I’m Emma, a Freelance Web Designer from a small village just outside of Hungerford, Berks, and I live here with my partner and two-year-old son. Originally I’m from North Yorkshire, and that’s where most of my family still live, but I moved to Hungerford in 2005, and that’s where I’ve been ever since.
Before this website and my family came into existence, I was a Desktop Support Engineer at a large telecomms company based in Newbury, and I’d worked there for around eight years. For personal reasons, I opted to take Voluntary Redundancy from my employer, and left in March 2014. The plan was to take some time off, find alternative employment, and work on my plan to become a Freelance Web Designer, but I actually took on the role of motherhood ten months later, so the freelance work plan had to be put on the back-burner for a while.
Aside from my eight-year role in Newbury, I’ve occupied several different IT Support roles across a career that spans fourteen years, and I've seen lots of interesting changes during that time.
Going freelance is a massive departure from what I’ve been used to over the years, but that’s one of the reasons I’ve chosen to do it. I really enjoy working solo, and simply being able to use my mind creatively is liberating after many years of corporate constraints. But the other reason for going freelance is that my previous work life of nine-to-five, Monday-Friday just doesn’t work with a young family, and I (like many other parents), don’t have a readily available support network that can step in and help out at the drop of a hat, so being able to work flexibly is just as important as breaking away from the corporate world.
One aspect of my previous roles that I used to enjoy, was building relationships with customers. I’ve always considered this aspect of the role just as important as having the knowledge to fix the fault itself. I used to consider that if customer’s came back to me directly (instead of through a Service Desk), then it meant that they had the confidence in me to either resolve their issue directly, or at least speak to the right people to get the wheels turning, and to me, it was all just part-and-parcel of fixing a customer’s fault. Naturally, that approach did not work well for company SLA’s, but it’s an aspect of my personality I’m unable to switch off, and since it appears to have followed me through four different companies, I like to think it will follow me into freelance work also. I’m a firm believer that no matter how many skills or qualifications a person has, they will struggle if they don’t have that simple ability to communicate with people. Oh, and a sense of humour definitely works really well too - especially when the going gets tough!!