JOURNAL ENTRY: Monday 3 June 2019

I don’t really know where to start today, but this feel important. It’s been almost a year since my last SharePoint contract (work) finished and I decided to take a sabbatical. Over the past year, things have changed, the job market has changed, I’ve changed.

Since entering recovery almost 5 years ago, I’ve known that I wanted to do something different with my LiFE, but I haven’t known what that was. Now I do, so I feel that it’s important to begin taking steps to support my new direction.

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

The Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives by Dan Millman

As an IT contractor you have always needed a limited company, but over the past few years the government has been tightening up its regulations, making it harder for companies to employ contractors. IR35 has been around since the late 90’s, but I’ve noticed recently that more and more jobs, particularly public sector jobs, are being advertised as “inside IR35”. In short, inside IR35 means that you cannot be contracted through your own limited company, you in effect, become a salaried employee, even though the job may be advertised on a day rate basis.

Presently I’m focusing most of my energies on my writing, which does not require me to keep a limited company running. I’ve been open to taking a SharePoint contract role, but I’ve been quite specific around the criteria for the role I’m looking for. I haven’t wanted anything too heavy, so that I’m left with enough energy and mental capacity to continue with my writing. These jobs, at least contract jobs, appear to be few and far between these days, so a review of my current situation and the direction I’m heading in, feels in order.

Realistically, at some point I am going to run out of money, as I’m not currently working, so I see two possible paths in front of me.

  1. This is my preferred path – I continue with my writing, I complete my book and I get it published. I monetise my writing.
  2. This is my fall back position – I run out of money before I’m able to monetise my writing and I need to find alternate employment to support myself.

In the ideal world, if I did need to find alternate employment, I would be much more comfortable taking a part time job, rather than a full time job. I haven’t seen any part time contract roles, so I’m going to setup a new search criteria for permanent, part time SharePoint positions. This decision does move me away from the contracting market and makes my need to keep a limited company redundant. It therefore makes sense to begin the process of closing my limited company, as it hasn’t traded in almost a year and I have no intention of returning to the contract market.

Having spoken earlier today with my accountant, he assures me that authors do not require limited companies in order to receive royalty payments, so I won’t need a limited company for path 1 either.

So I’m putting it out into the universe that I’m going to pursue path number 1 with all my heart, head and soul and let go of my old work life.

It feels like a scary step, as I have no idea at this stage how to monetise my writing, which also raises the issue of “impostor syndrome”.

Wow, honestly, I’m finding this JOURNAL entry really tough to write. On the one hand I can see my myself in my new LiFE, but there is also some fear that I’m being delusional or that I’m going to self-sabotage and end up penniless or worse.

My last big career change was back in 2010, when I decided to quit my paid employment and start my own business. It was mildly successful, but I could never push myself out of my comfort zone and so it never grew beyond a certain point. It feels like, in this moment, I need to let go of that past LiFE as well. I’m not the same person I was 9 years ago. I now have a huge amount of experience and a great deal of self-knowledge and self-awareness. In 2010 it’s highly probable that I spent a lot of that year in a manic state. In this moment, I am very much grounded.

What feels important at this stage, is to acknowledge the process. Writing the book feels important to me, as it’s helping me process my LiFE events. What comes after this is secondary. Maybe I’ll finish the book and simply file it away. Maybe something will come up as part of the process and take me in an unexpected direction. What’s important is that I keep writing, to the point where I feel I have completed this task. I somehow know when it will be complete and ready for review and that time isn’t yet, but it is getting closer.

On a separate note around online gaming, I have taken a couple of small steps towards overcoming this fear. I have been reading up on what Apex Legends is all about, I have watched a few beginners guides on YouTube and I have joined an Xbox club, so that I can ask questions and get help when I need it. Small steps, but progress none the less. It actually looks like a really cool game!

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