Like so many other people in the world, I’ve been away from work for quite some time now. I wasn’t really sure I would ever return to my work. With the pandemic, my kids, and a million other issues, I didn’t even know if I wanted to do this sort of work anymore.
I’ve been working in design and development for over 22 years now and while it has been a rewarding experience in many respects, it has also presented it’s share of challenges. While I may have been unsure of returning to this particular field, I knew I was desperately sick of not working. Now that things are begining to return to some small semblence of normality, I’ve had to come to a decision regarding my future path.
In the end, I’ve decided not to abandon my 22 years of experience entirely but attempt to integrate some of the other things I’d like to explore into my work life. Hopefully, these new paths will help replace tasks I’d rather never do again while allowing me to focus on my more intense strengths in design and development.
Specifically, I’ll be focusing more on my niche services (like custom web applications or in depth Photoshop collage work) while possibly selling a few paintings or photography. Perhaps I’ll even self-publish some of my terrible poetry :).
Conversely, I’m most likely going to avoid projects like photograph restoration or logo design (unless part of a larger project). It’s not that I don’t love projects like that, but these days most people cringe at the time it takes to do such work properly as well as the resulting invoice. Sites like Fiverr and Canva have pretty much ruined people’s expectations on the pricing and it’s just not worth it to me to endlessly have to explain why there is a difference.
One last stumbling block in my decision, honestly, was the pay. With 22 years of experience you would think I would have been making a decent living, but I have consistently undervalued my work and it has been a big part of my burnout. So, I’ve committed myself to placing a fair value on my work. Fair for me as well as for my clients. Considering most agencies currently charge between $80 to $120 per hour, I think $27 per hour is more than fair.
So, I’m back. I’m looking forward to all the new challenges to come. Let’s just hope the world continues to return to normalcy and we don’t all have to pack it in again.