9 to 5 isn’t for everyone and some people want to be their own boss. Cat Hase shares with us, what drove her to start her own business and why she’s never looked back.
Three months ago I left a permanent role in a large organisation. I had decided that now was the time to set up on my own; to be able to get up in the morning and look forward to going to work (despite not actually leaving the house some days!).
I set out with the purpose of building a business around the things that I really enjoy doing, leaving behind the bits that suck the life out of me. Life is too short to be miserable in your job. But I know that timing is everything and this is my time.
I set out with a vague idea of what I want to do, but it’s a surprise area of work that has had the most momentum in the first three months – my role as an artist….! I turn information and data into hand drawn infographics, which I have dubbed “sketch-a-graphics”.
On a typical day doing this I’ll start by having a conversation with my client, listening to them talk about their chosen topic and asking open questions to explore as well as to clarify areas. I’ll then review my notes picking out the key points and consider what images could be used to help illustrate them. As I start sketching ideas and layout I’ll try out colour schemes; sometimes these are using the clients brand colours and other times they’ll be open to whatever works. The part I really love is being trusted to use my skills of deduction and creativity; skills you might not see together too often.
Once the ideas are ready I’ll start sketching on paper (sometimes with the assistance of post-it notes to help with the layout). When I’m happy with the result I go over it in pen, colour it in, scan it and do any final edits, including adding the clients logo to make it personal to them.
Now, whilst I call this my role as an artist, it’s my skills in interviewing and understanding complex topics that really add the extra level. I may have an A-level in art (in which I did geometric painting, so it didn’t exactly set me up for this job!) but it’s my previous roles in organisational development and business management that help me to understand people and the complexity of how things work.
When I’m not sketching I’m working on other aspect of my business; like how to set up and run a business, considering a business name, thinking about what my website will be like and how to market myself. My brain barely turns off, but it’s all fun. I chose this! Who knows where the next three months will take me.
If you are looking for a change in career then my advice would be to think long and hard about what you love doing and how you can turn that into a job – don’t wait for the perfect job to appear, make it yourself!
You can find out more about Cat and her work here