Categories
Freelancing future of work Open Talent

Work Without Limits 2022 🚀

Hey, a quick reminder about the Work Without Limits Executive Summit next week.

It’s a hybrid event bringing C-suite executives together to explore business growth strategies, challenges, and societal changes leading to the breakdown of old ways of working.

Join online on Tuesday 16 August (starts at 4 pm GMT) for insights and actionable advice from executives, thought leaders, and industry experts.

I’ll be on a train to Devon – workation in an eco-lodge next week with six teenagers – bit of an experiment, wish me luck! Will tune in to listen to Scott Galloway on The New Abnormal – our post-pandemic economy and the implications for public companies, startups, and individuals. 

Looking forward to hearing his thoughts on remote work, the attention economy, loneliness, community, and the importance of making the most out of each moment.

Also, Tim Sanders (Upwork VP of Client Strategy) on how leading companies are redesigning how teams are constructed, how they collaborate, and how work gets done.

Should spark a few ideas for collaboration.

For a full debrief, tune in to How The Future Works with Barry and Eleanor Matthews at Open Assembly. My favourite podcast!🍷The format works brilliantly – a mix of news, talk show, and insightful interviews on open talent. Barry will be at the summit, so it will be interesting to get his take on it.

Have you used Upwork to find clients? I’m not drawn to platforms like this as they tend to favour the client over the freelancer. Being graded, reviewed and competing with other freelancers isn’t my thing, but I know some people have made good money there.

If you’ve used it to find clients, let me know your thoughts.

RSVP for the free virtual event

Get in touch if you have a project to share, a link suggestion, or just want to say hi 👋

Buy me a coffee

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Categories
Small business Solopreneurs work culture

State of Solopreneurs 🏄🏻‍♀️

Welcome to issue #87!

I signed up for Groove this week, a digital co-working community for solopreneurs.

‘Get shit done, and meet some pretty rad people while you’re at it.’

Productivity, but fun.

50-minute focused sprints with 2-4 solopreneurs. Or set aside time to rest, meditate or learn. They are beta-testing, so it’s free for now – join the waitlist.

Interesting to read on their blog that they’re taking a break from posting on certain social channels to focus on creating longer-form content and experiences for the community.  

I’ve heard a few people talk about quitting social media lately. It’s not something I can afford to do as a small business owner – clients want it. And most of the time I enjoy it! Chatting to Twitter friends, learning, and sharing useful stuff. It’s how I find internet gold for this newsletter, and it helps me feel connected to the world wfh. 

Having constraints is helpful. I time block and use Hootsuite to schedule posts. I’ve set up my dashboard so it’s quick and easy to find good content and comment. I don’t use the Twitter interface or app much anymore, as it’s super distracting.

I’m focusing on just two platforms: Twitter and LinkedIn, so I can show up and be consistent. I’ll try Notes when they open it up. Basic UI, I like that. Simple is good. It’s all about the ‘network factor’ after all – if it takes off, Medium, watch out.

Groove: Take the survey and help create their first State of Solopreneurs report.

An opportunity to stop and reflect on your creative career! There’s not much research out there about this growing field – solopreneurship – vs freelancing, so I’m curious to see the findings. 


👀 🎬 Everything Everywhere All at Once

Something for the week. The multiverse. Parallel work lives. Angry tax officers. The overstimulation of 21st-century life. Big ideas and butt jokes.

Motivation to get my tax return done!

– Nika


5 Things 🔗 🏄🏻‍♀️

Why we love (async) voice memos – Growmotely was founded by voice memo. How we can use them to shape company culture – and our lives for the better. A unique tool for your productivity box. Intimate, easy – and an opportunity to step away from your laptop.

By marketers – a marketplace for buying and selling your original marketing content. Find case studies, templates, and resources that the community shares online. Save time, help someone, and make money from your work. Very cool! 

Work smarter, not harder, with automation. A 54-page guide on how to increase your income while decreasing the time you spend working so you can set yourself free from the daily grind for good. Turn your knowledge into an online course that runs on autopilot… Thanks to Marianne at The Green Techpreneur for the tip-off. 

Creative Doing: 75 practical exercises to unblock your creative potential in your work, hobby, or next career. A collection of activities, mental models, and true stories – Herbert Lui spent a decade researching and talking with practising artists and creatives of all kinds. 

Another brilliant book from Holloway. Where tech meets publishing…

Let’s talk about how to find new forms of collaborative work. 5 July, 5 pm GMT. A chance to check in, share your experiences and gain insights from TPC community. Every other week, they focus on one area of portfolio working life to help your career journey. 

Find clients: they’ve launched a talent-matching service, connecting startups and scaleups with entrepreneurs who want to make a difference.


