Saturday, January 21st, 2017
I love setting goals but this year I’m a bit late in writing them down. I can’t believe it’s almost February. I probably start every post with ‘time is flying’. Well, it’s time for my 2017 goals.
Despite 2016 being quite an unpleasant year for the world, I couldn’t complain about my tiny insignificant life. I met my little nephew in April 2016, travelled home 4 times instead of the usual one time for Christmas and every time was amazing. I also started my freelance adventure exactly one year ago and despite being poorer than before it has been a good first year for me.
I said goodbye to the year 2016 celebrating in Portugal which was a perfect end. Now, we’re already 3 weeks into the new year. I feel a little lost without setting concrete goals for this year so it’s about time I do it.
And that’s about it. I don’t want to have a million goals I can’t reach; just these 3 goals.
What about you?
Thursday, March 31st, 2016
Three months have passed by since I quit my job and went freelance. It’s time to talk a little bit about my freelance life and maybe give you some tips as well if you’re thinking about taking the big step.
How do I earn my money?
I think I’ve been quite lucky but at the moment I work three days a week in a social media agency, helping out on projects and support different teams. I say I’m lucky because it’s quite unusual that you can do that in the advertising world. Normally you commit to a couple of months work full-time from Monday to Friday and maybe you take off some time in between jobs. It’s a little risky since I don’t have a contract with the agency (just a verbal agreement & yes, they pay me) but at the same time I have never been that flexible in my life. I also have my own clients, i.e. I do social media strategies and management for startups. It takes some time to get my own clients but that’s okay.
How do I feel?
I know that being a freelancer is riskier than working in a full-time job but I’m totally fine with that. I feel really good and I already can’t imagine to go back to a full-time job (I will though if I’m starving). I’m not saying it’s easy but I do like the feeling of making my own decisions. All depends on the effort I put in. Of course, self-doubt is sometimes part of my life but what’s the point in thinking about that when you need to figure out a) how to earn money and b) how to be happier. Self-doubt is good for self-improvement but that’s about it. So although it can be a little hard sometimes I haven’t regret a second that I went freelance. All I know is that I have to learn a lot and I’m very excited to do so.
I want to build my client base and do more of social media strategy and consultancy for smaller businesses. That’s one part. The other part of this journey is also to be more creative and explore my artistic side. I have to admit the time I spend to create and to design has not increased since I’m a freelancer. I definitely need to make more time for it. Nobody is perfect, right?! BUT, there is a new website – www.zippi.co.uk – I discovered recently where I can sell my design on products within the UK. Although I really like Society6 it’s still very difficult to actually get products from the US without waiting for weeks and paying for customs.
What advice can I give you?
That’s my so-called freelance life after three months. I’m still very excited to see what’s next and I’m willing to work my ass off in order to never stand still and to improve wherever I can. I might have some new insights and tips for you in three months or I might tell you things went in the opposite direction. I’ll definitely let you know.
What’s your opinion on freelancing?
Friday, December 25th, 2015
Merry Christmas everyone! I’m sorry I haven’t posted for a while. I should have been more organised and prepared some posts but as soon as I went to Vienna and home for Christmas to Germany I really enjoyed not thinking about my blog all the time and really enjoyed spending the time with my family and boyfriend. But don’t you worry, I will be back with more discipline soon. I hope the photos show why I had such excuses not to post for a whole week. My mum and I cook for six hours every year with lots of glasses of wine on the 24th December. In Germany we celebrate Christmas in the evening. What you see is not a very traditional Christmas dinner in Germany I have to say. But it’s now a tradition in my family. We love variety so my mum and I are looking lots of different small recipes and create something like a buffet for the family. Self-made Sushi is a must as well.
Last but not least, next year we shall be one more little fellow at the table. My sister is expecting and I can’t wait to be the best auntie in the world.
Saturday, December 19th, 2015
Photo by Kat Terek
It’s official. On Thursday was my last day at work and I’m writing you from Vienna today. I still live in London though; I’m just on holidays and then off for Christmas at home. I’m sure you want to know a little bit more about why I quit my job and what are my plans in 2016.
I didn’t quit my job because I have found another full-time job. I quit because I’m going freelance. Going freelance can mean a lot of things and I have a lot of plans but let’s start from the beginning.
