Dot Com Blues
I’d decided that I wasn’t happy in my job for a variety of reasons and handed in two months notice from timeout.com – so that they could find someone to replace me and so that I could find another job that I would enjoy. Unfortunately I did it at just the wrong time – pretty much exactly the wrong time, actually.
Between January and March I had a variety of interviews for well-paid and interesting jobs around the UK new media scene – among other positions I went for a role at AOL.co.uk as a broadband producer that I was really excited about and was talking to Sapient about going to work with them as a Content Strategist. Then almost overnight everything stopped dead. With one company I had a full day of interviews, and several subsequent meetings and was about to go in to discuss salary and benefits packages when they suddenly rang up out of the blue and said that they’d been forced to stop recruiting that morning. A couple of other companies that I was talking to suddenly started doing the same thing. Interviews were cancelled and the market just died overnight.
Since leaving Time Out in the beginning of March I’ve had pretty variable luck – I’ve managed to do more freelance writing, which I’ve always wanted to do (including writing film reviews for bbc.co.uk), and have paid the bills with work at at a couple of web design companies and start-ups doing HTML and design work. It’s been really interesting, and I’ve had a couple of interesting challenges – designing HTML templates for e-mail clients like Outlook and web-mail was a completely new experience for me, even after seven years of knocking HTML together. But finding the right ways to create, organise and present content online is still where my heart lies and anything else still feels a bit like killing time. And that’s when the work is coming in – which it doesn’t always do.
The UK hasn’t been hit as hard as the US, by any means, so there’s still, thank god, only a limited will-code-for-food ethos around. But it’s hard on everyone – particularly those of us who mistimed our next career step.