Insight: I was laid off at the end of 2007, the very beginning of the Great Recession. I had been a Creative Director at a small agency focusing on corporate communications and marketing work. Our largest client, a financial services organization focusing on home mortgages, pulled back severely on their need for our services during the subprime mortgage fallout, going from a million-dollar per year client to a $50,000 per year client. The agency went through several rounds of layoffs that year, including my position. After several calls from clients offering project work -- but not a position -- I made the commitment to self-employment. Although, initially, I fit the model of the reluctant entrepreneur, I am happy to say that it has gone very well. I have a diverse client base with steady monthly projects, as well as the larger one-off projects. My model works extremely well, putting together virtual teams of co-workers (freelancers) as I need them, but not hiring permanently. At this point, I do not foresee myself going back to a full-time, 9 - 5 desk job.
I specialize in corporate communications video production. I write scripts for videos, direct the videos, and oversee the post-production process. My videos are aimed at both internal and external audiences, for communications or marketing purposes. I also script and produce live corporate stage productions, coach senior corporate executives for live and on-camera presentations, and script for live events. My clients are primarily within the financial, manufacturing, and retail sectors.
It was an idea that I have toyed with for years, but never quite had the courage to act upon until my hand was, essentially, forced with the layoff. Within my industry, self-employment is a fairly common model.
Wonderful flexibility with schedules. I can do my writing when it works best for my family -- evenings, early mornings, or weekends. I needn't comply with the somewhat forced hours of work-a-day world. I work out of a very nice home office. There are many who say that working at home means you are always at work. That's problematic only if one doesn't like their work. I happen to thoroughly enjoy my work, so working late into the evenings or on weekends is not a concern for me. It is so closely tied in with my interests and passions, that it IS my life, not an annoying adjunct. It allows me to achieve a much healthier work-life balance than the 9-5 office life ever did.
-- Glenn Miller