Over the course of the last three and a half decades I have been a journalist; graphic designer; studio manager; IT consultant; programmer; maths tutor; home educator; business owner and volunteer. I have been all of these things, many of them simultaneously.
Despite studying journalism in Dublin, the majority of my career has been spent in the design industry, graduating from being a self-taught digital artworker, to working as a freelance designer and consultant, to finally starting my own agency in the early years of the new millennium.
That business lasted until the financial crash of 2008, when the loss of 70% of our client base led to me looking for a job. For the next couple of years, I spent my time working as a web-developer in an agency in Richmond, and subsequently at an ESOL company in Chelsea.
In 2012, for various reasons, I began to home educate. For the next six years I worked with a few select clients (mostly in the evenings) while I tutored my son during the day. Two years ago my son returned to full-time education and I found myself at a crossroads.
I was no longer eager to return to the design industry. Its egos and creative tensions don't hold the same appeal that they used to. Moreover, I had begun to write again. Most of my current work I do now involves setting up websites for small to medium size businesses. Clients approach me looking for a web-designer when what they need is a copy-writer. Decent search engine rankings requires well written content. otherwise websites end up languishing in the online version of a bargain bin.
I now spend more time on content creation than anything else. Writing & editing text, sourcing & processing images, and creating videos.
The other thing
During my time as a home educator, I began to volunteer in order to broaden my horizons. I coached youngsters in table tennis at a local school. This led me to becoming a qualified umpire and then a tournament organiser. However, the main voluntary work was for a charity who were working on various priorities in my local area, particularly youth activities and job/enterprise development.
I was able to put my skills to good use. Planning, report writing, project management, web development, budgeting, etc.. In the process I became fascinated by digital poverty and in particular how it affects adults trying to get back into the workplace.
So what now
I am still fascinated by design, and I am excited by the thought of working with charities in a communications or management role.
I love the idea of using a broad range of skills and media, in order to help people overcome obstacles in their lives. Something like that would definitely get me out of bed in the morning.