Saying ‘yes’ (or ‘no’)

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Tomorrow marks three years since I started freelancing.  It has been an amazing experience: I love the sense of freedom that working for yourself creates and the buzz I get when I win a project, and I’m grateful that I have finally achieved a good work life balance. But having that freedom means I’ve needed to learn a new skill: I’ve had to get smarter about deciding what to say yes to, and when to say no.  I’ve had lots of different opportunities over the last three years, and I’d like to share five questions I ask myself when deciding where to focus my time: Will doing this generate income? As a freelancer if I don’t work, I don’t get paid, so opportunities that are going to generate income move to the top of the list.  I ask myself this question on a regular basis. Will doing this increase the…

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What advice would I offer the 21 year old Gary?

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I was flattered to be invited to write a blog for King’s College London recently, offering advice and tips for the graduating cohort of 2016 at my old university. After recovering from the shock of realising that my own graduation was 25 years ago, I started thinking about the lessons I’d want to share with my 21 year old self at graduation. I’m grateful to have had a very varied and interesting career, but when I collected my degree certificate in summer 1991, I could never have imagined that one day I’d be working for myself in an industry that I’d not even heard of.  My journey has been guided by advice from many colleagues and friends, so here are my top tips for new graduates starting out on their own careers: Be open to new experiences. I started my career as a computer programmer, became a project manager, and…

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