Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Job update

The department received a letter this morning saying our job are all now officially "at risk" - in the UK, they have to send this letter to open up "consultation proceedings", which is how full-time employees get laid off. (Temps just get a "don't come in to work tomorrow" notice.) During the "consultation", the employee and employer representatives hash out any details - sometimes, that involves the amount of a "golden handshake". My last one was at the bank and it was some very nice money. I don't expect this place to pay anything.

It's not a surprise - they tried for 6-8 months to sell us, but none of the suggested deals made any sense. (I've covered enough business deals as a journo to know that). They also blocked the senior members of the team simply buying out the department and form its own company. (Now, that was a bitch move.) So, they are destroying a profitable business pretty much willy-nilly.

That said, the job market overall is coming back. I've had a job interview with a much nicer place yesterday. And I've just sent my CV off to another place. Jobs like this are fairly rare, though, so I'm also activating my network and see if there's anything that's not getting advertised. The headhunter I met on Monday was keen to get me in for temp or contract roles - I used to not really consider them (my pension benefits here are NICE), but now I'm thinking they might suit a free-range writer/novellist pretty well: more time for writing, and more money per worked hour.

My security-loving Taurus is still freaking out a little bit, so I'm re-running my budget and cutting non-essentials just to be ready for the worst-case scenario - which is to survive on royalties alone while paying off the house and taking no hand-outs from my partner. On that basis, I won't be able to afford travelling to GRL - that's easily a $1,500 expense that's definitely beyond my budget.

My second focus is on increasing my royalties by as much as I can in the next four months. I already have about four releases in 2014, two of which I expect to make decent money. I will hold onto the dream of writing that historical novel, uncommercial as it is, though I'll likely postpone some other uncommercial stuff. At least until I have another day job or until I have visibility on some other stuff, I really need to focus on royalties. They might be the only income I'll have.

I'll have to self-publish some stuff, as publishers can't really accommodate quick-fire releases - I can't keep busting up the release schedule - it's too much stress on the team and just increases everybody's workload. 

I'm reasonably positive that I'll be okay--I have a plan A, B, and C in place. It's just take a bit of luck, hard work, and a bit of rejigging of costs and priorities. I'm absolutely convinced that this marks a huge improvement in my life and I'm looking forward to how things will shake out.


  1. Isn't it nice to have a few eggs in the basket to fall back on? Good luck with the job search.

  2. Is there a possibility that doing temp work might enable you to find a permanent position. with the additional benefit of having found out what it's really like to work there?