t’s been 6 months since I left the Government Digital Service and set up on my own. Time for an update on how things are going, I think.
The short version is: pretty well. For the long version, read on.
Project 0 was, as I said six months ago, mainly about finding my first bits of work and getting my company up and running. Everything’s been working smoothly enough since then, so I’m calling that one a success.
Project 1 was an editing job for a book that will be published fairly soon. Can’t say much about it now, but I’ll definitely tell you more about that when the time comes.
Project 2 was my first significant contract, this time for a government department. That contract is ongoing and feels like it’s in a good place right now. There’s a lot of work to do, and a lot of it is about embedding cultural change and new ways of doing things.
Project 3 was a short editing job, just a day’s work.
Project 4 saw me spending some time in-house with the leader of a technology team in a local authority. That was fascinating and really quite different – much less about sitting down and typing, much more about spending time thinking and talking with my client. We spend a brain-buzzing day exchanging ideas and bouncing them off one another. It was fun.
Project 5 was a short piece of work for a second government department, doing some consultancy for them on how to make their internal presentations better. I went along and did a presentation of my own, and answered questions from an engaged and interested audience.
All of those projects are completed except number 2, which continues today and will continue for some time yet. There’s still room in the calendar for some more, although I’ve noticed my time is typically being booked up about 4-6 weeks in advance. Again, a sign that Project 0 was successful.
So far, I’m really enjoying this. The work is varied and challenging enough to keep my mind active and my brow furrowed. I’m still spending quite a lot of time on trains and away from home, but less than I used to when I was a full-time civil servant, so that’s another of my goals met.
If you’d asked me a couple of years ago “Do you want to go back to freelancing?”, I’d have laughed in your face. But now I’m here and I’m ankle-deep in it, I think I quite like it. So that’s good.