This job is killing me.
June 11, 2012 12:38 AM Subscribe
Panic attacks are killing my self employment. What (work) should I do?
posted by b33j to Work & Money (13 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
So I've been self-employed working with a number of academics over the last 18 months. However, a number of major life issues have collided, along with a lifelong anxiety problem, resulting in panic attacks. Unhappily, this is most notable when it comes to reading email. The further behind I get, the worse it is. I've lost a couple of major clients already and have begun to accept that I can not work from home anymore, nor in a non-structured environment.
This is particularly disappointing as my next plan was to do honours (postponed on doctor's advice) and then slip straight into a PhD with the academics I currently work for as supervisors.
So, these are my qualifications: Bachelor of Multimedia Studies with Distinction (GPA 6.9/7) from about 3 years ago. Expert in Illustrator, Word & Excel, proficient in Photoshop, Indesign, Access. General overview of HTML - I can work a content management system more easily than someone without training, or things like Survey Monkey, but I can not code a website from scratch.
I used to do admin (and hate it and the pay), but for the last year have been doing a variety of tasks like project management, running an online journal (last 5 years), high end presentations, diagrams and illustrations for books and government reports, data collection and low level analysis, document design and formatting for a mining consulting company, and for a number of published academic books.
I live on the Gold Coast, Queensland. Graphic design work is hard to get into and pays pretty crap. I would be prepared to move to Brisbane but reluctant, as my cat and I would have trouble finding accommodation that will suit both of us (I don't want to mow lawns, I do want him to have a safe outside area) and my lease doesn't run out until February next year.
I have a psychiatrist who has increased my anti-anxiety medication (not yet working) and a psychologist to counsel me (first session yet to occur). I live alone (except for the cat). I have some savings left over from the sale of the marital home, but do not want to chew through this completely because I'm not working (also behind on billing).
Suggestions as to career options, and fixing my current situation much appreciated.
If you feel that the tough love is the most appropriate, please temper it, as I am extremely fragile, and I doubt that you could despise me more than I do myself. I have all the advantages of a developed country, the freedom of working when and how I want, in a variety of well paid interesting jobs, and I am very well aware that I am throwing it all away.