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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My art school education from a million years ago is not exactly relevant today. I've been self employed for more than 20 years and have been treading water for the last three to five yrs (financially speaking).

What another person or "type" might have done would be to have just sold the hell out of my current/previous niche and paid people to bring the whole thing "up to date". ie hire a web developer, buy equipment etc.

I believed I could blend skills used in my own thing, with learning new stuff and have an updated approach to market trends for my same or similar customer base. If I had chosen to go to school, part of it would have meant taking classes to prove (on paper) I can do things I actually had been doing for 20 years, things like software now obsolete. In 2008, I had ideas or markets to address but was clueless about how much I didn't know. Back then I didn't even know how to talk to someone about JavaScript or PHP, because I only had a vague notion of what any of it was or understood it only as something generated for me from an interface.

Since I lived for nearly fifteen years completely off from something I built from absolutely nothing, an innovative approach to shift or readjust doesn't scare me too much. Since a presentation on line and a tie-in with actual work and customers is all doable, I can't believe I'm in as bad of shape as some people might think (might be time to sh*t or get off the pot though).

But technology is exploding everyday, I've learned a lot and I learn quickly, my self education started back in 2003 with necessity of editing code from older GUI. Since 2008 crash, (less time producing in my own business) more time upgrading my skills, building stuff and reading blogs, almost it's own full-time job for me. I've been living on/in "ramen, survival mode". I'm not here for technical advise as much as wondering if others are struggling with what approach to take on their career because of economic and technological shifts.

The worst thing that could happen is for design/marketing/technology related work to be something that has passed me by, gone on without me and no way to catch up. I don't think this is inevitable because I don't need a corp. 6 figure thing, and there are many levels of needs, ie - I was doing something with just getting people (sites) registered with search engines. I've been thinking the right WordPress child theme adapted to users who have already been my customers may be something I can build and sell. BUT. . . .

The bottom line is that I need to do something that improves my cashflow immediately, while still working toward long term possibilities. But I am afraid at my age, my next job will be my last, in the sense that I just won't have it in me to keep pushing. I don't have to be self employed but am having trouble with defining what should be good enough for now? The second worse thing would be working hard believing something can improve, but finding five years down the road that I paid the bills but my work life sucks, and might suck till I die?

Anyone else dealing with something like this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I’m not placing an ad for anything here, these are just some of the things I’m reading, finding or thinking about and would like to meet and talk with other NT’s who have some of this simmering in their brains too!

Marketing automation systems
, more than email

Results accountability - quantifiable and demonstrably connected to revenue.

Social media integration, leveraging data, collecting data, more effective calls to action. Better matching of content = more accurate or relevant and successful lead generation

Necessity of mobile presence and quality

SEO becomes less technical, or more about relevance and social media strategy

Big data is the term for a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications. The challenges include capture, curation, storage, search, sharing, transfer, analysis, and visualization. The trend to larger data sets is due to the additional information derivable from analysis of a single large set of related data, as compared to separate smaller sets with the same total amount of data, allowing correlations to be found to "spot business trends, determine quality of research, prevent diseases, link legal citations, combat crime, and determine real-time roadway traffic conditions." (wiki definition for big data)

Interactive – DYNAMIC content

Inbound marketing is advertising a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, enewsletters, whitepapers, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing. --In contrast, buying attention, cold-calling, direct paper mail, radio, TV advertisements, sales flyers, spam, email marketing, telemarketing and traditional advertising are considered "outbound marketing".-- Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers makes the company easy to be found and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content. (more wiki definition)

Marketing + employee morale? Unified, human personality communication, less posturing, less compartmentalizing in companies, less BS?, : the mission, the buy-in of employees, the customer, all understood and working together instead of insiders and outsiders with isolated and sometimes opposing strategies. Can this be done?

Lead generation tools, the long tail

“New technologies (mobile devices of all shapes and sizes, and location based services) will continue to grow but the best marketers will realize its not about how to jam more ads into new platforms, it is about how to use the new technologies to enhance your inbound powers of attraction.” quote from Hubspot

Content services and Curation

Crowd sourcing

Gamificiation” will help increase the stickiness of content through its entertainment value, reward, and learning abilities. Perhaps through gamification, marketing will actually be enjoyable instead of avoided. – quote from Hubspot - but I was saying this is a direction to go in 2008, also want to add communities to this same idea.

Visuals! Infographics, photos, picture boards, video, and other forms of rich-media

The product placement, “P” of marketing today, means virtual placement and creating or finding an appropriate context, using data gathering from sources mentioned above. . . . Sites they visit, things they like to do, - what does facebook and Comcast know? - How do we get these kinds of advantages?

Are traditional “outbound” forms of marketing dead?


I’m not placing an ad for anything here, these are just some of the things I’m reading, finding or thinking about and would like to meet and talk with other NT’s who have some of this simmering in their brains too!
 

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"The worst thing that could happen is for design/marketing/technology related work to be something that has passed me by, gone on without me and no way to catch up."

Stop thinking that right this instant and practice your coding, dude. No way to catch up? Yeah, if you continue to feed yourself that lie, you're absolutely correct. I'm a stupid 19 year old piece of shit who knows nothing and has nothing of value to say to anyone ever, but I can detect your fear and hopelessness from that statement alone. "Over 30" is still rather young in my eyes. You have plenty to offer to the world if you can abstain from blighted hope.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes I might sound a little dramatic but what I'm reacting to is more that people around me seem to think that a job is a job, just something you do to get a paycheck. I'm not screwed up just because I liked being self employed and my work was my way of participating in the world in a way that seemed fully engaging and satisfying. I want that back. I believe tons of opportunities are there, just a little overwhelming, but you are right, doing is worth a lot more than whining and agonizing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
the metamorphosis " by franz kafka? No, but I will check it out. Thanks.

