So, yesterday was my birthday—and I’m now technically a full year into my fourth decade (even though I’ve kiddingly said that I’m celebrating my 39th birthday for the third time).
Last year I did a post shortly after my birthday on trying to answer the question of which hobbies, passions, and interests fall under the jack-of-all-trades umbrella, and which fall under the specialist umbrella. That posts evolved from a previous post (‘self-reflection, planning, and yet more self-reflection’).
I’d stated then that my two biggest struggles were imposter syndrome and being stuck in the ‘academic’ mindset of career progression (though industry does have clear career progressions—my ‘problem’ has been not knowing which direction to go in).
Recently I’ve been coming back to the possibility of freelance/remote/contract work where I could be doing writing, data analysis, project, and/or product management in addition to writing/blogging on personal/professional development topics as well.
The main reason why I’m leaning in that direction—we’re still in the middle of the pandemic, and I feel more comfortable with going in a direction that is semi-location independent and to a degree company-independent as well.
While at the same time, I want to create a ‘niche’ that will allow me to flow between topics that I feel fall into either the ‘jack-of-all-trades’ category or the ‘specialist’ category. In addition to allowing me to make use of my strengths: learner, intellection, input, achiever, and deliberative/ideation/arranger.
So how am I going to do this?
Well, I’ve come up with three broad areas that will be added to the two ‘fun’ niches that I already have ‘pages/tabs’ for on the blog/website.
The three broad areas that I’m going to be adding will be:
- Health and Wellness
- Science Education and Communications (abbreviated Science Ed and Coms)
- Personal Development (may also include some aspects of professional development as well)
Since each area is extremely broad, I’ll be focusing on certain subtopics within each area (though the science education and communication may remain some broad—only because I find almost all science to be interesting). What those subtopics are–I’m still working on those lists, but my goal is to have three-to-five subtopics per broad area.
They will also have their own ‘tab’ on the website (serving as individual ‘portfolios’), and I’ve decided that the Health/Wellness tab is going to be the ‘renamed/worked’ Fitness tab; Science Ed and Coms will be the ‘renamed/worked’ All Things Science tab; and Personal Development will be the ‘renamed/worked’ Everything Else Bucket List tab.
The two ‘fun’ niches that I will be keeping on the blog (and that already have their own tabs/pages) will be travel and photography (which I’m going to be combining with the birds tab).
Having these five ‘niches’ or areas will allow me the flexibility I need to stay focused, productive, and happy. Science education and communication may also branch out to include social sciences and humanities at some point (as I also enjoy those topics as well).
Other crafts (such as cross-stitching, jewelry design/creation, knitting, and others) may show up from time to time under the personal development tab or possibly just as individual blog posts.
Looking back over the past year, I’ve realized that I have made progress in numerous areas (even if it has been minuscule), and as I continue forward on this freelance/remote/contract path I know that I will continue to improve in those areas. That being said, I’m still going to be working on the following areas:
- Time and project management (I have numerous writing projects in the pipeline, but haven’t really gotten anywhere with any of them)
- Brainstorming, researching, writing, editing, and publishing–on a schedule
- Publishing my writing (in more places than just the blog and LinkedIn)
- Different types of writing (though I’m actually doing this a little with the volunteer medical content writing position):
- Reworking the blog/website to serve as one of my ‘portfolios’ (with another being my LinkedIn account) in terms of the different areas/niches I want to branch out into
So, I have the overall plan of trying to go freelance/remote/contract for writing/data analysis/project and/or product management. Now it is time to rework the blog/website (slowly, since I have had it going for a couple of years now), and then figure out the other little nuts and bolts of starting my own business.
So, for my next revolution around the sun–I’m going to focus on stepping out of my comfort zone more, write more, create more, and if the pandemic every gets under control–perhaps even travel more.