• Melissa Gouty

Riding the Beast: Facing the Fear Between Jobs

My exciting, wonderful, lucrative six-month copywriting contract just got canceled because the director dropped out of the project.

That means, no guaranteed paychecks. Searching for work instead of actively doing it. A period, hopefully brief, when I don’t know where the next dollar is coming from.

And I’m paralyzed with fear.

“What if I can’t find another good gig? What if it takes months to get another paycheck? How can I afford to live if I’m not generating income?

Can you hear my knees shaking?

“Fear Is A Powerful Beast. But We Can Learn To Ride It.”

Justine Musk said, “Fear is a powerful beast. But we can learn to ride it.”

So I’m grabbing the beast by the horns. I’m taking action instead of wallowing in self-doubt. I’m giving myself the cowgirl-of-content-tamer-of-text-dragon-master-of-digital-marketing pep talk.

Fear may growl, but “I am woman, hear me roar!”

I’m taking action to build my future, even when it seems bleak. Even when the next job eludes me.

Join me. Saddle up. Jump On.

Let’s ride that fear and battle that beast by taking action.

Even without a paying gig, there’s plenty of work to do.

While You’re Waiting For Your Next Job:

Work On Your Website(s):

If you don’t have a website, now is the time to create one. If you do have one, update it. A website is not a static thing. New pictures, recent links to your works, and fresh blogs keep your site crisp. Industry standards recommend that a website’s content should be updated 2–3 times per week for it to be considered updated.

Master Infographics:

Experiment with Infographics and garner a new skill to make you more employable. Make an infographic of your services to use in your information kit. Create interesting visuals to use on your continually updated website. People process visuals faster than text. They remember more information when presented in a visual format. Designing colorful infographics is a valuable skill for future employers.

Develop Material:

Write articles and blogs for future use. A time will come when you have too much work to do. (Yes. Believe it.) Having a quality-content piece ready to post will keep your content fresh without adding stress when you’re busy with clients. And just keep writing. Now is the perfect time to create samples that will entice your next client.

Target Your Ideal Clients or Employers:

Build an e-mail list of ideal clients. If you’ve already got a list, add to it. If you’re just starting, search out the companies you’d like to work for and put them on a mailing list. Research related trade groups, professional associations, and online forums targeting your ideal prospects.

Use Email Marketing:

Once you develop your list, create a valuable newsletter. Send it out on a consistent basis. What better way to showcase your skills than to develop content in a creative way? What better way to gain name recognition and emphasize expertise than to send out newsletters to your ideal clients?

Consider Agency Work:

If you’re interested in a steady stream of work, consider introducing yourself to agencies. They need copywriters. The rate of pay may be lower than if the client was yours, but you also don’t have to spend time looking for clients. They are handed to you.

Study the Best and the Worst in the Industry:

You know those swipe files? Those boxes of brochures and sales letters that you collect to learn from? How about that stack of magazines with articles that you wanted to read? Tackle them. Learn from them. Get inspired for what lies ahead.

Get Organized:

Clear your clutter. Sort those files that are stacked up from past projects. Toss those papers you used seven months ago. Delete the 342 emails that have built up in your promotional box. In other words, Marie Kondo your office and spark joy in your workspace.

Taking action while unemployed will propel you toward your next opportunity.

When the next job comes along, you’ll be ready.

And when you feel the tremors of fear, you’ll be able to crack the whip, tame the beast, and gallop to success.

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