Twelve months ago I’d just lost my job, decided I needed to change careers, and had no idea what copywriting was. How things have changed in a year. Three months ago, I posted a 9-month update, but even since then, a lot has changed.

That said, some things are still the same. I’m still not focused on the Korean market. That is down to a lack of time. But I do continue to get some inquiries from Korean clients through various channels. This is an encouraging sign that I can be successful when I have time to tackle the Korean market. 

And I’ve enjoyed the few jobs I’ve been able to do with Korean clients. I’ve got some steady work coming in from one client. I’m fortunate that he’s patient enough to wait for me to tackle his tasks on the weekends. He’s very easy and pleasant to work with. If I can find more Korean clients like this in the future, I’ll surely be able to make things work in Korea.

Though not looking for work at the moment (in Korea or on freelancing sites), I still get requests to complete tasks. It’s not always clear how these clients find my site. I’ve had inquiries via the contact form on my site, LinkedIn, Instagram, and email. It appears all the work I’ve done trying to get my name and service out there is working to some degree. I won’t know for sure until I start pursuing Korean clients—but the signs are good.

A slightly out of focus shot of a woman with her head turned and her hands raised, as if refusing something.

Even without trying, I’ve had more inquiries than I can handle at times. I’ve had to turn down some jobs from Korean clients. This is because these requests are of the ‘bali, bali’ (quick, quick) nature Korea is famous for. This means someone contacts me at noon, asking for a job to be completed by 4 pm. 

This is pretty normal in Korean business. But with my regular hours, I don’t have time to fit in these kinds of rush jobs. In the past few months, I’ve turned down a couple of jobs that nine months ago, I would’ve jumped at. But I wasn’t working +50 hours a week then.

Change is good, but I’ve got no issues with routines

Another thing that’s the same is that I’m still with the two main clients I’ve been with since June.

I work as a freelancer for one US client. He asked if I could take on more hours in 2022—but I had to decline. My contract with him is for up to 16 hours a week, but it’s usually closer to 8-10 hours/week. From time to time, I get that work done in the evenings, but the bulk of his work gets done on weekends.

Image of someone typing on laptop, perhaps writing a blog post or editing a website.

This job involves copywriting and proofreading. I’m still learning a lot, like learning more about email campaigns and how to set them up. I’m also being allowed to experiment and try new things. Though this client has a clear vision of how he imagines the final product, he’s always willing to listen to my ideas. Having to explain/defend my choices forces me to think them through.

I also track and monitor the results of the campaigns I help create. This is helping me learn more about marketing. It’s also helping me understand why marketing is such a tough nut to crack.

I didn’t know what to expect when I started out, but it sure wasn’t this

With my remote working position, things are also going well. I mentioned in my last update that we’d hired two writers. At the end of that update, I alluded to the possibility of even more good news. Well, here it is. About a month after my last update, I was promoted to Marketing Team Lead. 

A picture of a team meeting, with one member organizing neon Post-Its on the wall.

Our team was growing, and my marketing manager needed help running the team. She asked if I’d be interested in the team lead position. It wasn’t going to be handed to me, but my manager thought I’d be a good fit for the position. I had to interview for the job (complete with a PPT presentation at 7 am), and there was no guarantee the spot was mine. I think my manager felt my organizational skills would complement her creativity.

Upon reflection, I noticed a pattern that’s repeated in different areas of my life

I’ve never sought out leadership roles, but they tend to find me. I brought this up in my interview.

Years ago, I taught at a private English academy. When the director decided to open another branch in the next town, he asked me to be the Academic Director. I set up the program, did the scheduling, and managed the teachers on a day to day basis. 

Bonus info: That’s the only job I’ve ever quit. I’ve finished yearly contracts and chosen not to renew, but this job I quit mid-contract. After bumping heads with the new director a few times too often, I’d had enough.

Picture of a man in a suite, with bags packed, walking down the street, away from the camera.

At my next academy, after several months, I found myself in the headteacher role. I didn’t ask for it, but the director needed someone to do it, and she came to me. I still taught, but I was also tasked with making sure teachers submitted reports and stuck to the curriculum.

Shortly after joining a Sunday soccer league, I soon became the team manager. Not due to my soccer prowess or knowledge. I could collect team fees to pay league dues, ensure we had enough players week to week, and get people to the right pitch on time (mostly 😉). 

Later on, in the cycling club I belonged to, I ended up assisting one of the founders to implement his ideas. He was the creative spark, and I organized things to help ensure they materialized. He came up with the event ideas and jersey designs. I did the boring stuff. I created order forms, established club guidelines, and created electronic routes for events.

So what does all this have to do with my remote working position?

Being asked if I’d be interested in this role was another example of this pattern. I’m delighted to say I got the job. Sometimes I still can’t believe I got promoted to team lead after six months. I’m still doing a bit of writing. But most of my duties involve organization and helping the team operate smoothly.

We’ll call it a “work in progress. ” Though I’m making lots of mistakes, I’m learning from them. After two months in this role, I’d like to think I’m starting to figure out this position. 

