Work: Thank you all

Subject: Work: Thank you all
From: Nancy McGuire <Nkmcguire -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 17 Aug 1996 22:19:15 -0400

Last week, I posted a somewhat distraught plea for advice. I am starting a
freelance editing/writing business. I wondered whether I should wait until I
was "established" before relocating to a better area. The *thirty* of you
who responded offered wise advice, encouragement, commiseration, and humor.
Two employers wanted to know if I was available for projects (I am!) Thank
you all so very much.

A few people were in similar situations and expressed an interest in what I
found out. Here is a condensation:
1. Live where you want to/can afford to live. You can always telecommute.
If you are not living in your ideal place now, you should move sooner rather
than later.
2. Take a part time or contract job in your location of choice to get
yourself started. Check the listings in _Contract Employment Weekly_.
3. Make an objective evaluation of the reasons you want to move. Is the
grass really greener on the other side of the fence?
4. Move to an affordable area that is close enough to your clients so you
can visit them in person as needed.
5. If you have an area of specialization (e.g., science or engineering),
capitalize on that. Join a professional society in your field, go to
conferences, and make yourself visible.
6. Check the online job postings from the STC, New York Times, Editorial
Freelancers Association, etc.
7. Diversify your sources of income. Can you teach, take photographs, or
make money some other way if you hit a dry spell?
8. One clever person set up a mailbox and hired a message service in the
town where most of her clients were located. Whenever her clients needed an
in-person meeting, she would travel to that town and stay with her sister.
9. Network, network, network. I will vouch for this - it's a way to find
out about jobs before they are posted, get an "in" on jobs that have been
posted, or even create new projects with your clients.
10. Now, here's my own contribution to the list. My one "old reliable"
client pays for me to attend technical committee and editorial staff meetings
in Philadelphia twice a year. Last March, I stayed for a week instead of the
usual two days. I called several of my network contacts in advance and
scheduled information interviews. I also visited as many of my friends as
possible and let them know of my career plans. I spent half the time in the
New York City area and half in the Philadelphia area. Of course, I picked up
the tab for the extra lodging and meals, but my client paid for the plane
ticket. Since I stayed over a Saturday night, the plane fare was roughly
half the usual mid-week fare, so my client came out ahead too. I'm planning
to do the same thing this October.

Just in case you were wondering, here's my plan. I'm going to build up my
client base as much as possible over the next few months. My goal is to move
to the New York City metropolitan area by my birthday (next February). This
move is as much for personal reasons as for the availability of clients. I
have some very good friends back east, and the Midwest never really felt like
home. By the way, some of you asked what was so terrible about moving to the
Midwest. It wasn't so much the location, it was the fact that I was leaving
my home and my friends by necessity rather than by choice.

This posting is too long. Editor, edit thyself!
Nancy McGuire
nkmcguire -at- aol -dot- com

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