I landed a job at one of my secret dream agencies. Breaking into London’s freelance world seemed a breeze.
Unexpectedly, I found myself crying with real fear on the morning of that dream job. My boyfriend tried to calm me down and assured me that no one did actual magic in any agency, but I wasn’t so sure. I suddenly had fully blown imposter syndrome, despite 4 years of experience in design. I went to work anyway, crying more on the way there and even more in their bathrooms. I was sure I’d be found out and sent home within the hour.
It turned out to be true. No one does actual magic. I ended up doing well on that project, getting along with the team and was asked back. I used that agency as a jumping board and applied to more agencies that had previously seemed out of reach to me. I got a lot of the jobs I wanted and every time the fear returned. I think I cried on every first morning and never slept the night before.
My partner carefully mentioned one day that I might not be made for freelancing and that I didn‘t seem to enjoy the process. Which was probably true, but I loved freelancing, once I got over that first morning.
One day I met another female freelancer, who was not competitive but friendly and surprisingly honest about agonising over work and freelancing in particular. It was such a relief to find out that I was not the only one to worry about performing in a demanding creative industry. I met more female freelancers who again, were refreshingly frank about their personal and professional ups and downs.
These women became my sort of very own freelance support network. Meeting them and being able to talk openly about our experiences, often working together as a team as well as recommending each other for great jobs, has been the unexpected highlight of my career. Thank you Inga, Grace, Catarina, Lucie and Samar.
Nicola, Design Director