Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Good Life?

If I've learned anything recently it's that the rat race is an incredibly comfortable place to be. You know how much your next pay cheque is and when you're going get it, you know where you'll be tomorrow (and the next day, and the next), your alarm goes off at the same time every morning so that you can catch the 8.10 to Charing Cross, and someone else takes care of your tax, national insurance, pension and, very often, your lunch. No wonder it took me so long to get out!

I'd like to say I haven't looked back, but that would be a lie. In fact I didn't properly get out until last month. Since January I've been working as a freelance consultant to top up my income from the charity. In terms of my career it was by far the nicest project I've been involved with. The people there made it an enjoyable experience, but deep down I knew that I wanted out of marketing altogether.

So here I am, a part-time helpline manager, a freelance writer, and a student. It sounds good and it certainly doesn't feel bad, but it's a hell of a lot harder than I thought it would be. For a start, I'm broke. Really broke. Furthermore, (cue Darth Vader music) I've just spent the last two weeks filling in my tax return, an experience I'm glad I don't have to repeat for another twelve months. Above all, though, I've discovered that it's a hell of a lot harder to get a mortgage broker to take you seriously as a freelance writer than it is as a marketing manager. Tell me, do I have the words "Financially Inviable" written all over my face or something?