Twenty years ago, my dream was to be an IT Manager building, developing and supporting my own computer network for a small to medium-sized company. At the time, I was a real computer geek wanting nothing more than to get on my computer and play with the latest Operating Systems, Programming Languages and learn all about TCP/IP, DHCP, DNS and WYSIWYG. That dream came true and for the last 10 years I’ve been an IT Manager for a medium-sized construction company.
Oh, but how we change over time. It probably didn’t help that I was, for most of those 10 years, solely responsible for everything – the building, developing and support along with taking on, what was effectively, another role within the company. I could only best describe it as “burn-out” but over the last few years my motivation and enthusiasm for the job dwindled significantly.
The crunch inevitably came and I resigned just before Christmas 2012, leaving the company in February this year to take a break from the 9 to 5 treadmill, go travelling and recharge the batteries of life.
I had the most amazing time for two months in New Zealand (see other blogs) and felt “alive” again once more but I’m only 52, it’s a little early to start thinking about retirement just yet and there’s the small matter of bringing in a regular income. My professional skills and experience lie firmly in IT and the other area I got involved in, Quality Management, so I created a business website, registered with a few online IT Recruitment Agencies and updated my LinkedIn profile. Trouble is, when it came to actually looking for jobs, the motivation and enthusiasm just still wasn’t there. I found myself having to ask, if that’s the case then there’s a fundamental problem here, should I be looking for a job I no longer want to do?
Of course, there’s a logical answer to that one isn’t there? If not IT, what then? What other skill and/or ability did I possess that I could make a vocation of? Well, it turns out that it was something that’s been at the back of my mind for a while, something that others have suggested I looked into and have remarked, “you ought to take it up professionally”.
Thus, Dave Carter Photography is born. A venture to turn my long-term hobby into a commercial concern and profitable business. No business just happens overnight though and I’m not naieve enough to think that the clients and commissions will come rolling in immediately. There’s a lot of work to do in creating a “presence” and marketing my services. People need to know you are there and available and that takes time and effort. A good thing about this though is that much of it can be done from the comfort of my own home to begin with. Having said that, I love travelling, getting out and about and meeting people and if/when things start happening, I’ll be doing this. The more I think about it, the more I’m thinking what a perfect match this is for me.
I do feel some form of formal training helps also. I know there’s a lot I don’t know so I’ve begun an online Professional Photography course at the Photography Institute . This should see me with a qualification of sorts after 6 months. I’ve joined the Royal Photographic Society too.
I firmly believe that life needs to stay varied, interesting and diverse in order to make the most of it and I’m relishing this new opportunity to do something fresh, different and exciting. Here’s to the future!