Written by Nika Talbot – a content designer, tech storyteller and strategist based near Brighton.

Get in touch if you have something to share, a link suggestion, or just want to say hi.

PS. I’ve started a new band: The Digital CEOs! Come backstage and meet the crew. Smart, funny and passionate people on a road trip to financial freedom, creative fulfilment – and an extraordinary life 💃💥

The Shift is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid member.

Categories
future of work personal development work culture

I got fired over Zoom 🤯

Ever been fired over Zoom? 

This week, it happened to me – halfway through a six-month contract. I got a calendar invite for a ‘catch up and chat’ with my manager.

Big budget cuts and the client wants to focus on paid social media, not organic posts (I’ve been writing playbooks for them).

I’d done what they hired me to do, and none of the other teams had any work left for me, so that was it.

She did it nicely and better via Zoom than email – though it felt hardcore and surprised me.

You’ve done a great job. We couldn’t have done it without you. Love to have you back next year when budgets are back to normal. Let us know if you need a reference… 

Bit more than a ‘catch up and a chat’ !!

Two conversations were happening in tandem. The one on Zoom with my manager and the internal one in my head with Anxious Annie. FUCK. I can’t believe it. How are you going to pay the bills? What about the yoga holiday! Have you been slacking again? 

She’s good at her job 🙄

I find these short-term contracts with agencies exhausting. It’s hard to relax and do your best work when you’re on float with multiple projects. I feel disposable (had a week’s notice on this one), so my LinkedIn profile is always ‘open to work’.

How much energy do you put into precarious work, even if it pays well? It’s hard to get the balance right. 110% usually, all or nothing, which is a route to burnout. 

Here’s what I did to get over it.

1. BREATHE. Wrote down what just happened. Seeing it on the page helped get it into perspective – a tip I picked up from the author of The Kindness Method, Shahroo Izadi, on the Solo Collective podcast.

2. Went for a walk.

3. Finished the job and sent a friendly email to the team and my agent. Set my boundaries for future roles (3-months minimum, it’s hard to do strategy and make a difference in less time). A longer notice period.

4. Booked a Rapid Rewire masterclass with Steph Kwong via Growmotely“Learn a proven, cutting-edge methodology to confidently create rapid change for yourself, guaranteed.” Gotta feel it to heal it! Powerful stuff.

Have you ever been fired? How did you deal with it? I’m taking a break from Agencyland.

 Nika


Justice for Johnny! 🎉 😁 I’m happy you’re at peace and have your life back. 

Highlight: watching his doorman Alejandro Romero deliver his pre-recorded testimony from his car, vape and then drive off. “I’m tired … I don’t want to deal with this court case … everybody’s got problems, and I don’t want to deal with this no more.” Modern law. Remote justice.


5 Things 🧠 💥

Talent to Money Summit is on 7 & 8 June online. The first global summit run by The Ask, helping you to start (and grow) a business you love. Great speakers who will be sharing their stories and strategies for success. I heard about this via the Newsletter Mastermind group (Ness Labs).

How ‘digital nomad’ visas can boost local economies (HBR.org). A visual overview of the current visas via country and how they might play a key role in fostering entrepreneurship and the creation of technology clusters around the world. Time for the US to get on board or risk being left behind.

Recommended Substack newsletters related to the future of work (Workforce Futurist). It takes a village to grow a newsletter. Thanks to Andy Spence for the shoutout and profiling work you’re enjoying. Some new writers to check out!

Building a swarm of thoughts with the founders of Napkin (Ness Labs). An interesting experiment – gathering a group of 100 authors to help build the next-generation thinking and writing tool (it looks great – watch the video). Get a month for free when you sign up for their newsletter. 

Gitlab: The Remote Playbook 2022 – this is the 3rd edition of Gitlab’s famous playbook. This time focusing on how your team works, not where, evolving design, mastering future of work skills, reducing burnout, and boosting wellness at work. Learn how they’ve scaled as an asynchronous, no office company. 


Written by Nika Talbot, founder of award-winning Firebird Studio. Content designer and UX writer. Based near Brighton, heart in Italy 🇮🇹

Send me a note: nika@nikatalbot.io.

Enjoy reading this? Why not buy me a glass of Prosecco? 🥂

Categories
future of work remote working writing

Merry Christmas🎄✨

An ode to offline. I’ll be back on January 9.

Thank you for all your support this year.

May this holiday season bring you lots of love, joy and happiness!

Here’s to 2022.

Nicci 🙋🏻‍♀️

Ps, I’d love to know what products and services you’ve found useful and the best book you’ve read this year. Doing a quick roundup to share.

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