My old job
In my last job I was a senior account manager in an advertising agency. I’ve also worked in social media, PR and film production. I liked all of it but I discovered one thing for myself: I can’t just follow someone else’s rules my whole life. I can’t just live someone else’s dream. My thoughts and my creativity are very limited working for someone else. There was nothing wrong with my previous employers – I mean there’s always something to moan about but who doesn’t moan every now and then – but at the same time I could never be really happy in my job. I figured out now I need to be my own boss.
As I mentioned before, freelancing can mean a lot of things. In my case I could be a senior account manager or a social media manager for another agency. You basically have a short-term contract with an employer, e.g. 2 to 3 months, and you work for them in their offices from Monday to Friday within their office hours. Doing that is not my end goal but this will probably be my first step because it’s the easiest. People know I have worked in that industry, I know how to sell my skills and I get paid a daily rate.
Then you could freelance from home or anywhere else. I could definitely do social media from anywhere in the world. I just need to find my own clients, maybe start-ups who need some help getting their services and products out there. I love coming up with content strategies. In this case, I could have a more flexible schedule and I could be more my own boss. This step is a little more difficult because I have to find these clients and build trustworthy and qualitative relationships. Nevertheless, this is step two in my plan.
What I really want
Now, I’m telling you what I really want. I want to be an artist. I want to create, I want to spend hours locked away in a studio and let my creativity flow. I want my mind and heart go crazy. I don’t mind creating originals or prints. I’m at the very beginning of this plan and it will go parallel with my freelancing. I’m telling you it feels so good to know what I want. For years, I couldn’t make up my mind. Don’t misunderstand me, I love every decision I made in my life. I have studied and worked in different countries and I have learned a lot which I can use for whatever I’m doing next. But I’m also glad that I’ve found something I want to concentrate on: ART. Of course, there are many different directions and I still need to figure out mine. I’m reading this very interesting book ‘Think Like An Artist’ by Will Gompertz at the moment and I really like its attitude. In a nutshell, the book tells you to steal first from all your favourite artists and then find your own style. Steeling doesn’t mean you sell someone else’s art work as yours – you can be transparent in who your idols are and you don’t have to sell it immediately – it means you learn and learn and learn from others until you found your own style.
This will be an interesting and scary journey. I’m very aware that I might not succeed (immediately) but if I never try I’ll never know, right? I’ll definitely write more about it on my blog. I’ll share the good sides but also the bad sides with you. I don’t know if I’m an artist – and by that I mean earn my money as an artist – in five years or if I decide to do something else by then. All I know now is that I have a huge desire to try. Wish me luck!
Feel free to share your thoughts and encouragements with me!
Wednesday, October 14th, 2015
It’s been a long time I was tagged. So this is fun! The lovely Louise from The What Now Blog chose me to reveal 10 unusual things you don’t know about me. It’s one of the hardest things to think about myself and tell you some interesting things. I don’t consider myself a boring person but when it comes to talking about myself I struggle. So it took me quite a while to write these 10 unusual facts you don’t know about me and I hope you enjoy them.
Odd natural smile
Some people compliment my smile but it was hard work. I had to practice my smile in the mirror every day. If you catch me naturally you will see a very dumb smile I’m afraid. You think I should keep my natural smile, right?! But I’m telling you it’s everything but beautiful hahaha
TV series addict
I don’t watch TV anymore but I probably know everything about the drama series out there. It’s kind of a habit for me to come home, eat dinner and watch an episode of something. I just finished Bates Motel and I’m back on Downton Abbey. You?
Glorious career as a chicken
When I was about 10 years old I was dancing in a musical group back in Berlin. It was fun, especially because my teacher invented all the musicals herself with her husband. That means there were lots of unusual characters in those plays. The highlights of my dance career have been:
Can’t sleep without…
The Relax M app. Seriously, if you have any problems falling asleep try this app. I have conditioned myself to this app, i.e. I immediately fall asleep when listening to the different sounds. I remember I started with a campfire sound but I’ve already tried all of them. My secret favourite is Humming (for babies). Ops!
New Year’s Eve ritual
Since I met my boyfriend, every year we watch the whole day Star Wars films. It’s actually the day after, so the 1st day of the year. It started because I’ve never watched Star Wars before I met him and he’s a big fan. You can imagine how he reacted when he heard I’ve never watched a film. The more I watch it the more I like it.
The no-smartphone life
I didn’t have a smartphone till I was 26 years old!! None of my friends had one either so I didn’t feel the need to have one. As soon as I moved to London and started my internship I realised something was missing in my life though. Especially, after my boss passed by my desk and asked me what this is by pointing at my old-school mobile phone. You can’t imagine how embarrassed I felt. After all, I arrived in London so I needed to upgrade to a more modern life. Needless to say that I’m now addicted to my iPhone (as everyone else).
