# 98 (2013) Heading Back To The Office
After a year of being officially self-employed I had to adjust my plans and take on some part time office work to keep things ticking over. To be honest I felt guilty more than anything. All around me people are working hard to keep things ticking over and I was starting to feel a bit complacent and that I needed to be doing more. I didn’t desperately need the work but I wasn’t exactly overworked.
Even so I was dreading it, and I hated it (twice). But I didn’t want to go back into full time employment because I still want to run my business. So I took on temp work and that has the additional bonus of meaning the end is always in sight.
Unfortunately my time out meant I wasn’t getting offered anything with a decent paycheck despite my years as a professional PA in one of the world’s biggest tax consultancy firms. Apparently it’s looked on as a gap or something. In reality I haven’t actually worked in an office since August 2009 since I escaped civil service and went to university for three years. Even then I freelanced on the side before setting up my business officially in July 2012.
The office work I’m now doing is not making a huge dent in my finances and the work isn’t stretching my brain. But at least it adds to my routine because being self employed can be pretty lonesome work. There are other human beings in bigger businesses and for the few hours a day I’m there, it’s nice to have a bit more conversation.
You see, the problem with being self-employed, especially if you were formerly employed in a busy and responsible position, is that you get used to the freedom, the independence, calling your own shots. Also not having to deal with banal office bitchiness or back stabbing colleagues. Going back into administration (especially after 4 years) is about more than picking up a regular wage, it’s about losing that sense of identity you carefully cultivated through your own endeavours and hard work. The skills you learn as a business owner are often redundant in the treadmill office environment.
You probably think I’m making a fuss. You just get on with it because you have to. That’s true. But if you’ve been in a similar position you will understand and if you haven’t, you will never know.
My current position is very part time. So there are only a few hours in each day in which I endure bored repetition (I work on a reception desk fielding calls to busier more interesting departments). Being an entrepreneur of course I’ve found ways to make it more bearable. It’s become my blog writing time. In between calls I read up on news and current affairs and write up my next topic of conversation. And I still get half days at my studio so things are ticking along for the moment and I am prepared to give this new routine the benefit of the doubt.
I watch this space with keen interest.