A blurred picture of an office, with the words, marketing, concepts, analysis, success, growth, team, and plan written on the foreground. A magnifying glass highlights the word team.

This new role plays to my strengths—I love organization and efficiency. I’m getting to interact with several more people in our organization outside our team. No two days are ever the same. 

When I accepted this position, I was on 35 hours/week, but after my first week, I requested to be bumped to 40 hours a week. I’ve since realized I could be on 60 hours a week and still not have the time to get everything done that needs to be done. Getting used to a ‘to-do’ list that only grows, no matter how many items I cross off, is forcing me to adapt the way I work.

This past Tuesday started with a meeting at 7 am and never let up. By the time the day ended, I’d logged 11 hours. I’m happy to report days like that are the exception, not the norm. 

Some of my team members routinely put in +10 hour days. I’ll stick with my 40 hours/week, thank you. Let’s not forget, I’m coming from 3 day work weeks and almost five months of paid vacation. I’m doing pretty good sticking with a 40-hour/week job.

Picture of a stop watch with the word DEADLINE in all red caps where the zero should be.

Our team is expanding, people are slotting into new roles, so things are busier than ever. But it’s still the most amazing team I’ve ever worked with. Deadlines are always looming, and you’d expect nerves to be frayed.

It never ceases to amaze me how team members respond to requests from other team members. They never complain about being busy or interrupted. It’s very much a ‘can-do’ attitude—and it’s genuine. I don’t think I could work in this position without such a great team.

But I won’t deny I’m looking forward to Australian Daylight Savings time ending on Apr. 1 (not a joke). That means I’ll get to start work an hour later. You won’t hear me complain about that!

This is post number 55 and marks a significant milestone

I’ve fulfilled my goal of writing one blog post a week for a year with this post. My first post went up on February 22, but I didn’t have a plan then. By my next post on March 2nd, I’d decided to commit to a post a week for a year. Today being March 6th means I’ve met that goal.

Picture of a woman, lying down at the end of a dock, reading a book

Now that I’ve done that—it’s time for a break. When I started, I didn’t have steady work. I wasn’t running my Instagram feed. I wasn’t working +50 hours a week. I’m spent! This doesn’t mean I’m done with blogging. But I will be reducing the frequency of my posts to once every 3-4 weeks. I don’t have the 1-2 hours to devote to blog writing each evening. 

I recently wrote about my daily schedule, and it’s pretty damn full. I haven’t had much of a break recently—even on weekends. With the hours I’m working, I’m going to burn out if I don’t take my foot off the gas.

A picture of the interior of an older car, showing a woman who has taken her foot off the gas pedal.

I will continue my Instagram posts. I still receive new pics each week from friends and followers, which is fantastic. Thank you all so much! I rarely get out to look for new material myself, so sharing your pics with me really helps.

But all this effort hasn’t been in vain. The point of writing a blog a week was to help with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Though still very much a novice in this area, when starting out, I learned what I could.

At present, I show up on the first page of Google search results for several keywords, and on page two for a few more. Not bad for someone who knew nothing about this field 12 months ago. I’m very interested to see what happens to my rankings once I reduce the frequency of my posts—another learning opportunity.

And that, as they say, is that

And there you have it. One year ago, a 25-year career in teaching, the only type of employment I’ve known since I started in my early twenties, ended. I knew it was time for a change, and I thought copywriting, and proofreading might be that change. I anticipated I’d be working with Korean clients as a full-time freelancer. 

Scrabble tiles arranged on a gray background spelling out the phrase Shift Happens

Things haven’t gone according to that plan. I now freelance with a US-based company and work remotely full-time for an Australian one. I am doing some copywriting and proofreading, but I’m also working as a marketing team lead. There’s no way I would’ve ever guessed that a year ago. The few times I considered leaving teaching, two things stopped me. 

First—the schedule. Roughly 15 hours of teaching a week, 3-day work weeks, and four and a half months of paid vacation. Why would anyone give that up? Of course, I worked more than 15 hours/week (especially when I taught writing). But it was still a pretty sweet schedule.

The second one was uncertainty. Could I go back to a 40-hour workweek? And what was I qualified to do outside of teaching? Would I be able to make enough money for my family to live comfortably? How could I change careers as I approached 50? Well, my hand was forced, and I had to answer those questions. And I have.

An out of focus picture of a woman on the left and a large questions mark on the right.

This isn’t, “Goodbye.” It’s not, “See you in a few months.” But it is, “See you in a few weeks.” I usually have upcoming blog topics mapped out, but I don’t at the moment. I’m going to take this week to relax a bit. I’ll look at my list of possible topics and then start picking away at my next blog over the coming weeks.

But rest assured, I’m not done with writing. I asked you for topics a few weeks ago (which have been added to my list), but I’m always open to suggestions. Please let me know what you’d like me to write about in 2022.

Thanks to everyone who’s read a blog, liked a post, left a comment or shared a pic with me. I appreciate all the support I’ve received over the past year. With your continued support, I look forward to growing DC CopyPro in the coming years.

One thought on “Did the great midlife forced career change go according to plan? Nope!

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