• Jenny Whittingham

Taking the plunge...a celebration of the independent career path

It is never an easy decision! But I can’t deny that officially going freelance, or becoming an independent consultant is incredibly exciting! Have I skipped here stress-free? hell no!



Background


It’s a common tale. I’d done all the usual stuff, following the path I guess that schools and parents’ guide you towards…. go to school, get good grades, if you go to University you’ll get a better job, work hard and follow your dreams. I’d done all that, well except for the following your dreams part, until now.


I’ve always designed…my dad was an electrician and he would bring home large trace drawing sheets for me to draw on, feeling inspired, I’d done my first hotel interior design inspired by Greek gods for a hotel I’d one day own at age 10.


Later as an adult creating logo’s and websites for friend’s or wedding invites for numerous colleagues, designing a granny annex in recent lock-down. I’ve just always enjoyed meeting new people and helping them with their design solutions and slowly I’d naturally get more and more recommendations.


Learning to fly


Though design is my passion, I’d never known what I wanted to do in school, I have always been a creative, arty type but which discipline to choose? I remember going to an independent career’s advisor age 18, I wanted to be an interior designer and the reply, hilarious now was, ‘is that because you’ve seen Changing Room’s on TV?’, I’d love to go back and show them some of the things I’ve created.


I was lucky enough to work for a fantastic boss and aged 21, he sent me off to University to do a BA (Hons) Architecture degree, though Interior design had never left my mind, Architecture was a great basis for any avenue of design I wanted to follow. I will be forever humbled for the opportunity he gave me.


I’ve worked in a few architectural practices over the years, working as Model Maker, Architectural Assistant, 3D Visualiser, Graphic Designer, gaining valuable experience, learning lessons the easy, and the hard way, finally making myself a position as Interior Designer before taking the leap of faith


Taking the leap


It’s took a long time for me to build my confidence after being in a career wilderness, and it’s not been so much cajoling as convincing myself that I can do it, and that I was wasting my skills in less talented creative roles, and taking far too much of a back seat when I should have been the driver. I’ve just always known I can do more.


Do I worry? Of course, my biggest worry? It’s cash flow of course, it’s an inevitable issue especially in these times of COVID, but it makes sense, more than ever to launch myself into a freelance career path. As a newbie, my only regret is not deciding sooner, it is the best decision to happen to my career since officially leaving full-time employment.


I know, in my heart, failure is not an option and now I can design my own ‘best’ life


Wish me luck, J ;)





Feelings: Inspired, elated, excited, nervous


Attributes: Good sense of humour, bundles of good vibes, smiley, tons of enthusiasm


Inspiration: Family & friends (you know who you are), ‘Unlimited Power’ by Anthony Robbins, ‘Rich Dad,Poor Dad’ by Robert Kiyosaki, ‘Think & grow rich’ By Napoleon Hill, ‘You are a badass’ by Jen Sincero, ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne, ‘Hero’ by Rhonda Byrne, Winnie the Pooh



#interiordesign #graphicdesign #freelance #jennywhittingham

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