I’m a psychologist
No, not really… but I love giving advice and I read so many books about psychology and society (I mentioned this before somewhere on my blog) I could really be a psychologist. But I wouldn’t choose it as a job because I’m too sensitive. If people come to me with their problems I’d think these problems are mine, too. I get too much involved and I probably would be constantly sad. I wouldn’t be able to disconnect myself from other people’s problems. I still give great life advice ha
I have two sides in me. I can be super outgoing and self-confident, I walk up to people and start talking to them. I call myself a networking junkie. There was a time when I went to at least two events per week. On the other side, I can be such an introvert. I get shy all of a sudden and refuse to speak. All I want is being alone and sometimes I think I hate speaking to people. I haven’t killed anyone though.
One red-bull a day keeps the doctor…
Guilty as charged. It’s the sugar-free version though but I don’t think that makes it any better. Will you try convincing me to stop now?
Sushi vs. cheese
I wanted to write cheese wins but I’m a huge fan of sushi, too, and I could eat it every day. I should probably test it and eat both one whole day each. Oh, what a great challenge. I should totally do it! What do you think?
Is there anyone else who wants to reveal some unusual things about themselves?
Monday, October 5th, 2015
Society6 offers a platform for artists from all over the world. As an artist you can upload your artwork and decide which products you want to offer, e.g. t-shirts, mugs, pillows, bags, etc. There is a specific amount they charge for each product and on top of that you can add as much value as you want in order to sell your products. Once a customer bought a product, Society6 is taking care of everything including printing, shipping and customer service. I think it’s a great platform to start putting your stuff out there.
Casetify is similar except it’s only for phone cases. The price is the same for everyone. I think it’s a different community, therefore I thought it’s worth trying to be on it as well and build a network. I bought my phone case from there and since then I was asked many times where I bought it from. A good sign, right?!
Why am I doing this?
My overall goal – and the intention of this blog – is to be more creative and to inspire others to be more creative. I started this blog in January 2015 and I’m quite happy where I am right now. I haven’t arrived yet but I feel I took a few steps to come closer to what I really want. I want to create things. I have posted a lot of mixed designs and experiments on Instagram and I felt the above design is worth sharing on other platforms now, too.
I don’t know why I started creating animal designs. It was more a feeling rather than a rationale behind it. This is only my first theme I went live with. I have many other ideas in my mind and I can’t wait to create them. A while ago I told you I wanted to start with a new hobby – graphic design – and these illustrations are the result of spending time with my (new) hobby.
Of course, in my head and heart I’m very anxious about what people will say about the things I create but on the other side I really want to put my stuff out there and I want to try not to care too much about critique and rather take it to make new designs.
So, what do you think?
Thursday, September 24th, 2015
Yesterday I went through my travel photos from the time I lived in Singapore and I found the above snapshot. I was standing on this small footbridge on the little island Batam, Indonesia, and discovered a hole. The water through the hole looked beautifully turquoise.
When I found this photo I thought about the time abroad and the traveling I’ve done so far. Only recently I wrote a blog post about post-holiday blues and I said I’m actually happy it’s autumn and I’m at home. I’m still happy but when I looked at the photos I felt a little nostalgic; in a very good way though.
I’m glad I already had the chance to travel around (parts of) the world for a couple of months. More and more friends or colleagues decide to take off a couple of months to go traveling. It seems to be a thing at the moment and I think it’s great. I know it looks sometimes too good to be true but I believe it’s not as impossible as you think. Yes, you need a little bit of savings but South East Asian’s countries are quite cheap to survive, for example. And you don’t have to travel a year either. If you feel like going away why not for 3 months?! Best times are before or right after uni and when you’re changing jobs. Or, when you decide to just quit your job. You can figure out afterwards what you’re going to do. There are no rules, and you know that.
Traveling for 2-3 months were really fulfilling for me. I haven’t traveled the world yet and I hope to do that over all the upcoming years and decades but I’ve experienced the life of a traveler a little bit already.
What about you?
Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015
Two weeks ago I wrote a blog post for Louise’s The What Now Blog. I really love her blog – blogroll potential for October by the way – and it was a pleasure being featured. I thought you might be interested in the subject, too, and re-posted the content on Found Some Paper. Although you know me already I thought I keep the introduction since it does tell you a little more about my professional life.
