Life is About to Get a Lot More Random | March 1, 2005
I’ve really enjoyed working with Message over the last 5 years. Working for a small agency means that you’re intimately involved with every aspect of a project, from the initial pitch to the final roll out. Rather than being another cog in the machine, you’re a valued member of the team and have the ability to shape every project you work on.
However the downside is that you develop a broad but shallow set of Skills. You’ll be a visual designer in the morning and a front end developer in the afternoon. One day you’ll be running a usability test, the next you’ll be making the tea. You get to experience lots of things but rarely get chance to focus on one thing for long. This tends to make you a bit schizophrenic and I still have problems defining exactly what my job is (saving that one for a future post).
Working with the same company for so long, you start to take things for granted. Over the last 5 years I’ve helped develop the way Message do business and manage projects. Projects get completed on time and on budget, clients are happy, as are users. However it’s difficult to gauge what’s good and what’s bad about your process without seeing how other companies tackle the same problems.
Over the last year I’ve been finding it really difficult to keep on top of all my personal projects like running SkillSwap and publishing this site. I’ll come home from a hard days work, and have to start all over again. At times It’s like having a second (and third and fourth) job, except this one doesn’t pay. I’ve been wanting to redesign this site for over a year now and have a folder on my desktop that contains 27 things to blog about, yet I never manage to find the time. There have been at least two really cool personal projects I missed out on doing just for the lack of time.
So I’ve decided it’s time for pastures new. I handed my notice in at the beginning of February and start work as a freelancer when I get back from SXSW at the end of March.
I’ve not got anything lined up yet, but I’m hoping to spend part of my time working as an on-site contractor for other new media companies. I’m really keen to experience working for different agencies to see how they do things differently. Also – after having worked in the same small company for so long – I’m looking forward to meeting and working with new people.
I’m also looking to build up my own list of private clients. Either other web design firms needing to outsource user experience design and front end development work, or direct clients requiring more general web design services.
I’ve no idea how this is all going to pan out. Part of me is really excited about the possibility of working for myself while another part is slightly more apprehensive.
If you work for a company looking for a freelance user experience designer or front end developer, or if you know of somebody who is, I’d love to hear from you.
Posted at March 1, 2005 11:51 PM