Posts Tagged 'freelance'

The Smitten Entrepreneur

Picture by pumpkincat210 under a Creative Commons License.

By which I mean to say: I am now self-employed. Sole proprietor of my business. Embracing the American spirit of small business ownership and all that. Pioneering. Frontier mentality. *cough* Sorry ūüėõ

Sure, it doesn’t fully solve the immediate lack of forty hours of revenue generating activities per week, but it makes me flexible, allowing me to jump on Craigslist gigs, work with my old employer and do it all within the letter of the law. Also: tax deductions. Useful in case I end up making money. Which I already did, a little, with the freelance work I talked about in earlier posts, but I needed a way to justify those funds to Uncle Sam’s tax folks. So here we are…

I built myself a website, had business cards printed and obtained a ‘home occupation permit’ (to allow me working from home) and a business license. Uhuh! I’m the real deal. Even snagged a signature from a big, burly fireman to certify that there are smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher. I’ve been networking with folks and am hoping to reel in some more assignments soon.

But Smitten Immigrant, what is it you actually do? 

Right.. I should probably mention that. The job title I invented for myself is ‘language professional’. Which means I offer services as an editor, proofreader, translator (between my native language and English) and (copy) writer. Stuff like doing linguistic quality assurance for software translations, translating user interface text, but also more traditional red pen circling of errant commas, missing capitals and ambiguous phrasing. ¬†Possibly telling you to tone down the enthusiastic superlative language of your marketing pitch because in the ‘Old Country’ ¬†your exuberance just gives cause for cynicism.

Hey, hey can we see? Show us!

Err.. no. Well. Not on here. I have considered connecting this blog to my website, since it is a large collection of my personal language wrangling that people may like to see, but I have decided against it. This is my personal blog, where I do not want to proofread what I write. I don’t want to think about the commercial viability of my posts, nor wonder about whether things may be too personal for possible clients to read.

I’m not under the illusion that a dedicated sleuther would be unable to find both my website and this blog and connect the dots. It’s not a matter of deep importance that the two never be connected. But I don’t want to make this little corner of the web a marketing instrument, which is what would almost inevitably happen if I added it to my portfolio. I’m not interested in the ‘brand’ ¬†Smitten Immigrant. I don’t plan to become a marketing guru or even a professional blogger on a personal title (although I am not averse to writing blog posts for payment).

The big thing that looking at a wide variety of language jobs has taught me, is that I want to write your text for you, or my text for me, but not the other way around. I don’t know if that makes sense to people whose field of work is not closely related to the realms of marketing and or social media, but it makes sense to me. I’m a language professional, not an internet personality. I love my work because a good writer (and even more so a good editor and most so a good translator) is invisible. It’s not me you should want, it’s the words I stick together.

Imagine you would ask me to write something. A job application for instance, which needs a good mix of personal showcasing and high quality writing. As your hired wordsmith, I need to write you. Because they need to hire you (not me). And so I need to ‘be’ you, adding nothing but the linguistic quality that makes those HR people sigh with relief because that letter is such an effortless read.

Are you averse to accepting work form people who have found this blog?

Not at all. If you see me play with words ¬†(which is really what I do here, at The Smitten Immigrant) and you like it, superfluous commas and all, then feel free to hit me up and ask me for my professional details. I’ll happily share. I just don’t want to encourage the process the other way around.

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Developments and travel pictures

Guards at a gate

We’ve paid our last NVC-bill, the one for the IV-package.¬†We’ve sent in the last of the paperwork for the IV-package.¬†All we can do now, is wait. Once the NVC checks all our stuff, finds it complete and sends it to the consulate, we can start moving again.

Beloved has had his last day at work, so he’s home too now. I am happy to no longer be responsible for the largest part of house keeping and am curious what it will be like to spend so much time together for the next ¬†month or two.

Next week I’ll join a class on dog behaviorism and body language at the shelter I volunteer at. More quality time with lovable pooches!

We took a trip to Rome with my family and it was great. My feet are still sore. Pictures accompanying this post are from said trip and were all made by my relatives. Please don’t steal them.

I’m negotiating a freelance writing project, which I hope pans out.

I’ve heard rumors about my resume traveling the US and going interesting places (like Stanford *squee*).

Next week we’ll organize an Open House to attract someone to buy our house from us. Fingers crossed on that one.

Inside the Colosseum

Saint Angelo’s castle

The Trevi Fountains

Tasty foods

When the going gets tough, I want an apron

No seriously. If I had a bad day at work, I fantasize about baking. About lovingly folding shirts. Selecting ties. A tough week makes me think in detail about weeks’ worth of carefully laid out bento boxes my Beloved can bring to the office/ university library/ wherever he goes to bring home the Tofurkey.

It’s a form of escapism that is both hilarious (to me) and surreal (also: to me). I’m not sure if I also should call these escapist fantasies enlightening. They may be, but I don’t know what the message is. Because I’m pretty sure I’d get a serious case of cabin fever if I were to be a stay-at-home-wife. Or even a part-time-jobby-job-volunteer-75%-housework-wife. I have never been happier than now, in a set-up where I work a full-time-equivalent job which allows me to be financially independent and have a career, where Beloved has one too (but with different hours) and whatever is not done by our cleaning lady (she rocks!) we divide up by level of anal-retentiveness.

So, why the fantasies? I don’t much like housekeeping (although cooking, baking and laundry folding are by far my favourite endeavours in that arena), but I think it provides me with a sense of security. Something that says “Well, at least you can do that” when I’m am staring down the three most probably US-move-locations (one on the west coast, one on the east coast and one pretty much in the middle) and I do not see a strategy to start planning for what happens when I get there.

Really, it’s the thing that most exhilarates and terrifies me about this whole move to another continent: What Will I Do When I Am There? I’ve managed to conjure up scenarios from part-time remote employment at my current employer with freelancing and volunteering (at a pet shelter with cool dogs) on the side to complete SAHW scenarios to high pressure careers in demanding industries in which maybe Beloved gets to follow me around instead of the opposite.

The scenario I like best is that of the unattached-freelancers-with-nomadic-lifestyle. I keep translating, writing and editing, and Beloved goes from conference to panel to think tank and me, I come with, doing my work wherever and meeting everyone and seeing everything. Due to it’s absolute unplannability, though, it’s not a good fantasy scenario if the inner list maker decides something needs to be planned and scheduled and listed and flowcharted.

Hence my desire for neatly boxed up lentil stew with flowers made of naan-bread, hummus with a sun made out of slices of red and yellow pepper and whole-wheat pasta covered with stars of fresh tomatoes, and mozzarella and a basilicum moon.