So I says to my wife, “you know, I’d really like to work as an independent contractor for awhile and really get to see the world.” The following day, my manager told me that they’d lost my technical writing contract. I wanted to say, “Would you like me to help you find it?” Instead I played it cool.
“What’s the next step? Where do we go from here?” I asked. In the back of my mind I thought, “Great! Lots of time for blogging.” I wrote my last full post was dated November 6, so obviously I didn’t spend as much time blogging as I thought. What did I do instead?
WHY I didn’t blog
It couldn’t have been because I ran out of things to say. I have over 20 draft posts of thoughts I’ve collected since I started this blog, posts I intend to complete but haven’t had the time. During my sudden rush of unemployment I took the advice of my friend and former coworker: I spent time with my family. By the end of the past month my kids’ school was pretty darn sick of seeing me. It got to be a running joke that I helped my kids to be late for school every single day I didn’t have a job to go to. On my first day at my new job, my wife had them at school early enough to play with their friends before school.
Then I evaluated what I was good at, so that I could write a resume that showed my “stuff”. I spent a serious amount of time producing my technical writing portfolio. If you download it, be sure to drop me a line to suggest samples I should include that may be similar to your needs. One interviewer suggested that I show the source material for my illustration samples so that he could see what I started with. The current version of the portfolio includes those updates.
Technical writer off the mark-et
Last week I started a new position as a contract technical writer with a local company with global impact. Their core focus is developing communications products that served the military defense industry and is expanding since they were acquired last year by the one of the largest cable-service-network technology providers in Canada. There is so much diversity with lots of room to grow.
My new colleague commented that I am fortunate to be one of the blessed few who managed to find work during a slow economic point in history. I can’t claim all the credit for this. However, I will state that I have always been the master at WHY (What Have You). I am willing to go the wire and push myself to get things done.
What kept me busy over the past month was my web programming, SEO consulting, and WHY (What Have You) kind of work that I’ve been known for, being the “jack of all trades, master of none”. (Or as I like to call it, the “master of jack-all”). I’m still working to clean up the last bit of a number of projects, and I have more on the go once they’re done. Obviously busy-ness is not an option in my life—it’s a requirement.
Before I left my last contract I had just started a number of projects to help my friends and colleagues, which served to keep me occupied, exercise my skills, and teach me new things along the way:
- SEO consulting for a startup company that matches small cap companies with investors through promotional video
- Converting PhotoShop layouts into W3C standard xHTML/CSS for a graphic designer
- Developing learning materials for an SFU course on topic-based authoring for a content strategist
- Building a web site, and transcribing the theme song for the Transformers Animated Series into sheet music for my son
So now you know all about me and the What Have You work that explains WHY I’ve been so silent this past month. As the dust settles from my burning the candle at both ends, I hope to get back onto a regular blogging schedule once gain.
Feel free to leave me some comments to let the world know what’s going on in your life. How have you been handling the work situation during this economic slowdown?