Ghost blogging and job hunting

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 Permalink

If I’m truly honest, in my wildest dreams I didn’t think I’d actually have six months off work when I finished up in late September last year. After the selling of my old property and buying my new apartment and the move, I’d worked out how much money I’d have left over and tried to figure out how much I’d need to live on. ‘Cept… I really had no idea.

My very-vague plan was to try to make some money from my writing and either: look for part-time work (preferably something unrelated to my previous life and leaving sufficient time and headspace for my writing); or get back into aid and development work and try for a few short stints o/s to fund my life for months in between.

On the writing front I’ve been doing some ghost blogging – which I really enjoy. Someone asked me recently what it is and it may just be a term I concocted but basically it’s writing for someone else’s website or blog. My name doesn’t or won’t appear anywhere and that’s perfectly fine with me. It reminds me a bit of the writing I did for work, but I’m allowed to have my voice shine through a little. I haven’t been brave enough to tout for work at all yet, but a local company came across my details on a business register and contacted me. Yay! They set a certain amount for a number of blog posts so I can’t be sure the work will be ongoing, but I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

I’m also doing some sponsored (paid) posts in my own blogs and have a few coming up in my diet blog (including a series of eight). I appreciate the opportunity to do them but do worry about how it gels with what I WANT to talk about there.

It occurs to me that – if I don’t want to live an extravagant life – my cost of living isn’t that excessive (other than my $8500/year body corporate fee – on top of rates, water, electricity and so forth)! If I was to pick up a bit more writing work I’d probably scrape by… but of course that requires me to be a bit more proactive in identifying opportunities and ‘putting myself out there’. Something I haven’t found the courage (or headspace) to do as yet.

So, I’m starting to think about my need to earn some money.

I’d planned to enrol in a training refresher course to re-immerse myself in aid and development work, but when the time came I balked at the money involved and had to admit… I actually had no desire to live and work overseas. At all. In fact, I almost hate the idea. Now that I’m happily ensconced in my new life I can’t imagine the day to day struggle of living in a developing country and the stress and frustration involved.

So, I’ve started looking for part-time work here. So far I’ve applied (properly) for two jobs. One was a receptionist job (full time – not what I wanted – but only for a short period while someone’s on maternity leave) and the other with the local Council (still waiting to hear but not holding my breath). Both jobs (at full time rates) pay the equivalent of less than half of what I used to earn. That irks a little, but in making my seachange, I said that – if I wasn’t doing something related to my previous areas of expertise – the money wouldn’t matter. So I’m trying to remind myself of that.

I didn’t get the receptionist job. A couple of friends suggested I’m overqualified (an MBA not being a prerequisite) but… in reality I understand perfectly. Different jobs require different skills. Sadly there’s not much out there on a part-time basis. I say that I’ll sort mail or stack shelves when my money gets tight. I’m not fussy. (Or I could go on unemployment benefits!)

pirateI have a few more months of savings left (providing no large unexpected bills arrive) so I’m not desperate yet*.

But, while I monitor the job sites, I think my next goal will be to start to consider approaching online magazines, magazines and perhaps local businesses (gulp) to see if they would like to avail themselves of my (writing) services.

Deep breaths….

What suggestions can you offer up – by way of job hunting for part-time work, or selling myself (and my writing – not my body!)?

*It occurs to me that I need to do something about finding part-time work soon or I’ll become too accustomed to my life of leisure and find it too hard to get through the day without a nanna nap or a coffee with friends!



  • Katy Potaty
    March 13, 2013

    You definitely need a job, that way there’s no guilt involved in the occasional splurge! I know it can be hard up here, all I can suggest is to stay as connected as possible, and go to every social meet-up that you can. You never know who could help you get your start somewhere!

    • Debbish
      March 13, 2013

      Yes Katy, I suspect a part-time gig could come via who I know vs one I apply for!!!

  • Becc
    March 13, 2013

    I am in a very similar situation. I don’t know what the answer is and I truly don’t want to go back to an office job – particularly when you can’t even get paid half of what you used to earn a number of years ago.
    I think I need to head down the same path, but will it be enough to cover expenses, I’m not sure 🙁
    Becc @ Take Charge Now

    • Debbish
      March 13, 2013

      Yes Becc, it’s difficult isn’t it? It’s only been 6 mths for me plus I’ve only really briefly worked in the private sector so not really sure how to apply for private sector work. I’m accustomed to the unwieldy processes of government, addressing selection criteria and the like!


  • @Kanga_Rue
    March 13, 2013

    I completely understand and concur with allowing yourself headspace on these matters.

    There is always the possibility of suggesting a job share. I don’t understand why more companies don’t offer flexible working.

    I’ll be getting my a-into-g once unpacked. You never know, I might come across something we can work at together. #fingerscrossed

    Katy – love how you think about the “splurge/lack of guilt” factor. Fits very well with my “cost per usage” philosophy.

    • Debbish
      March 13, 2013

      Yes, I guess I could put in for FT jobs, specifying my preference for PT. I actually did that with both jobs I applied for. Both were FT but for short periods of time and I wanted to make sure the employers knew I didn’t expect to be extended etc.

  • Janine
    March 16, 2013

    Is there a local paper you could write for? Or even see if there’s anything at a retirement village or a real estate agent pulling customer newsletters together? Local school that needs some admin/writing support?

    Or maybe even trying a local graphic design agency where you could write copy? Plus, if you can work from home, you could actually freelance for companies in Sydney, Melbourne, etc. I’ve worked with writers before that we hired for specific publications and I never once saw them face to face.

    Good luck!

    • Debbish
      March 17, 2013

      That was my plan Neen – I was going to approach organisations (incl publications) but haven’t quite had the confidence to do so yet!

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