My first full-time week

So, this has been my first proper full-time week with Libro. In December, although I worked just on Libro for the second part of the month, I was still employed by the University and being paid by them. The first two weeks of January were supposed to be my Jury Service weeks: in the end, I wasn’t called for a case and only did four half days there, but I’d put off work (or done it in advance) so, certainly in the first week, I didn’t have the usual amount to do. I had the rest that I should have had over Christmas, in fact. But this week, it’s just me and Libro.

Work

I’m going to record a “typical week” later on in the year, just like I did when I was doing two jobs. I don’t feel things have settled down enough yet to know what a typical week is, so I’ll just summarise what I’ve got up to this week. I’ve edited articles for two regular clients and documents for one of those. I’ve proof-read a PhD and some smaller academic pieces; the PhD was for a new direct client and the other pieces were for a student proofreading company who contract out work to me. I also edited a local history book and converted it into e-book format for the author, edited a downloadable document for another regular, and typed up a transcription of an interview for my journalist client. I have done 33 1/2 billable hours, plus more hours doing admin and marketing, including responding to requests for price and service quotations.

Non-work activities

Or maybe I should call some of this non-billable-work activities! On Thursday, I went to my first Jelly co-working event. This is a monthly get-together organised by a local writer and event organiser, and I’ve been keen to attend for a while, but it falls on a day when I would normally have been working at the Library, and it never felt right to take too many days off for networking. This event takes place in the Jewellery Quarter, which is a bit of a walk across town, but in a cafe I know well, and we all sat around a big table, laptops out, working and chatting. The other attendees were a mixture of people I’d met before and new people, and it was a very nice, sociable occasion. I have to do most of my work in my quiet office, and I did plan to write up some blog posts, but ended up working on a client’s thesis, which was perhaps the wrong project to choose. But I’d definitely go again. I’m going to write up a review of all the networking and other events I attend in another post: I had planned to go to something called Likemind on Friday morning, but having had lunch at Jelly, I had taken a bit too much out of my working days, so left that for another month.

Other activities included writing up some blog posts: I’m doing a series on how to use Word effectively, complete with screen prints, and I went through and created draft blog posts for all the Troublesome Pairs people had suggested (see the Libro blog for all these). I like to get ahead with blog posts so I can just publish them quickly when I’m busy with other work.

I also had Friday evening and most of Saturday off for my birthday. Had a lovely time and it was good to relax and see friends.

Is this different from having two jobs?

One difference I noticed quite markedly this month was the effect a long day of Libro work had on my life and energy levels. On Wednesday, I had to get through proof-reading most of a PhD thesis, plus some other bits and pieces. I ended up working an 11 1/2 hour day (I did get out, to the gym, for half an hour of rowing!). I worked late, and I was tired by the end of the day. But it was great to know that if I needed to, I could rest on Thursday. Actually I ended up getting up early to complete a job I’d had to put off from the Wednesday, but just knowing I wasn’t going to HAVE to get up at a particular time and get myself across to the office was great.

And … this is going to sound a bit smug. But you know that Sunday Afternoon Blahs feeling, when you know you have to go back to the office on Monday? Well, not only have I not had that for a couple of weeks; today I had the Sunday Morning Whoos, when I realised I wasn’t going to have the blahs this afternoon!

One disadvantage of leaving the day job

Some of my ex-colleagues came to my birthday dinner on Friday night. I hadn’t seen them since my last day, and two of them live a little way away, which makes it hard to just meet up. I realised that I really miss them all – more than I maybe thought I would. Does that sound horrible? We all have colleagues we get on with, but we also all have people from old jobs where we’ve said, “Ooh, keep in touch, we must go out some time” … and then don’t. Well, I want to see these people more, and I’ve already emailed them to say so!

In conclusion …

It’s been a good week. I’ve read more and seen my friends more. I’ve continued networking and marketing myself, and I’ve worked hard for my customers. Life is easier and more flexible – I’m certainly enjoying being able to go to the gym in the day time, when it’s so much quieter. I have also hit the middle of my three monthly earning (that’s money physically coming in to my account) targets already, and on aggregate, have hit my billable hours (money going onto invoices, but not always yet in) target per week. I hope this stays the same next week …