Better Mouse Trap

ImageIt’s been a year since I left my 9 to 5 job for a freelance career. To be honest, I didn’t leave my 9 to 5 job to start freelance career, I left because…

…well let’s just say I left for very good reasons, which became really apparent.

For months I’ve searched the job boards and posting for another job. Turns out so were millions of other unemployed designers. It was a shock to learn I needed to be 25, with 15 years of experience and willing to work for $8.50 an hour.  Somewhere in those years while I was working a 9 to 5 job, growing older, getting experience, talent, dedication, and commitment had become… passé.

I’m not complaining. Well all right, maybe a little.  Let’s face it, I’m not 25, but I’m not Methuselah either.  I’m current; I know technology so why doesn’t someone want to hire me?

Not going to go there. If I wallow too much in the “poor me” I’ll never get, over, around, or under this age barrier thing.

Noooooo, I’ve not invented a time machine, or found the fountain of youth. I’ve found a way to work where people don’t care how old I am, just if I can get the work done. It’s called freelancing. The clients I’ve been able to find appreciate my professionalism.  They like that I make deadlines, keep them posted on progress, and invoice promptly.  In other words, Customer Service. Who knew there was such a dearth of freelancers doing this bare minimum? 

Recently a client emailed me and was lamenting on some other freelancers he was working with and wrote; “Oh, creative types – why can’t they be more dependable like you?” That one statement made me realize there are many talented people out there and I have no problem competing with them on that level. Where I have the competition beat is in dependability. My clients can count on me.  It may not be sexy but I’ll take dependable all day every day.

So, the time has come to let go the ambition of finding another 9 to 5 job. Close that book but open an entirely new one. Take all I know and have learned and put it to work for my clients and yes, me. Be a missionary of customer service in the design world, but not just give it lip service.  This could be my better mousetrap. Only time will tell if “they” will beat a path to my design door.