Friday, 25 April 2014

The basics of conversation (or why it's less painful to bang my headagainst a brick wall)

Number 1: it's better if you are with more than just yourself. Though I must admit I have several conversations with myself in a day, usually trying to rationalise an expensive or unecassary purchase. Having more than just yourself to converse with adds dimension with differing opinions, perspectives and experiences being drawn on.

Number 2: it requires effort. You need to actively listen to the viewpoints of others as it not only helps you understand the topic in a broader sense but it shows you value their input (even when you completely disagree!).

Number 3: it develops your connection with others. I bang on and on about "connecting" to people. This is largely in part to my spiritual beliefs but I think it is a fundamental part of human relationships on a very primal level. A conversation allows you to resonate with another individual or individuals over mutual interest or concerns. You can learn from one conversation whether that person is trustworthy, honest, kind, open and welcoming if the conversation is conducted sufficiently. 

Number 4: the ending is as vital as the beginning. Have you managed to tie up the topic with any strong solutions or have plans been put in place? Are all parties happy with the outcome? Is this a person you will likely converse with again? If so, has it been left on a happy note? 

People are shit at talking these days because most of us are staring at our phones, but it is a sad day when you can't even talk to another human being because you forgot how important it was to be heard.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Have you got a real job yet?

My previous post mentioned how excited and productive I've been since leaving my office job.

However, I almost forgot about the other side that came with working freelance - the question that makes my heart sink every time 'have you got a real job yet?'. It crops up far more often than I care to answer.

What do you mean a 'real job'? It's hard to explain to people that you are making more money that you ever have before, without leaving your house.

The internet is a miraculous thing, it means that I'm networking and opening up new work opportunities daily, from one seat. I can blog from anywhere, I can sell writing to magazines all over the world and I can do it all in my pyjamas if I want.

Unless it's Skype time, of course, then I dress smart from the waist-up ;).

Even if the work flow might not be as reliable, I am my own boss. I am smart with my money. I decide what I do and when I do it. I set a rate that I actually deserve. I don't stress myself out and I definitely don't shout at myself in front of a room full of colleagues when I'm on a power trip. Above all; I am very happy and the healthiest I've been in a long time.

I think a lot of that happiness is down to some of the feedback I've received from clients, since being able to choose who I work with. Never before have I worked with such fun and inspiring people. They're young, they're ambitious and they listen to me.

I've received messages saying my writing made a stranger laugh out loud on the tube. I've received messages from clients saying 'I want to shout from the mountain tops how good you are at your job.'

So, I'm sorry I haven't found a boring 9 to 5 office job with a reliable income, if that's what you think a 'real job' is. It would take a seriously fantastic company, location, director and salary to talk me into that.

I love what I do.