I am in a unique position like about 5% of the population I am about to pay my mortgage off. As a sixty odd year old guy you are probably thinking what took you so long.
Well, I can tell you, Its because mid career I decided to take the decision to become one of the great unwashed!
Now if you are one of the fortunate people who have always had a salary to depend on you are lucky enough to enjoy your job you won’t understand my logic, but if you are not passionate about what you do eventually the salary slips don’t make up for the boredom you have to endure. With that thought in mind I became one of many people who serve a very important part of the creative industries economy, I became a freelancer.
Now freelancers are a very special bread, they operate on a very different level to most people you know. They live in a very precarious business environment and are often brought in to provide very creative solutions to very difficult scenarios and some of the guys I have worked with are borderline geniuses.
Now you would think that most businesses that employ us are happy with this arrangement, but sometimes they are not. They often pay us handsomely to give them the information and strategies they need but then they often ignore us because they judge it to radical and goes against their own business operating environment .
This is very frustrating and can lead to a breakdown in many a working relationship. I can say though I have never had to walk away from a contract because of that reason.
If you are brave enough to operate in this environment it is one of the most rewarding environments to work in. When you make a difference no matter how small you get a warm fuzzy feeling inside.
Most people I know who work in the media do not do it for the money, they do it because they can make a difference.
I look at people like Amor Rajan who was the editor of the Independent. He and his team had the hearts of lions. They in one headline and photograph showed the world the true horror of being a refugee. A small boy being picked out of the waves in Greece reduced my to tears and has had a lasting effect on me.
Without people like him to uncover injustice and hypocrisy the world would be a far darker place.
So tonight I will sleep knowing I will not have to sell my humble family pile anytime soon and I can work in the voluntary sector and get some job satisfaction. I can also pursue vanity projects that I can see a point to rather than trying to please everyone and that is a great position to be in.
Someone once asked me if you could turn the clock back 20 years would you still make the same decisions that I made then or would I change them.
I can safely say I wouldn’t change a thing!