Tao Te Ching ^ looked it up, is your comment about the danger of letting one's self get depressed?
Could my time at this website be like Gregor climbing the walls? -might be, if I do too much of it.
 

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I dealt with something like this recently, career shifting is challenging and scary for everyone.

I recommend going to a job center. They might be able to suggest different strategies and unconsidered options.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If a job was just a job for me, I could have continued a telecommute thing filling out forms (that I sort of flaked out on). Not proud of it, just that I was working for kids who are smart but not sure where they are going yet. They may find a good thing but in the meantime the work I'm doing I could systematize to have someone else do it and make it part of my own business model.

I'm not saying I wanted to go out and do what they were doing and do it better, but I need to be doing something that moves me forward with possibilities, like a portfolio, or something that requires me to be something other than a fast typist (which I'm not).

If I did what I think might be typical creative cop-out strategy, I could work at a coffee shop and just talk about some super thing I'm going to do someday (that will never happen). This is easy to slip into. BUT I like the burn all the boats because you will be forced to fight approach better.

I don't have techie friends, (connections, but not people to brainstorm in confidence with) so I'm a little bit in a vacuum? One business associate recently went back to tool and die factory work. When I get out there and make on-line presentations I've gotten results, but I'm not naive about how different things need a fitting business model. I mean I can't afford to flounder around completely on my own again, pure freelance in new constantly changing markets? Ideally a business partner + grunt job maybe?


Gregor was in a situation in which everything suddenly changed.
He had changed completely but he hung on to his old self, his old life.
Everyone suffered, he suffered, his family suffered.
@Tao Te Ching^I get that, good point.
 

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.....BUT I like the burn all the boats because you will be forced to fight approach better. ....I can't afford to flounder around completely on my own again, pure freelance in new constantly changing markets?
This seems to be your current dilemma.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes. choosing a direction from where I am is the issue.

If I choose the type of employer I need, and what of my own experience is enough to get me in the door, I will make the full blast presentation geared for that. I haven't put myself out there much, or not often yet. I got one interview from just an on-line cold turkey conversation. In the interview, I was told basically that I was too old. But this was a long time ago now, and I could almost laugh about how much I didn't know that I didn't know at that time.

After the first (only) bad interview, I started studying and building stuff on-line. PHP forms, responsive layouts, and a little animation. A simple free site for a friend to take advantage of iphone 5 display etc.

My next attempt was to just send my links to three people I knew (maybe just advice), one of them hired me. (briefly mentioned above). Then my website, demo stuff, all went down with a server crash. Right now I'm looking at stuff and trying to figure out what to build to replace it with; I didn't do an up to date back-up for it. It wasn't fudged stuff in the sense that I believe I was getting a good understanding of what I was doing. I believe I was so thrilled with trying stuff though, that a respectable cohesive design wasn't in my first attack.

One thing that cluttered things up was trying to tie-in my old business with looking for a new direction to go in.
 

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the metamorphosis " by franz kafka? No, but I will check it out. Thanks.

Tao Te Ching ^ looked it up, is your comment about the danger of letting one's self get depressed?
Could my time at this website be like Gregor climbing the walls? -might be, if I do too much of it.
I almost cried for poor Gregor Samsa. That is hands down the most sympathy that I've ever felt for a bug. :p

But seriously, The Metamorphosis, as @Tao Te Ching suggests illustrates in a very profound way of not seeing one's situation clearly.

I liked The Trial even better. It is very different but well worth reading as well. It think that you might also find it useful. =)
 
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I almost cried for poor Gregor Samsa. That is hands down the most sympathy that I've ever felt for a bug. :p

But seriously, The Metamorphosis, as @Tao Te Ching suggests illustrates in a very profound way of not seeing one's situation clearly.

I liked The Trial even better. It is very different but well worth reading as well. It think that you might also find it useful. =)
It's so easy to get stuck to being certain ways. In life we are going to encounter situations like death that are completely out of our control.

When I started looking for a job I was really stuck in this one way of being, but after doing some reflection I just got a super part time position that would allow me to branch out to new fields of work.

Getting the ball going is the hardest part most rewarding part. Join a job club, get out there and interact with people. The market has changed and it's survival of the most flexible out right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@Tao Te Ching another way to look at the Bug analogy is that we hang onto expectations from society. Kafka, may have been talking about issues of pride and self-image but we have other changes or expectations that might not be pretty to look at as well.

One is the idea that an organization or company can take care of us. It's good that you are getting some perspective about what is out there for you. Hope you are not too caught in temp agency plans, without plans of your own though.

This may not be you, but a work associate of mine who at one time worked for an in-house printing department (packaging of products for a wholesaler - did side jobs for my company) reached the point of working at a temp agency after taking a stab at his own business. It may sound appealing for some (type functions) to work for an established organization, just because the name carries respect. In this case my friend worked for a reputable company doing assembly work, hoping to be hired permanently.

That eventually he didn't get a position, is nothing to cry about, that's life; but when you figure how far he was driving and gas (two hours per day travel time) it adds up to about two dollars less than minimum wage per hour. Add that to a rapidly changing industry if someone was on a career track, and he would be just going backwards. If he wanted his own business and truly has/had what it takes, he would have been better off doing dishes in some dive near his own neighborhood for supplemental income.

My ramen remark was actually not meant to express my suffering, more about my commitment to upgraded job skills. I've been living a spartan (and liquidated) lifestyle, because I chose to put more time into what I could learn, and how to demonstrate my abilities on-line, than time spent on paid work.
 
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