I’ve always cast myself as a free spirit. A creative thinker brimming with alternative ideas and approaches, someone prepared to challenge the status quo and swim against the tide of rules and regs. I’ve always felt fine about sticking it to The Man.
But a recent stint back at the BBC has made me wonder if I’m quite as free-spirited as I fancied I was.
After a couple of weeks putting in some freelance production shifts at Auntie, it turns out that there might be a fairly large slice of institutionalised inner me on the personality pie chart.
But what’s really weird is that I don’t mind. I don’t mind one wee bit.
I do not have a single, solitary shred of regret about hanging up the headphones after 15 years in radio.
Yes, leaving the security blanket of a monthly pay check, a paid up pension and the kudos of working for one of the world’s biggest brands was daunting, but the pull of being true to myself and my business ambitions became just too strong to resist. And this sister is definitely still doing it for herself.
But funnily enough it’s taken a return to working on the airwaves to make me realise the true beauty of being my own boss. After all, what could be better than having my cake and eating it?
Yes, I am still learning, and yes commencing in commerce has been a considerable challenge. But basically, being my own boss is simply bloody marvellous.
And a brilliant additional benefit of being self employed is that I can keep my broadcast production skills and credibility up to date with some stints in studio.
I’ve got no plans to go back to the 9-5 (don’t be daft, there is no such thing as the simple 9-5 in broadcasting), and I definitely don’t intend to get sucked back into internal politics, trouble and strife. But a few freelance forays will be good for me, good for my business, and hopefully, good for the BBC too.
And, whisper it, I have really enjoyed being back in the bosom of the beast. It’s been great to gear up dormant parts of the grey matter where Word Up don’t reach, it’s been fab to see old friends, and thrilling to feel the frission of fear and adrenalin when the “mic live” light goes red.
But it’s no longer the day job – the responsibility is reduced, and the stresses and strains have slipped away. So I’m making the most of going with the institutional flow.
But don’t kid yourself, this rebel-hearted roustabout can still kick against the pricks at a mere moment’s notice.