Busy, that is, not working – but looking for work.
Last September, my main client (i.e. my main source of income) let me go after 22 years service. This was inevitable; I anticipated it after the company was taken over at the end of 2020, and was even planning to leave under my own steam, but at a slightly later point – so they beat me to the punch.
There’s a story to tell there – actually, a few probably – but I won’t go into any of that now; I’ll save it for another time. However, when it comes to earning a living, with the events of 2020 going into 2021, the amount of work I had by September 2021 was just this client, and one other. And with this one being my main source of income, losing it therefore meant I was all-but out of work.
I therefore needed to find something else.
Apart from a couple of panicky wobbles, I was mostly quite relaxed about this at first because I had enough in the bank to keep me going for quite a while. This is why I spent an awful lot of time back in December, for example, experimenting with WordPress themes on this blog, for use on RISCOSitory. I felt that I had plenty of spare time to do so. With the amount of time I spent on that, I arguably was in effect working full time while I did it – just not earning anything out of it.
However, as time went on the money in the bank started to go down. I had a rough idea of how long I could make it last based on my outgoings when I worked everything out last September, and having made a few simple changes (i.e. cutbacks) it would probably have lasted even longer than expected – but all the same, just watching the balance go down made me feel pressured to put a little more effort into looking for work.
So earlier this year I ramped up my job-seeking efforts.
I haven’t worked full-time in over thirty years – and I really don’t want to work full-time again going forwards if I can avoid it (except that I had come to accept that I might not have a choice, and might have had to take a full-time job).
I therefore find it quite ironic that I was pretty much doing a full time job of looking for work! In fact it was probably quite a bit more than full time; if I was at the computer, I tended to be scouring job boards and the like. (I was even doing so sometimes while on Zoom calls – though not, I hasten to add, interviews on Zoom!)
The point is that with so much time being spent on the search for work, I spent as little time as I could sitting at the computer outside of that search. So things like this blog, as well as other ongoing projects such as the new game I’m supposed to be working on for RISC OS (Catacombs of the Unforgiven) have more or less just gathered dust.
The current situation is that I now have some work. I don’t yet know how much I’ll have on a regular basis, so I don’t know if it’ll be enough – but that’s because I’ve taken over from someone who, let’s just say, ‘left things needing to be corrected’. As a result I’m doing more at the moment to get things right and up to date than I’ll be doing when it settles to regular hours, and I can’t predict what those regular hours will be – not least because I tend to be quite efficient, and if someone anticipates that a particular job in my line will take ‘x’ hours, I’d probably be left with spare time out of that.
So although I’m writing this (thanks to being nudged – hi Rick!) after starting my new role, and I’m not actually searching for work at the moment, the non-search is because I don’t yet know how much more work I’ll need until the new stuff settles down to regular hours.
It may be that I’ll need (or possibly want, for an extra level of income security) a little more – in which case, I’ll return to searching for work, and this blog will probably go quiet again.
But it may also be that this work is enough, and I can return to finding other excuses for not keeping this updated!
Having said all of that, I haven’t been entirely negligent towards this blog – I have made notes about various things, thinking ‘I should write about this…’ and obviously still have notes and rough drafts from before I found myself seeking work (hell, I still have a couple of potential ‘tales from the pandumbic‘ entries!) In other words, I have plenty of possible content, but it’s a matter of finding not just the time to so something with it, but also the motivation. As noted in a previous post, I’m more likely to write about something quickly in a few tweets – even if I’m thinking of writing something longer – but once it’s been tweeted, I tend not to bother. Hence that post!
To that end, I do have an almost finished follow-up with a selection of February’s tweets, and another that would have been the beginnings of March – but now, of course, we’re in August, so I have some catching up to do! Perhaps I should combine February and March, add April to that, and then do another covering May to July? Maybe. Or maybe I should abandon that idea – whether completely, or just in terms of catching up. I don’t know.
The same search for work that took up so much time also gave me a few ideas for things to write about as well – both good and bad. One example would be things that aren’t on my C.V. to keep it to a sensible length, as well as things I remembered about places I’ve worked that would be entirely inappropriate on a C.V. but are worth writing about.
I just need to be less glacial in how I progress with doing things, think ‘meh’ less and just… get on with it.
All I can say to that is ‘meh!’
It actually says that on the T-shirt I’m wearing today, funnily enough!
And one quick selfie later I have the featured image for this post… 😉