by NICOLA MORIARTY
For the past few years, I’ve been a stay-at-home mum / student / writer / small business owner (okay, okay, I make gift hampers at Christmas time for clients who are mostly related to me). When I received the news that I was going to become a published author, I thought all my financial worries would be over.
I wasn’t so naive that I thought I was going to become an E L James million dollar success – but I did think that a two book deal from Random House would at least give our household enough extra cash for me to continue staying at home, writing and studying.
I keep an XL spreadsheet with all of our predicted incoming and outgoing expenses for up to a year in advance – this way I can see ahead of time if we’re going to run into any troubles. Recently, there has been far too many red numbers on this spreadsheet.
Regardless of how much I manipulated the numbers, played around with the budget and pushed bills back – I couldn’t get us out of the red. The more I looked at all of those figures with little minus symbols in front of them – the faster I started to breathe. But really, the answer was simple, it was time to get a job – one that gave me a regular, reliable income.My first thought was that I would put my children into full-time child care and get a full-time job, so that we could really get ahead. But one day while I was visiting my parents, my dad sat down at the kitchen table with me and said very seriously, “Nic, you’ve got deadlines to meet for your book, a uni degree to finish, and two children. How are you going to manage with a full-time job as well?” “Oh, I’ll make it work,” I said. “No, really, how are you going to manage?” he persisted. I burst into tears, “I don’t know!!” I wailed, “But I don’t know what else to do!” He convinced me to at least look for a part-time job instead, and offered to lend me some money to get us through in the meantime.
So I started applying for jobs. In the beginning, I was looking for jobs where I could use my skills as a writer. Entry level copywriting positions, part-time online content producer jobs. The response from advertisers: Nada. I moved on to marketing positions instead, I have a diploma in marketing and before I left the full-time work force to become a mum, I used to work (once upon a time) as a sales and marketing coordinator. I thought I could easily snap up a position as a part-time marketing assistant. The response from advertisers? Zip.