Thursday, 28 November 2013

Goodbye to my Masters and Hello Self Employment!

Since my last blog it has been a bit hectic (as usual!) and a lot of things have been changing; either coming to an end or starting out.

Firstly I am delighted to announce I have finished my Masters!!! I submitted my dissertation on time at the start of October and I have to say I am very pleased with my efforts. Some areas I would have liked to tweak a bit more but there simply wasn't any more time. Plus a lot of my friends who had finished before me said it was a bit like being an artist who is never finished with a painting continuously tweaking it. I understand what they mean now, and I probably would never have been 100% happy with it, but I am pleased with my final submission. I have now got a Masters degree although I will not know my grade until December. Fingers crossed I haven't disgraced myself!

It was a bit sad not being a student any more, but at the same time it was a great relief to be finished. As you will know from my other blogs I had a long list of things I was looking forward to doing when I was finished. Yet when I had finished for the first few days I didn't want to do any of them and curiously found myself feeling bored!! It was wonderful feeling bored! I had absolutely nothing I HAD to be doing. It was great. Although it did take about week for me to stop going "I should be writing my chapters" every time I sat down, watched the TV or started to read a book. All my MA friends had pre-warned me I wouldn't get round to doing everything on my "things to do when masters is finished" list, but I didn't take them seriously. However its now nearly two months since I submitted my dissertation and I have only done about half of my to do list! I have been too busy! Hehehe!

One of the reasons I have been too busy, is because I am no longer unemployed! Hooray! I took the plunge and I have now gone self employed, or as my industry calls it "freelance". Officially I am now a Freelance Museum Curator. When you are unemployed becoming self employed is a scary and practically impossible thing to do. However thanks to the Museum's First World War project getting its funding and me being offered the Freelance Archive Researcher post I was able to take the risk and give it a try. Not only does this give me an immediate (if small) income but it also provides a window of opportunity until the end of the project late next year to establish myself and find other projects. I am currently designing my own website which will include a more professional blog (as opposed to this one which is my outlet for general ramblings and news!), my portfolio and my CV. I am hoping it will lead to bookings or at least support my attempts! I am also designing my own business card (how exciting, never had my own business cards before!!) and some promotional literature to send out.

While attempting to get new work - I have this week secured my first booking for a history lecture on war commemoration next year! - I of course have to work on my current PAID project, Bexhill Museum's "Bexhill Remembers" First World War Centenary Project. As the exhibition is due to open in March next year it is very busy at the moment drafting out exhibition panels, researching gaps, helping with exhibition plans, preparing publicity and liaising with the IT guys on the design of a new digital archive and database. There is a lot going on and a lot of work but its very interesting and as its First World War , its right up my street!! I will hopefully bring you more details soon.

If this wasn't enough, I have also taken the first steps into pursuing a life long dream, being a professional writer. But more on that another time!

For now, I have work to be getting on with, emails to do and of course Christmas is not far away and haven't even started with that!!!

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