Beth Avant is a freelancer with a PR agency in San Diego, where she lives with her husband and three year-old son. Beth transitioned from working full time in PR to working on a more flexible schedule and then to eventually working as a freelancer. In this interview she shares some great perspectives for how to organize your life if you are freelancing, how to deal with feeling overwhelmed at work, and why she sometimes has a hard time relating to other working moms.
Can you tell us a little bit about your job?
Before I had my son I worked in high tech PR. It wasn’t originally part of my career path but I transitioned into it. At the time I was working for a PR firm called Burson-Marsteller, in their San Diego office. It was dedicated to one client and we knew we were all going to get laid off after the assignment for this account was over. So I started interviewing and got a job as a project manager assistant for a technology company. I was working there when I got pregnant.
After having my son, I joined a non-profit agency. It was a new job for me and it was a challenge, especially with having a young son at home. I was there until last September. company was going through some major changes which made work difficult and having my son at home made my decision to leave even easier!
I took some time off to figure out what I wanted to do. I thought about staying at home full time but after I did it for a while, I realized that it just wasn’t for me. So I started freelancing and now I’m an account director at a PR agency. I help them think through how to fulfill their vision and be different from traditional agencies and I also work with their accounts. I work two days a week, Tuesday and Thursday, when my son is at school. I also do some work at night.
Can you briefly describe your usual day?
On the days when I don’t work, I wake up between 6:15 and 7am. When my son is home I need to keep busy. I found the transition from the corporate America to be hard. We have very structured environment. We have play dates, lessons, every minute is scheduled. We run errands together, go to the park, have various lessons in the morning. We usually have dinner between 5:30 and 6pm. At 7:30pm my son goes to bed. My husband and I are both bloggers. So after our son is in bed, we do some writing and try to relax.