Tuesday, August 16, 2011

By My Own Bootstraps

Job-wise, it's been quite a spring.
Left the sales job in March that my former boss rehired me for last fall (after cutting my pay/ hours again for the 3rd year in a row), then in late June started a new gig closer to home, even if the pay was a bit less than I'd like.
Still needed a 2nd income, though.
What to do? Work for the nearest big box at peanut wages?

Back in February I started writing articles for Yahoo's Associated Content, after getting my feet wet at Triond. That was fun, seeing my name in (electronic) print.
Then in June I applied for a post with Examiner.com and landed the spot of Chicago Herbal Kitchen writer. ( www.examiner.com/herbal-kitchen-in-chicago/mary-schnibben )
That was even more fun and a great learning-curve experience. (I'm still at it.)
It pays but still needed more - like hourly or a lump sum $.

A couple months ago I was Googling around here and there and came across a site that's perfect for what I'm looking for right now - and may just be a good source of full-time $ down the road: oDesk.com. www.odesk.com
oDesk is a website for anyone using a computer (or phone, etc.) to make a living. Are you a writer? There's work out there waiting for you. Trying to break into graphic design? Ditto. The list goes on - including customer service, sales, PR and more. The assignments (their term) are generally temporary but can go longer term if there's a good fit between client and contractor (that's me.)

At the time, I didn't feel like going through the application process but last month finally sat down and did the deed.
After filling out and signing the electronic tax forms (so I can get paid!) I spent most of the next week fleshing out my online profile, taking proficiency tests to boost my standings and generally working up my nerve to finally apply for that all-important First Gig.

Then it happened: I applied for a job posting and - about 12 hours later - TA DA!!!
They liked me!!!
They liked my writing!!!!
I'm now a *REAL* (=$) writer !!!
Then along came another job..and another. A few days later I got an unsolicited invitation to apply for a job doing (ghost) rewrites for a website. Then came a craigslist medical writing assignment (for which client I'm still working.)
Although my name won't see the light of day for most of these assignments, the fame is less imporant than the fact I'm using the skills, education and experience I've accumulated over the years to make my living for clients who need and like what I have to offer.
Like ripples after a pebble hits the water, so it goes. One after another.
For the first time in my working life I have something going for me that's close to job security.
And, oh yes, the blessing of doing something I love, something I'm good at - and for a paycheck too.
Sweeeeeet.