I wanted to write something inspirational and motivational today. This is our first day back at school after the Christmas holidays, and for many people it is also the first day back at work. I know a few people who are planning career changes in 2020, but for me there is a sense of, well, nothing, to be honest. I usually start a new year raring to go, with lots of plans for how to grow my blog, how to increase my subscriber numbers, and crucially, how to sell my novels. But none of it works. I simply do not have the time or the resources to make it happen. So then I get cross with myself and start searching for work from home jobs on my preferred jobs websites. Then I get frustrated because it takes me away from working on my freelance business, and the whole cycle turns inwards. This year I am breaking that pattern. Here are my top 3 professional goals for 2020:
1, Be realistic. I have been trying to earn money from my published novels and freelance writing for the past eight years, and I still do not earn a regular livable wage. It simply isn’t happening for me. I need to lower my expectations, accept that I am just an average human, and keep trying to learn and grow in the best way that I can. I do not have access to business training courses, and I cannot pay for a mentor to guide me through the process. I have no money for PR or advertising, so I cannot build my author brand quickly. I can only take each day as it comes.
2, Be flexible. I have been applying for “regular jobs” for most of my adult life. Back when I worked a full-time office job, I was applying for work within the media industry, desperately looking for that big break so I could move into broadcasting and TV. But it was not my career, nor was it meant to be. I am a creative writer. I love words. But now I am struggling to get into the very closed and unwelcoming literary industry. I’m just a boring white girl from an average family. I have no special back story that will propel me to literary fame, and nobody has heard of my self-published novels. So I will apply for part-time jobs in my local area and be open to suggestions about how to earn a decent wage while still caring for my family.
3, Be kind to myself. There is no point in me getting upset and frustrated every time I hit the proverbial brick wall. It is an old pattern of behaviour and I am ready to move on. There is clearly a reason why I am not selected or considered for the jobs I apply for, whether they are freelance writing jobs, or regular day jobs. I do not desperately need the money. I want it for a bit of financial independence, but I am in a strong marriage, and my husband has a good, reliable job. He works in waste management; he will always find work. The work that I do is important but largely unrecognised in modern society. I know how valuable I am. I know my worth. And I will not settle for second best. I would rather be “unemployed” than make myself ill trying to juggle a job I despise with childcare and all the other domestic commitments on my time.
What are your plans and professional goals for 2020? Have you instigated a big career change, or are you happy and settled with your lot? I wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous new decade!
Catherine is the author of the adult paranormal romance series The Redcliffe Novels and also The Darkness of Love, She has short stories published in YA anthologies, freelance articles on various industry websites, and contributes to her personal blog, and her author blog .