Today is officially my last day as an employed person: the last day of my contract with the University of Birmingham Library. My email account will disappear today (I have kept a quick eye on it now and then in case anyone missed that I’d gone) and I have been paid up to today. Of course, I managed to leave on 12 December, because of University General Holidays, leave and flexi owing to me, but this is it now.

I am still glad that I soft-launched Libro in this way, first working at the Library full-time (August 2009 – December 2010), then part-time (January – April 2011), then even more part-time (May – December 2011).

  • I managed to save up enough money to support myself for a year while I was full-time, then lived on my reduced wages, more or less, for the last year. This has meant I only need to make a year’s living money out of  Libro’s earnings for 2011-12 and 2012-13 in order to survive the year after that, reducing the stress and expectations.
  • The slow build-up means I know I can do it – much less risk for me, again (I wrote about this on the Libro blog back in May).
  • Being already experienced running Libro while having that safety net means I am already aware of the ups and downs. If an invoice goes unpaid for a little longer than I’d like, I don’t have to be all OMG: penury!! about it – I can just draw on past experience to wait for (or push for) the money.
  • If things appear tedious, tiring or stressful, that’s nothing to working 8 hours in one job, coming home and getting my head down to another 4 at the other one. Or working late for Libro and having to get up early to finish something before going in to the University.
  • I’ve built up a support network and cheerleaders amongst ex-colleagues and other people I’ve met along the way – so I have a peer group for editing or small business matters, and a group of local friends who I can go to for non-work related gossip and chat or support.
  • I’ve been able to identify the networking groups that are truly valuable: if they were worth taking time off a paid job for, they are worth continuing to attend now (and I know which ones I was upset not to be able to attend, so I can throw something new into the mix now)

So, a funny time, at the end of the year, anyway (not that I can ever stay up late enough to see the New Year in). I’m excited about what 2012 will bring for me and Libro, but quietly excited, not nervy or particularly scared or all keyed-up about it.

There’s just the small matter of a couple of weeks’ Jury Service to get through, and then off I sail in the good ship Libro! I look forward to continuing to share my “journey” with you …