Andrea Mara

Official website

Two years in

This time two years ago, I said goodbye to my IFSC office for good, and set out to give freelancing a go for six months. At that point I would decide if it was working or not – or if I’d have to dust off the CV and try to get back into financial services. In the first six months, there were ups and downs, famines and feasts, but no question at the end of it – I was enjoying it (most of the time) and determined to make it work.

And on the two-year anniversary, I had planned to write a post on everything I’ve learned about freelancing. It’s in my drafts at the moment, with just a title and one subheading: Freelancing means you have no time for anything ever. Which is exactly why it’s still in drafts with only one subheading.

I thought I’d have time to write it this week – on Monday, I sent of the final, final, final edits for my book and it went to print, meaning no more changes. Huge sigh of relief. And after all the work, I felt like a little break – an easy week would be nice. But then I felt guilty about not pitching for work so I sent off some emails. And the freelance gods looked at me said “Oh, you want a break do you, but you’re pitching for work anyway to feel better about yourself? We’ll show you how that goes.”

And suddenly I had an avalanche of new work – more than I get in an entire month usually. So I spent the week grabbing every spare minute to work, oscillating between “it’s fine, this is just the adrenaline kicking in” and “Sweet Jesus, I’m going to die of stress in a minute.” I did six interviews while the kids were in the house, hiding upstairs in my bedroom, and the small boy only interrupted five of them, which is good progress on his previous 100% record. And I worked late each night and long each morning and forgot all about the two-year anniversary until this evening.

So this is a placeholder post instead of the “What I’ve learned about freelancing” one – a little marker for the two-year anniversary of changing careers. A little cheers to my lovely, lovely colleagues who went their separate ways that day, and to the ones who stayed behind.  And okay, it’s an excuse for me to open bubbly – just so there’s a photo for the post. Of course.

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Other bits and pieces from this week:

Here’s a clip of me on RTÉJr chatting with Tara Loughrey-Grant and Orla Walsh about how overwhelming it can be when you have a first baby.

RTEJr Orla Walsh Taragh Loughry Grant Andrea mara

Here’s one interview my small boy didn’t interrupt – a piece on The Last Word, talking to Matt Cooper about staying touch with work during maternity leave.

And on the same topic, a contribution to this article in the Independent (with a photo from three years ago – I was much more excited about looking younger than the kids were)

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