My journey into contracting started a little over a year ago. I had been working at a large media company for three-and-a-half years and was ready for a change. Having worked in-house for seven years I was sure that I wanted to continue in this type of work, but not necessarily in the same sector. My experience had become quite specialised, so I wanted to explore other sectors and take on more generalist types of role. At the same time, I was in the midst of balancing my career alongside a desire to spend as much quality time as possible with my two young children. At this point I was working a four-day week and it was important that my next role would allow me the flexibility to work part time when needed (particularly as we had a third on the way).
After speaking to some former colleagues who had made the move to contracting, I looked into it further and it seemed like a great fit. Speaking to LOD I was really impressed with the HQ team, their ethos and the type of clients they worked with. Looking back the only tough part of the decision was handing in my notice without a ‘guaranteed’ job to go into, but I knew very quickly the excitement I felt about starting meant I had made the right decision.
After finishing my permanent job just before Christmas, my third baby was born at the beginning of January. I took just over a month at home to enjoy the new baby chaos, before starting my first assignment in February.
I am now onto my third assignment through LOD and I can honestly say it has been a fantastic experience. All three assignments have been in sectors where I didn’t have any direct experience, so I’ve had to get up to speed quickly on the businesses and types of work their teams get involved in. The work has been varied and, even though a couple of the assignments were relatively short, I was surprised by how quickly I came to feel like a member of the team and able to make a positive contribution.
The flexibility of working as a contractor has meant I have been able to work both part time and remotely when it has suited my family needs, as well as take time in between assignments to travel. Over Easter I took advantage of a break between assignments to travel with the family around northern California for three weeks, and in a month’s time we are heading off for another big trip, this time to New Zealand for a four-week holiday where we will be spending time with relatives and touring around the North Island.
Looking ahead I feel really positive that my path as a freelance lawyer can continue to satisfy my career needs, with the added bonus of being able to take more time to do what I love: spend time with my family and travelling*.
* Assuming of course a 24-hour flight with three children under the age of 6 does not force me to re-evaluate!