My First Year as a Freelancer

freelance header

It was precisely one year ago to the day that I launched this website and my business. At the time I didn’t know what to expect from freelancing – it had taken me a lot of time turning over the idea of taking the plunge before I got to that point. Would I find enough of the right work? Would the lifestyle suit me? Would I miss the consistency of the same team, the same days and hours, the same role? I was entering a world with a lot of uncertainty but also a lot of hope. One year into the gamble, I’m so glad I made the leap – this year has been a real learning curve and I’ve been so fortunate to work with some incredible charities and social enterprises along the way.

To mark the occasion, I thought I would write a little something about what I have loved most and what I’ve learned in my first year as my own boss.


I think this is probably one of the most notable bonuses of freelance life – getting to pick your own schedule and make your hours work for you. I have really enjoyed the ability to work from home more and break out of the 35 hour a week 9-5. On both a personal level – where it has allowed me more freedom to focus on writing and creativity – and from the perspective of my health, this has benefited me a lot. Given I probably spend the equivalent of one working day a week on health admin with my various appointments, it has been a blessing to be able to organise my time more freely.

At first, I thought of the freelance lifestyle being a short term option, something to suit my current circumstance, but now I’m not so sure I could turn back. I feel so much more relaxed, in spite of the lack of certainty month to month, and really enjoy working alongside so many brilliant people in the charity sector, which brings me to my next point.


I have always been someone who has craved variety in their work – I’ve been fortunate to work in organisations that have allowed me to explore wide ranging projects within one role. I think freelancing takes that to the next level, working on varied projects with several organisations at once keeps me on my toes, gives me lots to think about and challenges me intellectually and creatively. I also find working on discrete projects really rewarding – I like going in with a set timeframe and goals to aim for.

The way I’ve been working has also allowed me to meet so many fascinating people – from people I have worked alongside to volunteers I’ve trained and young people. I had been worried that freelance life could be quite isolating but I feel like I’ve managed to find a good balance between time spent working alone and time spent working with others.


Another of the benefits of working with several organisations in different roles is that it has really helped me to home in on what I most want to do and really begin to focus my approach and my business.

My passion for designing, developing and leading workshops and programmes has really come to the fore and I’ve been loving focusing more energy on working in this space. I’m so happy to be a facilitator for both Brook and Future First’s programmes in schools and can’t wait to spend my summer with FutureVersity as a Programme Tutor and Consultant in Tower Hamlets. Working with young people has always been my passion and I feel so energised to be doing what I love with so many amazing organisations.

Here’s to year two…

On International Youth Day

One of my greatest pleasures and passions in life, since I was a teenager myself, has been working with children and young people. From my first wobbly venture at the age of fifteen, volunteering as a young leader at a community led summer activity week, to leading volunteering programmes to support disadvantaged students and campaigning to enable more young people to play an active part in their communities, it has been a phenomenal journey.

As today is International Youth Day, I thought I would mark it with a short blog on three things working with young people has taught me.

1. To let my creativity run wild


The older I get the more I find myself questioning and taking caution when being creative. As a result, there is something so refreshing and motivating about working on creative tasks with young people, watching their minds overflow with unfettered ideas that so often form the basis for outstanding outcomes I never would have reached with a more restricted mindset.

Now, I’m not saying blue sky thinking is always practical but now I like to try to rediscover my inner child in the early stages of ideas development, letting my creativity run wild (and waiting until later to let my adult brain pipe up and rein it in.)

2. To be fearless


Over the twelve years that I’ve been working with young people, I have consistently been astounded by their willingness to take on challenges I’m not sure I would have at their age. I think most fondly of my time spent delivering workshops which simulated real life business scenarios across one intensive day. Our students would enter a corporate building in the city, quite possibly for the first time, suddenly overcome by an unusual shyness in unfamiliar surroundings, and balking at the idea of the tasks we set them. Present? Pitch? Perform? In front of everyone? No chance, Miss.

Except in the end they always did. Every single time. In the space of a few hours, uncertain, questioning teenagers would go from giggling and hiding behind their hands to some of the best performers and presenters I’ve ever seen. They wouldn’t shy away from the tasks we threw their way, however new and however out of their comfort zone they were. I think of those young people whenever I find myself thinking I can’t do something and push myself to muster at least a little of their moxy.

3. To see the world with fresh eyes


The most wonderful moments with young people are the ones where they capture a thought that never would have occurred to me before. So often even just a single sentence can be so powerful and it is so refreshing to see things from an alternative perspective. It’s healthy, and only right, to always challenge yourself to consider different viewpoints and experiences and, given the opportunity in the right environment, young people aren’t backwards in coming forwards with theirs.

I think one of the things I love so much about working with and on behalf of young people is that I’m always learning, discovering and growing alongside them; even when you’re the ‘grown up’ or the teacher, young people always find a way to teach you something too.

Take a look at how I could support your youth engagement through facilitation or consultancy.

On starting a new chapter


This year I made a Very-Big-Decision. I decided to take a chance, plan a career break and see if I can make it on my own. My career to date has taught me a huge deal and has been incredibly enriching; I have spent five years working in the charity sector, developing and managing volunteering programmes and campaigning to create meaningful social change. Before that, I completed a teaching qualification and throughout all of these years I have been writing – both fiction and personal essays for myself and professionally in my job roles.

However, as much as I’ve loved the beginning of my career, learning and growing in a number of incredible charities, I have begun to feel restless, desiring more control and flexibility to manage my own time, which made exploring freelancing, part time work and setting up my own projects begin to appeal more and more.  So, I’ve taken the leap and I’m excited to see where this decision takes me.

To find out more about my skills, experience and what I could do for you or your organisation do take a look around my site. I’m available for freelance writing projects, facilitation and third sector consultancy, with a particular focus on volunteering and youth engagement.

As for this blog, I have gradually found myself looking for a platform to share some of my thoughts and experiences, especially as I have recently been finding my place in the writing community. I have found others’ personal essays and articles fascinating and so helpful during a period of personal growth and change, so I hope that this blog can be a space where others’ may find some much needed words as well.

I plan to write about all sorts of topics, from sharing the development of my new career path, to reflecting on events I attend but I will also be making space to discuss some more personal aspects of my life as well.

I hope you enjoy my pieces and come with me on this journey. I’m certainly looking forward to it.