Career Inspiration is a new series here on Prettygreentea. I’m spending my evenings interviewing and having a good old chat with inspirational and hard-working people from the blogging world. The aim of these interviews is to help those of you looking for career inspiration, a career change or just a kick of motivation. I think that today’s interview is going to be useful for those of you interested in freelancing.
It’s very hard to know what you want to do in life and I’ve always loved finding out about what others do and the journey they took to get there. So, I hope you enjoy today’s interview with the inspirational Frances Bibby, a freelance writer, content creator and blogger in Sheffield.
Why did you decide to go part time with your job and start pursuing the world of freelance?
It was about two months ago. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and decided now was as good a time as any!
When did you know the time was right to test the water with freelancing?
I didn’t really know for sure, but I figured I was in a good position – I live in Sheffield were the cost of living is relatively low and I have savings from my time in Australia.
What did you study at university and has it been beneficial for your current career path?
I studied Contemporary History. I don’t think it’s been especially useful, but then it’s one of those degrees that can be applied to any career path!
What has been your biggest challenge along the way?
Learning to organise myself – I am a notorious procrastinator.
How do you find freelance work?
I use websites like Elance and People Per Hour, but I find that Twitter and word of mouth are really useful too.
Tell us more about Social Sheffield, your voluntary project.
Social Sheffield is a collaborative project to share the best of Sheffield and to support socialising in the city. We list and tweet about events happening in Sheffield and we are also starting to run our own events too to create real life social networks.
Our aim is simply to make Sheffield a more social and collaborative city, we can facilitate and speed up the process of creative people coming together to find work, make things happen or even just meet each other!
How has taking part in voluntary projects benefited you career so far?
It’s given me a lot more faith and confidence in myself. The only way to learn and become better at something is to do it – voluntary projects are a brilliant opportunity in this sense!
What is a typical work day like?
I aim to be up no later than 8am if I’m working from home and always plan out my whole day until 5pm using apps like Trello. I work best in the mornings, so form 8am til midday I do all the work I find the hardest. I then have lunch and either do some chores, shopping or go for a run, and resume working around 2pm.
I try to mix things up to stop myself from getting bored. For example, if I’ve been proof reading and editing, I’ll follow that task with something like brainstorming, rather than something that can be equally tedious like typing up an audio recording of an interview.
What keeps you motivated?
It’s very important to me to be self-sufficient and to feel engaged in the work I do. I’m very much a ‘do things with passion or not at all’ sort of person. The desire to do a good job and to support myself motivates me.
Does your blog, Then Let’s Begin play a part in your career?
Yes absolutely. If it weren’t for my blog, I wouldn’t be doing everything that I’m doing now. Writing a blog is a fantastic way to keep yourself focused on your passions, become more confident and to find opportunities you would otherwise miss.
I also do sometimes get to work on projects directly linked to my blog, such as the two Travel Blogging trips I did this year to Wales and then to Scotland.
What direction do you hope to take your career in 2015?
In 2015 I plan to keep exploring different interests and passions. I know that my biggest passion so far is travel, and my biggest strength is probably talking to and coaching people. I’d like to find a way to combine the two!
What advice would you give to others thinking of going freelance?
Just do it. If you decide it’s not working, you can always go back to full time work, and you’ll regret it if you never try.
Thank you so much to Fran for taking part in this interview. I think this is an excellent example of someone who is taking the time to figure out their true passions in life and is on a journey to creating a work lifestyle they want. I’m lucky enough to have a catch up with Fran every now and then and I can tell you that she’s very hard-working. I believe she will find a way to work as she travels in the near future.
Taking part in voluntary projects is something I’ve also always been a fan of. It helps you to develop your interests, meet new people and share you current skills as well as building upon them. You can find Fran over on her blog, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest.
If you would like to take part in my Career Inspiration series then just drop me a message on Twitter and we’ll get it sorted.