As I’m trying to get ‘out there’ a little more and attend Blogger events, one of the stock questions I seem to get asked by people is ‘What do you do for a living?’. The answer isn’t entirely simple, I think it’s best described as a ‘Working stay at home Dad’ – we’re a rare breed indeed! The actual ‘working’ part of my job is as a Designer. When I say I’m a designer I get asked ‘What do you design?’. The answer is – All sorts!
The thing is with me, I’ve not been to university, or have any formal qualifications – everything I know is self taught (with a few courses here and there). I started out in IT Support, then moved into software testing, which turned in to Design work randomly. I ended up being ‘Design Manager’ at a small furniture company where I did everything and anything Design based, the Website, CAD Drawings, Vehicle and Building Livery, Brochures, Leaflets pretty much anything the company produced! I did that for five years, my work in the early days wasn’t very good – but as time went on I became fairly good in most of the areas – Jack of all trades, master of none maybe.
After five years I’d had enough of working for a ‘boss’ (although to their credit both my bosses were great), G was growing up fast, and I felt I was missing out somewhat. I couldn’t easily go to school things, I couldn’t really pick her up or collect her from there either. I wasn’t sure I was good enough to come out of my little ‘work’ bubble, but I *needed* something to change – so I took a bit of a gamble and quit my job. Thankfully, it paid off, I was able to ‘sell’ my services back to my old employer, so I still had the familiarity of a steady workload, but the freedom to work for others, and most of all be a better Dad.
That was almost six years ago now – and it’s still going well. The company I worked for is no more sadly, my friends lost their jobs, so I’m pleased I made the leap when I did – It gave me time to build up my little empire! I design all kinds of things, I space plan offices, hospitals, health centres. I do graphic design, I do website design (my latest one is here!), I’ll turn my hand (or mouse) to pretty much anything! It all seems to be going pretty well too – I’ve still got my ‘regulars’ – I’m getting new customers too, I do have quiet spells, but then they are levelled out with insanely busy spells.
I think the only thing I need to do better is have some downtime – now that we’ve got J, it’s quite hard, admittedly Loz does do lots of stuff with him so I can get work done. It means though that we’re both working all kinds of crazy hours to get our jobs done (Loz is a working stay at home parent too!) I’m really hoping we get to go away to Berlin for a few days near our Anniversary next year, and I’ve REALLY got my fingers crossed I win a place the Center Parcs Family Blogger Club so we get a short break as a family too.