Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I've been pondering my future career options lately, as the end of my time at the office draws near and I face indefinite unemployment in favour of motherhood. I know I can write and edit from home, but without knowing where I'll be or what kind of baby I'll have or how involved I'll be in church/community activities in my "spare" time, I have no idea how to project my goals or estimate my return to a serious attempt at contributing to the family income.

So I Googled "freelance writer portfolio samples" today to see the latest advice in setting oneself up for success by compiling and showcasing one's previous work, and by featuring one's talents and skills for potential clients to consider. Among many things that popped up in my search was a blog about personal branding featuring this video which is a to-the-point rant about putting your passion to work. It is worth the watch and I warn you now: if there are kidlets around, you'll need headphones, as this guy tells it like it is in no uncertain terms. :)

Also, I came across a handy little resource that uses colour preferences to determine successful career paths. The Colour Career Counsellor, powered by The Dewey Colour System--is the world's only validated, non-language colour-based career testing instrument. Just by picking your favourite colours you can find out what kind of career you should be in. I took it, but nothing new here:

My results:

Best Occupational Category
Key Words:
Self-Control, Practical, Self-Contained, Orderly, Systematic, Precise, and Accurate

These conservative appearing, plotting-types enjoy organizing, data systems, accounting, detail, and accuracy. Your very careful, conscientious, conservative nature gives others the confidence to trust you with handling money and material possessions. Structured organizations that have well-ordered chains of command work best for you.

2nd Best Occupational Category
You're a CREATOR
Key Words:
Nonconforming, Impulsive, Expressive, Romantic, Intuitive, Sensitive, and Emotional

These original types place a high value on aesthetic qualities and have a great need for self-expression. They enjoy working independently, being creative, using their imagination, and constantly learning something new. Fields of interest are art, drama, music, and writing or whether they can express, assemble, or implement creative ideas.

So organized creativity is what I like, which I already knew. This would account for my desire to write but only after being given an assignment with clear objectives. I am not waiting to write the next great Canadian novel, nor can I hear music in my head that's never before been composed. And being passionate about this is really not a stretch. So I think my next step is to brand this desire, articulate it through logo, wordmark, vision and mission, and sell this package to whomever I meet in the future, and whichever companies I'd die to work for but could get away with calling "clients."

Obviously, because I'm an "organizer," having this all planned out before I go on maternity leave is appealing to me, so I don't just float along in the parenting abyss without the energy or motivation to get moving again. But I can say that I will pursue my work with gusto and will try my best not to resign myself to working a part-time job to make some extra cash just because I was too lazy to figure out my "business" plan. God gives us talents for a reason and I want to use mine for good and to contribute to my family. But in the midst of all this, I must remember that "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." (Proverbs 16:9) Without Him, all my plans are useless.


  1. I listen to a podcast called the Freelance Radio. One of the personalities is Kristen Fischer, a copywriter, editor and proofreader from New Jersey. I think she has similar work preferences as you.

    I know you don't really listen to podcasts, but you may find this helpful. (and if you have an ipod, you can listen to it while go for walks with the dog or dog and baby. The podcast is about anything freelance, so not just copywriting. But most of the topics apply to any freelance work.

  2. That would be great - but I have no iPod and don't plan on getting one. However, I will have a lot of time at home in a couple of months and breastfeeding in front of the computer is always an option. :) Thanks for the tip, Anika!