My Day Series: Laura Smith
Welcome to the That Works For Me ‘My Day’ blog series!
That Works For Me is the supportive and affordable platform for flexible work. And what work is there more flexible than freelancing. There are numerous benefits – owning your own time, working round your family, hand picking your projects – but it’s not always a bed of roses. It can also mean loneliness, uncertainty and financial insecurity, all issues we acknowledge and want to help with. Because when you get it right, it’s amazing and means the freedom to do what you want, when you want, whether that be school runs, caring or yoga.
That’s why we are today launching our new blog series “My Day”. Each month we’ll feature one of our freelancers who will share their story on how they manage their business with their life. Our very first offering comes from Laura Smith, who is a communications consultant.. Currently employed, but on a very flexible basis, she is looking forward to expanding her freelancer portfolio.
Laura tells us how she balances her day around her working style and her daughter and why she wouldn’t have her freelancing lifestyle any other way….
I always felt really annoyed a by the 9-5, never quite understanding why any employer would need me to work at such an ungodly hour in the morning. This was pre-having- a- child. Now, 9am is basically lunchtime but the sentiment remains. I’m not a morning person.
Currently, I manage the communications for a brand that believes in flexible working. For someone who gets their best ideas post-10pm a lot of the time, this is a godsend. Even now, I’m writing this blog at midnight, when the creative side of my brain is engaged and everyone around me is asleep. There’s a quietness to be found in working at night, not just literally, but mentally too. It seems as though ideas flow freer when they’re not fighting their way through the hecticness of the day.
I’ve been incredibly lucky to find myself in a role that allows for such flexible working, and it’s wonderful to hear of more and more companies employing this type of work. Flexibility is the reason I chose to freelance in 2015, and that, combined with some new ambitions, is the reason I’m returning to it too.
I specialise in communications and content strategy for start-ups and brands that need a refresh in their digital output. Whether it’s dazzling web copy for the perfect UX journey, influencer marketing or social strategy, there’s always an element of my work that suits a brand’s needs.
But why am I leaving a role that already provides that flexibility I crave?
As anyone with kids will tell you, it’s all about them. And while I love my current role and how it fits into my life, I know my skills can take my own business further, and when my daughter is older and asks what I do, I want to tell her I’m my own boss; I work for myself and set my own rules, targets and achievements, all because it’s what I love doing.
As part of my freelance relaunch, I’ve decided to commit a % of every commission to earth-protecting charities. I’m raising the next generation to believe women can be strong entrepreneurs, but I want to put just as much emphasis on taking care of the world they’ll inherit too. After all, I’ve heard the sunrise is a beautiful thing…
How does it work, I hear you ask? Here’s what a typical day looks like for me:
Back from the nursery run. Did I have breakfast already? Can’t remember, better have some Weetabix just to be sure.
Lunch, followed by at least one cup of tea. I’ll step into the garden, finish my tea on the grass if it’s not wet, and take a few minutes to appreciate being able to work from home and get some fresh air. If I’m feeling wild I’ll pop to the shops for a swiss roll.
Nursery run, followed by a few hours of playtime with my daughter, somehow fitting in a somewhat nutritious dinner (for her), thoughts of pizza (for me), bath and reading some books.
Sudden idea for some creative writing. I’ll spend anything from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours putting some words down, either for work or for a personal project. Then it’s a bit of reading to switch off and looking forward to more swiss roll
Admin, emails, Skype calls, website tweaking. Everything I consider ‘office type work’ I will do before lunch, to suit how my brain works best.
I’ll do most of my branding work in the afternoon. It’s just the right mix of creative and administrative for this time of day. I’ll schedule social content, research analytics and make content plans for the following weeks before chucking a load of washing in.
Eat, clean, chill. Gilmore Girls, or some YouTube vlogs.
I’ll make a mental note to eat some fruit.
Working flexibly makes me really happy, allows me to spend time with my daughter whilst growing a fulfilling career, and, moving forward – building a business.
Bio – Laura Smith
Laura is a Communications Consultant and Digital Strategy Manager. She specialises in brand awareness for start ups and businesses that want to refresh in their digital output. Get in touch quoting ‘THAT WORKS’ for a free brand development consultation (she loves a good chat over a virtual cup of tea!).
Find Laura and her portfolio of communications work at www.laurasmithwriter.com