….a new freelancer.
In January 2016 I became a freelance researcher after having spent 10 years in Public Health and, before that, 17 years in museums and galleries. In all that time, I worked in and around research and evaluation, making sure that clients’, visitors’ and stakeholders’ voices influenced the development and delivery of projects.
When you spend so long collecting the voices of others, you get embarrassed promoting yourself but that is exactly what you have to do to make any kind of living as a freelancer. And so to my problem. In developing my website, the temptation was to just concentrate on recent experience and promote my public health achievements; the 17 years’ experience in museums and galleries would take a back seat, at least initially.
Why should the museum experience be discounted? Apart from a spell coding and editing responses to the 1981 Census (yes, that long ago!) it’s where I honed my trade.
In making the transition to public health from the museums and galleries, I was nervous. The issues I had dealt with were around objects and understanding what visitors would gain from interacting with them, the rest of the displays and their experience as customers. Now I would be dealing with health, surely a whole different ballgame?
Well, thinking logically I realised that I would be working with the same sorts of people with the same needs interests and desires. It was just the geographical footprint that was a whole lot bigger – instead of a building-full of people, I was now considering a local authority area-full of people. The approach is just the same. It is all about understanding how to gain the insights that will inform decisions.
I was successful in making the transition from museums and galleries to public health but what now? I am making another transition to the freelance world where I could be working on a public health issue one minute and considering museum visitor behaviour the next. I have already forayed into the world of voter behaviour, the opportunity for which would never have arisen while I was employed. A world of exciting possibilities lies ahead as a freelancer.
Watch this space!