What the hell do I do?

As the likelihood of a freelance future increases day by day I find myself in the rather difficult position of trying to articulate what it is I actually do. This is proving considerably more difficult than I had hoped and is giving me some significant cause for concern. After all if I can’t get it straight in my own head it is going to be a tad difficult to explain it to anyone else!

Part of my problem is that I associate in and out of work with people with actual, genuine, marketable skills and talent. They build and design websites – to some acclaim as well. Whereas I don’t. I work in the same space and can hold my own in most of the conversations, am aware of the same trends, standards and issues but I don’t make anything.

Over the years I seem to have had many jobs that started with P and ended with Manager – Project, Product, Production, Programme. I was pretty successful (I think) at the first three but less so at the fourth so I won’t be revisiting that option any time soon.

In many ways it was my Production Manager role at JISC that led to my mixed up career these days. Overseeing a mix of digital, print, events, strategy, project management, line management, internal communications, research and a hundred other things it left me with an eclectic, if not very focused, set of skills and a slight case of professional ADD.

These days I find myself running events, hacking about with WordPress, wire-framing new web apps, writing all manner of things including this blog, web copy, business plans and being a geek without portfolio in all sorts of meetings where I get to have my say without having to be about for the consequences 🙂

I’ve got no idea what this amounts to really. I miss the day-to-day involvement of working with the web – and working with web teams. I reckon I could be quite content if I returned to being a Web/Digital/eComms Manager of some sort again – though my experience only really suits jobs in the public sector and these days those posts are rarer than hens teeth.

I hear about this awful phrase ‘portfolio careers’ more and more these days and maybe I do have enough bits to make up a whole but my god it looks like hard work juggling all those things.

In many ways it would be an exciting change of pace – there is alot of amazing stuff being done in Bristol and further afield that I would like to be more involved with but I need to find a way to balance that with something that pays the bills!


  1. Hey Matt, this post sounds like you need to take a deep break, to found answers to your questions. Something involving digital disconnection for a few days/week. I always found it useful when I need to take big decisions.

    We never worked together, but I know, from people that worked with you, that you are very good at what you DO, mainly involving the first 3 P’s.

    Most of all, and this is not something work wise but more your human nature, by the few talks we had, I can tell you that you can be a really good people/team motivator.

    Ok, you don’t make shiny websites, you don’t create good code … but you can understand all that, and I’m sure you can position yourself as the master piece of “make the stuff happen”.

    On the Bristol/Bath web scene you’re like Brunel, everyone knows your name, even if they don’t what you do.

    Maybe you could use this to help companies promoting or creating their product/service in the Bristol area, as I’m sure not everyone is looking for a Uk wide or worldwide recognition.

    Good luck with your introspection.

  2. Cheers for the kind and useful thoughts Nic..I’m sure something will work out and these few days I have taken away from work have been helpful in my thought process..

    The stuff I’m doing with Stef for Eventstreams is at least keeping me occupied..

    Hope the Tigerlily stuff is going well..

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: