Doesn’t time fly

I can’t believe my last post was in January 2008!!! Doesn’t time just fly by.

I’ve read my last 2 posts (to catch up with myself) so will continue the updating from then. Feb, March, April were hectic as I landed new work writing bids for voluntary sector agencies that were keen to tender for new work as well as continuing with the ‘bread and butter’ work of existing contracts at the time.

During that period I seemed to be working 24/7 and as ever when stretched too thin you are in danger of ditching quality. Thankfully that never happened and the tender work finished before I had a nervous breakdown.

Being busy does have its advantages as well, you develop a kind of ‘battle hardiness’ that allows you plough through the work and it also forces ruthless prioritisation. Late spring brought new opportunities which has completely refreshed my client list. I am really enjoying feeling more in control of my work load, the money is not bad and I have work until December (OMG – its nearly Christmas!!!)

Note to Self: nearer Christmas I must remember to do a ‘look back’ over the year and think of something wise to draw from the events of 2008!

One of the unexpected things that happened this year came via the Centre for Policy Studies, Prisons and Addictions Forum (PandA – for short). I was asked to be a member of this new forum for the CPS (a well respected, independant think tank) and as ever questioned whether I would be able to contribute anything of value (note to self: must get self esteem sorted). Anyway, I attended a few meetings and agreed to write a piece on drugs in Prison. I managed it and there was considerable press interest (which as a former civil servant, instinctively made me nervous) and I ended up on Channel 4 news and the Observer on Sunday covered the piece to.

The press interest in the piece (called Inside Out) didn’t drive any clients away and may well have served to raise my profile and that of PandA along the way. See links below:
http://www.cps.org.uk/search/default.aspInside Out: by Huseyin Djemil

http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/society/law_order/prison+drug+treatment+controversy/2276767 – The Channel 4 news coverage

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/jun/08/drugsandalcohol.prisonsandprobation – by Jamie Doward, The Observer (which also referenced the ‘Inside Out’ report)

So anyway, with the 15 mins of fame behind me, and three clients to keep happy over the next few months, I had better get back to work, which currently consists of projects for 3 different DATs, all of whom I must say, are a pleasure to work for.

For the future, I have a holiday planned (the first real break since Christmas last year) and will at some point get round to doing the ‘shop front’ up a bit, e.g. putting up a website, getting business cards printed and going limited. My advice to anyone setting up as a freelance consultant is, get these done before you start.

I’ll try not to leave the next post so long

Huseyin



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