The Perils of Job Hunting

It’s a tricky world out there.

For someone looking for income-earning work, it can be a minefield. At every turn lurk scammers and fraudsters, each ready to prey on the unwitting and unwary. Rich promises for free lure the unawares, and only dedicated research can help identify the authentic from the predator.

For me, I’m looking for work.

It doesn’t have to be $4000+ a day and owning my very own private jet in a year or two, but then I’m also realistic and have done enough laps around the block to spot the too-good-to-be-true crowd. Others don’t appear so fortunate.

I need to work my way out of welfare dependency, and to do it as soon as possible. I reckoned the best course of action was looking to my strengths and working within my abilities, as to do so would best guarantee I could deliver for paying customers. I figured since I’m pretty damn okay with my language I could offer literary editing services, concentrating on being a copy editor or proofreader (or both combined), to see a manuscript through to readiness for publishing. Whether this was a novel or a screenplay really didn’t matter to me – it’s about format, story, language, grammar, spelling, punctuation and not being bad.

Trouble is I looked up such work on job sites and there’s absolutely nothing. So, I reckoned expanding into another old strength of mine – desktop publishing.

Over 20 years ago I was operating as a desktop publishing sole trader. One time I designed a corporate brand, which included a client’s logo, logotype, branding scheme and other aspects all incorporated into a styleguide. It was a great job, and the client was delighted. My agreed price of $150,000 was considered a bargain (a similar job done by a large agency at the same time set back their client $2.2million), but to my horror I lost it when one of their board decided not to pay me, coming up with excuses that went all the way to court. I won my case, but they wriggled out of it by relocating, modifying my work (so they could “legally” use it) and the CEO filed for personal bankruptcy. They even wrangled the situation in such a way where I had to pay my own legal fees, so instead of earning $150,000 I lost $20,000 (It would have been $50,000 but I had their $30,000 deposit).  Such is the power of a corporation against a sole trader. I vowed I would never go down that alley again, and now these days I find I don’t have to, when clients on Airtasker consider $20 a fair price for logo design, and corporate identities don’t have to extend beyond a website.

Despite designing brochures, catalogues, pamphlets and goodness knows what else, I have close to no desire to offer website design. I just don’t have any enthusiasm there at all, so it’s not a strength for me. I have to work within my capabilities, hamstrung somewhat by my ongoing mental health issues, so any desktop publishing I can do might be restricted to – say – the publishing world, where there’s typesetting, page layout, cover art, promotional collateral and the like, but whether I can get work like that as a work-at-home freelancer remains to be seen. It’s a good thing I’m intimately familiar with Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. I’m probably going to have to come up with some samples first to show what I can do, but I’m sure I can manage something. In the meantime I’ll stick with editing, since I seem to do well at it.

All of this would be on top of my own writing, which I enjoy. The trouble with writing novels is they take an awfully long time to yield dividends for their author, and I need to climb out of my welfare dependency pit now.

Enough is enough.


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