to my second source of support and my first ‘connection’ in the Barton area; Richard Sutherland of the Sobananapenguin agency. He gave me my first long-term role after moving. He was a distant friend of a friend and I had to seize the opportunity when it arose, having the confidence to just say ‘I’m very good, do you have a job for me?’. You’ve probably heard a million times how important opportunism and self-confidence are, but it’s sometimes good to be reminded. Also, connections can come from anywhere at any time, so stay on the lookout. Always have a business card in your wallet and a link to your portfolio on your phone.
Next bit of advice – don’t let connections die, this is what stops freelancers building a good foundation for themselves and keeps them wandering around like I was until last year. Although my contract with Rich has recently come to an end, we’re still planning to meet for coffee so we can discuss work, play and everything else soon.
Like many of my clients, Rich is a great guy, which brings me to my last bit of guidance for today. Make sure you are having fun and involving yourself with good people. This will make your job an awful lot easier down the line.
Okay, so this bit of autobiographical advice is going to come in two blogs. It was going to be one but I got carried away. That’s the luxury of having your own blog, you can write how you want without being cut off unexpec
… to be continued
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