Sunday, July 05, 2009

Just the Job

It's been a strange old month, both filled with work and plagued by the loss of it ...

The global financial crisis appears to have been just the excuse many companies were looking for to get rid of workers. Anyone with the word 'freelance' in their job description (ie has no contractual obligations owed to them) has been fair game. Four weeks ago, it cost me yet another long-term writing gig, meaning that in the last year I've lost about 80 per cent of my annual income. And with Perth hardly a hot bed of publishing, the chances of my clawing it back are slim. Naturally, the latest cut conicided with my wife finishing her work at university for the term - eight weeks in which she doesn't get paid either.

Needing to bridge that two month gap, we turned to the government, only to receive a letter from Centrelink (that's the Aussie DSS, for you northerners) informing us that our income is too high to qualify for any financial assistance. I'm framing the letter, which declares a family of four can survive on a total of $300 a week (about 120 quid), because I'm still upbeat enough to find it funny.

Anyway, despite all that I've still been flat out working - the problem being that the work's either low or non-paying, at least at this stage. I'm a couple of short stories to the good but because they're on spec, no income yet. Meanwhile I've also been getting stuck into a couple of as yet unannounced editorial projects ... but again it's too early in the game for them to warrant any cash, unfortunately.

The good news is that I've identified a gap in the job market - if the employment section of the paper's to be believed, there's a shortage of people in Perth who can make decent coffee. So I'll be signing up for a barista course as soon as possible.

After all, what good's a writer without caffeine?


Blogger Addster said...

Pete - Have lost your e-mail address, mate. Please contact me at awilliamsATacpmagazinesDOTcomDOTau regarding possible writing work - AW

8:03 AM  

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