I’ve been self employed since December 2012 now, so I think it’s due time for another update on my career that nobody asked for.
I am the founder and sole employee of Orsini Bowers Media, Bowers being John’s last name. John is not legally tied to it, but he helps me with my taxes—five times a year—and is my business partner for a new blog we’re hoping to launch this month.
Ninety percent of my work is for ReadWrite, the technology site I’ve been working for since last April (which means I just hit my one year anniversary and didn’t notice)! But lately, I’ve been taking on other jobs, too. I’m teaching a WordPress class in DC. I’m co-writing a book on electronic tinkering projects for beginners.
By the way, book writing is totally different when you’re not self publishing! I have a contract and a publisher I have to be accountable to. I have a deadline—in like, ten days. It is incredible that it will be a book made of paper and in stores, but it is also very nerve wracking.
Still, it’s nice that I’m starting to get noticed in this field and that instead of having to ask people for work, now they’re coming to me with more than I can handle. I was talking with a colleague recently about how I choose which opportunities to take.
I call it the Career Triangle. First, I thought about three things I’d be perfectly happy doing for work for the rest of my life. For me those are writing, teaching, and speaking. So far writing is working out pretty well, but I like to have a Plan B. And a Plan C.
So now when people offer me work, I weigh it according to my Career Triangle. Somebody wants me to build them a website? No thanks. Edit their book? Not for me, but I can recommend some great people. Teach a class on my favorite blog platform? YOU GOT IT! Even better if you’d also like me to write a follow-along study guide.
I think you can save yourself a lot of time if you think about the three things you love doing more than anything else, and nail them down early in your career. Grab a notebook, go to the park or something, and write down your school or career highlights. What made those accomplishments so rewarding? Which parts of your work feel least like work?
Those are the things you should be doing for the rest of your life.