My final piece of wisdom for new freelancers is here and it’s an emotional one! I wanted to address the topic of coping with redundancy as it was a massive deal at the time for me and weighed ever present on my conscious.

For many, they say it is the best thing that ever happened to them and for me, this has absolutely been the case. A positive mindset doesn’t mean that the demons don’t occasionally creep in however and I wanted to share my thoughts on burying the negativity and rising up stronger.

Don’t lose your nerve

Being made redundant is only shameful if you let it become so. Of course, working out your notice period can be a little bit painful at times, sideways-head pity glances over the coffee machine were a feature of my final three months for sure, but I refused to take responsibility for what had become a mutual parting of ways and ultimately, a really positive thing for all concerned.

I was utterly determined to be present in the office during my notice period and apart from a bit of networking and one job interview, was keen to maintain a business as usual stance, a) because where I live (Cornwall) is small and if I’d done a bad job, it would have got out and affected my future career and b) more importantly, because I genuinely enjoyed my work, especially spending time with our committed and engaged donors.

There were of course times when I came close (ish) to losing my nerve. A month away from my final day of employment with no clients in the diary (despite plenty of leads and what felt like thousands of networking events), I hung out the laundry in my back garden, thinking that if all I had to do each day was care for my daughter and our home, I would have no trouble in filling my time. The idea of making a living for us both, on top of all the domestic drudgery and intensity of single parenting was pretty overwhelming. It felt like too much to do all on my own.

The only thing I could do with this thought (and others which weren’t dissimilar) was to gently observe it before swatting it as I would a mosquito. Thoughts like this had no place in my brave new bubble of badassery. They were not serving me or helping me to move forwards.

I finished the laundry, took a seat at my computer and took yet more positive actions towards making my dream career a reality. I called local charities actively recruiting fundraisers and gave them the option of a freelance / interim cover should they fail to appoint, I wrote articles for my website, I invited more people for coffee and followed up with those who had already been kind enough to meet me, I booked onto conferences and networking events, I worked on my business plan, I was kind to myself and reassured myself that paying myself a few months ‘wages’ from my redundancy money wouldn’t be a disaster.

There are always positive things you can do to move yourself forwards. Action is key. Take every opportunity you can to stretch your arms wide and draw people in and along for the ride. You’re not alone in this. Collaboration has proved a winning formula for me at every point in this journey so far and will continue to be what keeps me enjoying this fantastic new life.

Best of luck to all those starting out on new journeys. May the road rise to meet you and the wind be always at your back. X