People have asked me when I first decided to become a self-employed freelancer. The seeds were always there, I remember being told that my late father and his brother had set up a company for free-lance journalists, and without having a clue I looked it up to see if I could reactivate it! I was still living in England, and I was working as the personal assistant to the P.R.O. (public relations officer) of a trade association, and the man was a twit. I was continually torn between correcting the terrible letters that he dictated or just sending them on up to the managing director (he had to see everything, company policy). It irked me that I was better at his job than he was and earned less money! I probably would have quit anyway, but I didn’t have to make that decision as my mother was taken into the hospital and I had to quit to be home every day to look after the house and dogs
Fast forward a few years no longer living in the UK I and I was working for a publishing company as regional sales manager. The Boss wouldn’t listen to a thing that I suggested, but he thought the world of his computer consultant, a young man in his mid-late 20s. Anything that he suggested was gold, but if I tried, he just shrugged it off. Then I figured out how to get around it. I would meet with Tony before the meeting, it was usually over lunch, and say “Tony, I’ve got this great idea, what do you think?” He would like it and I would ask him to propose it to The Boss. We would be sitting at the table, and I am sitting there looking innocent. Tony would say “You know, I’ve got this idea that would work very well for your company” and make his presentation. “That’s fantastic let’s do it!” Once again, I was torn between being satisfied and annoyed that I had to do that and not get the credit.
The final nail in the employer/employee coffin was when a friend introduced me to a young man who was about to take over the company from his elderly father. They needed his father’s office to be reorganised and put in order. I had many conversations with the factory manager about things like costing systems – which they did not have! I do not remember how the conversation started, but young Warwick leaned back in his large Manager’s office chair and said, “You would not like *my* job – and I replied, “As a matter of fact, I would!” I was out of that office faster than he could throw something!
I had moved to another city and was working part time when I got lucky with a financial consultant who paid me handsomely to produce marketing plans for his clients. I said to myself, I’m going do this full time. I wrote an article for a regional magazine thanks to the fact that somebody I knew was a friend of the editor. She told her that she knew somebody who was a good writer. I met the editor and dhe interviewed me and said, “Here is your assignment, let me see it!” When I turned it in she loved it. I actually did approach one editor myself, a cold call, and with my background in showing and breeding dogs he immediately took me on to write for a pet magazine. I wrote an article for him once every month but unfortunately the Internet killed the magazine like so many others that are no longer in print.
I had to take time out after my brother died as I had to take care of his affairs. He had retired to live in Thailand but still had his house in England. I was happily settled in the USA so was working across 3 time zones! When I returned to work, I had already relocated and knew I had to work remotely. There would be no more knocking on the door, meeting people for lunch, it would all be online. I found a huge industry out there with companies and agencies looking for freelancers working from home, but I was accustomed to dealing one on one with the client, editor or business owner, and even private individuals such as the woman who wanted her personal memoire transcribed and edited. I decided that I would go “old school” – I had 3 blogs on Word Press already, but I needed a professional website that I could use as my professional “calling card”, and that is where I am now. You can check me out at www.stephaniehuntcrowley.com.
© Stephanie Hunt-Crowley 23 March 2022