It has been some time since I last wrote on this blog. I have been really busy reading, researching and trying to marshall my thoughts into some kind of plan of action. I cannot believe how fast my days go now, and how little I achieve!
My last official day of being a wage slave was 17 August, but since then I have been some work on a freelance basis. I have applied for a handful of jobs, including one as a fundraising administrator for a charity which provides sailing experience for young people on Tallships. My baby brother went on a week-long expedition with them before he joined the Navy, and had the time of his life learning how to deal with tricky situations and working as a team with a large group of people. This is something I would dearly love to be a part of, even if only for a short while (it is maternity cover).
Having signed up for numerous job searches and recruitment agencies, I am pretty aware that jobs in the areas I would like to work are few and far between. I have therefore started planning to market myself as a small business support firm for businesses in the local area. I have never considered myself an entrepreneurial person. In fact, I have spent my life so needy of security that the very idea of setting myself up (to fail, as I would always qualify that statement) would induce a panic attack. However, I am in a different place now, and I think I have skills, experience and ideas gained in my years in the City which could be put to good use to help local companies whose own skills lie elsewhere.
I have a couple of good friends and members of my family who are being really helpful in terms of advice and support about the practical aspect of working for yourself, and I am trying to make sure I have everything ready in the next three months, if not before. I have just worked out that of my immediate family (siblings, half-siblings and their partners, numbering 10), only my husband, my brother (the submariner) and my brother in law are salaried!
If job-hunting and setting up a business were not enough to keep me occupied, I have also been knocking around some ideas for a wellbeing forum or charity. This idea came to me after my positive experience on a weight loss programme which as an online community – we lovingly call it Fatbook. Along with the 30+ pounds I have lost, I have gained some virtual friends who have become closer than some of my real friends. Indeed, a number of us are crossing from virtual to real by arranging to meet up. The level of mutual support, encouragement and wisdom which is available on the blogs and profiles is mind-boggling, and I have watched us blossom as people, shedding our neuroses and inhibitions along with pounds, becoming everything we can be, but have always been to afraid to be in case we drew attention to ourselves.
I am convinced that this kind of support network is what we are missing in our modern society with its nuclear families and commuter/dormitory town demographic. New technology and social networks are allowing virtual communities to spring up across borders, which is hugely exciting. Why not try and use these mew media to attract people, nurture them, support them and entertain them?