Happy (late) new year! After a busy holiday season, and my first experience working on a holiday week with a full-time job, I finally have a moment to look back on this past year.
Biggest wins/shifts in 2023
Here are some of the things I'm most proud of accomplishing in 2023.
- Launched this newsletter/blog (Chronically Self-Employed/The Chronic Worker), which has received some amazing feedback from writers and advocates.
- Finished a multi-year project on digital nomad visas headed by my colleague and co-author, Lily Bruns. It's my first original research project and we're both very excited to see it go out into the world!
- Took on my first full-time writing job.
- Joined the American Society of Journalists and Author's (ASJA) DEAI Taskforce.
The rewards of burnout (stay with me!)
Something I haven't discussed here much is how burnt out I was on freelancing before I went full-time last summer. I'd spent 7 years building a career for myself which, although satisfying in many ways, had become increasingly difficult and stressful.
I had great clients, big bylines and projects, and knew how to get more work. What I didn't have was a long-term career plan or any expectation of ever being free of the endless "time for money" freelance cycle.
So while full-time work has been an adjustment, it's given me the foundation I need to take a step back from freelancing and start planning more long-term.
Big changes for 2024
Here are a few changes coming down the pipeline for me this year.
My newsletter will dropping from biweekly to a monthly cadence starting in January and returning to its original name, Chronically Self-Employed. It will continue to be more of a personal newsletter with updates on my life, mental health, and work as I focus my attention on my new blog, The Chronic Worker.
New blog: The Chronic Worker
My biggest focus for the year will be building up The Chronic Worker as a thriving blog separate from my monthly newsletter. This project has grown out of my growing desire to pitch content ideas through a disabled lens, only to realize those pitches weren't a great fit for my clients. So now I have a ton of ideas and thoughts and nowhere to put them (yet!)
The Chronic Worker is a blog geared towards disabled, chronically ill, and ND freelance and full-time workers. My goal is to feature actionable how-tos, community-focused pieces, and interviews from professionals with lived experience.
New professional focus: DEAI as a disability advocate
In 2020, I started taking a more professional and personal interest in future of work and mental health topics. As I learned more and my own mental health shifted, I realized that I not only identified as disabled, but that sharing and supporting those with similar lived experience was where my interest truly lay.
In 2024, I plan to focus in on this niche even more, by:
- Taking on a new role as Co-Chair of ASJA's DEAI Taskforce
- Actively seeking out and welcoming more DEAI and ESG-related projects
- Prioritizing bylines about disability in the workplace, work equity, and DEAI
- Building my advocacy portfolio through partnerships, speaking opportunities, and my own independent projects
I'll be sharing more about my career hopes and dreams (and other 2024 goals) in another newsletter. But for now, I'll keep this short.
What are your goals for 2024?