Like Marty McFly, I’m going back to the future.

After two years and eight months of working for a publicly funded organisation that specialises in promoting work-based higher education and workforce development, I’m returning to the self-employed life I enjoyed prior to November 2008.

On Friday, July 29 I’ll walk out the office door for the last time and on Monday, August 1 I’ll re-open my self-employed office on our sofa at home.

I’ve already got a few projects to get my teeth stuck into which will keep me busy for the next couple of months…but not too busy to take on other work as well, obviously.

I’ll also be keeping my eyes and ears open for any other opportunities – full-time, part-time, further self-employment projects etc. I find the prospect of going back to the portfolio career I enjoyed between 2006 and 2008 very attractive, but I’m certainly flexible about what the future holds.

I enjoyed the variety of that previous period of self-employment and it enabled me to strike the right work-life balance to juggle my career and my caring role more effectively. It also enables me to avoid that tricky task of identifying the right job title for me.

So what is it that I do?

I’m a:

  • Writer – experienced journalist, editor, copywriter, blogger, tweeter, frustrated novelist (yes, I’m a walking, talking cliché).
  • Media type – 20-plus years as a journalist, mainly in newspapers and magazines but with some experience of working with broadcasters.
  • PR person – I’ve worked with agencies, in-house teams, as a self-employed contractor and produced a wide variety of promotional material online and in print.
  • Communications consultant – internal and external communications experience, from editing a monthly e-newsletter to devising a more open and informative, public and media-friendly culture for a large organisation.
  • Public affairs adviser – experienced in monitoring and communicating complex and fast-changing policy, as well as working with senior colleagues on devising strategies.

There is other stuff too: I’ve organised national events at high-profile venues; helped develop new brand identities and devise marketing programmes; looked after £1m-a-year budgets; interviewed Royalty and other members of society’s great and the good; I’ve managed big departments; and I’ve even driven a Transit van of aid to Zagreb during the Balkan conflict for a newspaper feature.

It does also bring me back to identifying what I’m worth in the current market, although in some respects I already know that I’m priceless.

Although I’ll be stomping over familiar old ground and reverting back to the self-employed life, the new horizons I need to explore are looking very attractive.

I can't wait to start exploring new horizons, especially with Rachel next to me.


5 responses »

  1. Sandra Hall says:

    Dear Paul, Sandra here from Friction Arts – very lovely post – and great news that you are back in your own driving seat. Please give my love to Rachel – you are both welcome at either our studio (great view of the city on our flat roof !) or home – so if you are planning any visits to the Brum please let us know. x Sandra

    • Paul Groves says:

      Thanks Sandra. Rachel is fine, although I’m not sure if she’s looking forward to having me back around all the time or not!

      • Sandra Hall says:

        I’m sure she is. safe journey – we come up your way irregularly so I’ll alert you – perhaps a coffee and a catch up. x ?

  2. Ursula says:

    Paul, I wish you luckl.New horizons. Well. Let’s hope they won’t make you sea sick.

    Not that I’d ever avocate “the devil you know”. Or the Bermuda triangle. Don’t you just love me, Paul? Here I am, on your average Friday afternoon, trying to dispense TLH (tender loving hope) and it just sounds so much dung beetle. Though have been reliably informed earlier today that dung beetle is good for you (or your compost heap).

    As long as you manage to keep Flyman off your lap and/or copy I am sure he [Flyman] will not be happy and Rachel will put up with you as best she can.

    Hug and Kiss

    PS What hope is there for me?

  3. Nick D. says:

    Judging from that photograph, I fear that “ship’s captain” may not be making it onto your CV?
    (Roads? Where you’re going you don’t need roads.)

    That said, your résumé is certainly impressive – you seem to be one of the few who won’t have to fib on it. Such variety is a big advantage on any curriculum vitae, I’m sure.

    Good fortune guide thee!


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