Monday, May 22, 2017

When work is slow

Magazine cover shot by Glenn Dubock. 
Work is slow. Or should I say, "It has stopped."

Carpinteria Magazine just hit the streets. There's a short lull until we start revving up for the next issue. Additionally, there's been some client attrition in my business. It happens.

Today I find myself facing a day of no billable hours. In many ways, a day without deadlines is something to be treasured. In other ways, a day without deadlines is nerve-wracking.

Here are some of the ways I handle a downturn in billable hours:

  • Freak out. Fully and completely. Typically lasts less than a few hours.
  • Regroup. Embrace the huge cache of "free time" to take care of non-billable items such as follow Real Simple magazine's advice on "Easy Ways to Make Your Office Happier" and tidy my email inbox.
  • Hunt. Troll Web sites such as MediaBistro, JournalismJobs, and, of course, Craigslist, among other platforms. The hunting is kind of fun, though it's a lot more fun when I'm not so hungry for work. 
  • Market. Update social media and engage. Send an email to prospective clients about what I do. Attend meetings of professional organizations of which I belong, such Association for Women in Communications, Santa Barbara chapter.  

My desk pre-organizing. Not too bad, but better now. 

I have been lucky that paying work usually shows up before I've had time to thoroughly enjoy some non-billable time. Today I keep the faith that that will happen again. And it will, as long as I keep up my end by doing what I need to do to get more work and by keeping the faith.