I’m Uli, a German living in London. I’ve worked in a variety of industries such as PR, Film and Photo Production, Social Media, Digital and Advertising and have recently started to co-organise events for Freelancers, Creatives, Entrepreneurs and Bloggers with ToandTO.
I started my blog Found Some Paper in January 2015 where I take readers on my personal journey of finding creativity. Today, I’m happy to be talking about creative job-hunting on The What Now Blog.
I’m not an expert – I don’t have a professional career in helping people finding a job, but what I have is a lot of experience applying for jobs in different stages of my life, in different countries and in different situations. There are many job-hunting platforms that I could talk about but today I’m going to stick to the most successful social media tool in my own career so far – Twitter.
For some of you Twitter might be familiar, others may know Twitter but have no use for it and then there are people who don’t really have a clue about Twitter and of its possibilities. Wherever you see yourself, I hope I can give you some tips on how to use Twitter for your future job hunting.
TWITTER BASICS. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE …
1. An appealing profile image and header photo
2. An interesting bio
3. At least a few followers!
4. Good content, e.g. articles relevant to your industry
CREATIVE THOUGHT STARTERS:
Do Your Research
Probably the most boring part of your job hunt but you can be quite creative in your approach. Research companies and people in the industry. I often find these people by clicking on someone’s Twitter followers or using specific hashtags like #advertising.
Alternative: If you’re looking for a job in your field use Google Maps to find companies in your city, e.g. ‘social media company’; once you have the names of the companies you can search for them on Twitter.
You might think no one reads your tweets but it’s a vicious circle: the more you think about the content you put out there the more people will follow you because they see how creative and diverse your content is. Share interesting articles or start a conversation about a specific topic.
That’s the best part of Twitter. You can get in touch with whomever you like but be smart about it. Don’t just ask for a job opportunity straight away. Try to connect over something you have in common or you’re interested in. Meet the person outside of Twitter so they can get to know you.
MY TWITTER JOB HUNT STORY
I found my first job in London by starting a hashtag campaign. I asked people to support me on my job hunt on Twitter by taking a picture of themselves with a piece of paper saying #HireUlrike. I communicated the ‘campaign’ with a video. The Guardian Careers team picked up my approach and a few blog posts followed until I found a great job. You can read more about my campaign in these posts here:
So these are my starter tips for using Twitter in a creative way as part of your job search. I’m happy to continue the conversation either on Twitter or in the comments section below. Feel free to ask me anything and I hope you find these tips useful.
Have you ever considered Twitter in your job hunt?
Friday, August 14th, 2015
You probably know that I have lived in Singapore two years ago. Although I have mixed feelings about the time I spent there, one thing was incredibly awesome: my South East Asia travels. When you live in Singapore you’re close to everything: Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and so on. It’s like Europe with the difference that paradise is around the corner.
The snapshot above was taken in Batam, an Indonesian island an hour by boat from Singapore. I went there with my friend and we spent the weekend in a spa hotel. You can imagine how amazing it was. However, this short trip was well-deserved because life in Singapore was unbelievably stressful. I worked long hours, sometimes without a lunch break and when I came home I just fell into bed and repeated everything the next day. That made me realise that life is far more precious and not everything should be about work. I think I got quite a few grey hair from my time in Singapore.
Back to the moment above. It was truly a happy moment walking along the footbridge. Sometimes you really need to listen to yourself and think about what you really want to do in life. Back in Singapore I barely felt creative and that was a life I didn’t want to continue. Obviously, I don’t blame Singapore for me not being creative but because I was so busy at work and barely had time to be active in my free time, at one point I knew I wanted to change. I wanted to bring creativity back into my life. The rest is history, right?! Here I am. Trying to be creative…
Friday, August 7th, 2015
I thought I try something new and be more visual with my content. So I created this creative map of myself. It’s almost like a psychological exercise. Put yourself in the middle of a piece of paper and then think about who you are, what you like and dislike, what your dreams are, where you wanna go and what defines you. It sounds really difficult but once you actually sit down and think about yourself it’s a release. It helps you making progress.
Okay, there is also funny stuff on this map because who wants to be serious all the time?! I think me telling you I’m scared of spiders doesn’t lead to anything, does it?! But I really wanted to draw a little spider with big eyes. Maybe I’m even less scared now because spiders can look pretty cute. And the bear with the beard? Well, my boyfriend ask me if it’s him, so I guess I imagined my boyfriend when I drew it. Yes, why not?!
Maybe you want to draw your own creative map? I’d be curious to see who you are.