The Journey Began When…

  • Sumo

Pardon the dust as I work to get this blog setup and a little more customized.

For those who don’t know me, I’m Gwynne, best known as @econwriter5. This year, 2011, has been another hard year, and a year that has really tried my patience. There was mutual agreement of me being able to join Clio as an employee instead of just a contractor, but to do so, since I’m a US citizen and they are a Canadian company, requires a work visa. And getting a work visa is really a test of one’s will and patience.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

This whole thing started with a Twitter Direct Message in September of 2010. I was sitting on the couch in the evening, watching the news and tweeting as I so often do. A curious DM came in asking if I was looking for any #freelance work. At that point, I was just looking for work, so I responded yes. A couple DMs, a few emails and a phone or two later, and I was hired. It was rather unusual, and not at all like the many interviews I had gone on before. Just a couple weeks prior, actually, I had interviewed for an SEO Content Specialist position with a large company close to home. Though I was a good fit for the position, I was fairly certain my inadvertent upstaging of my future boss cut me out of the running. I asked what I thought was a logical question, at the time, that, in hindsight revealed I had a more logical approach than my future boss. Oops.

So in October of 2010, I started this new #freelancing gig, tweeting, Facebooking and blogging about cloud computing and legal stuff. The thing that was really important, though, was getting Small Firm Innovation up and running. That was my big task.

Over the course of working on that, getting to know more about the company, the people, the product, I found my technical writing skills coming in handy. And pondering the whole work visa thing, there were two ways: the long way, or the short way. Initially, the long way seemed the make the most sense but, well, it’s long. And complicated. It took a few months before it dawned on me that the short way was not only better, but possible.

Technical Publications Writer is a NAFTA designation. The problem was, I couldn’t find anyone who had gone anywhere under that designation, so to do it that way would be a roll of the dice. One of many, I’m finding. And NAFTA, too, is a process. The term “short way” is a bit of a misnomer, and really applies to the decision making process. Getting the application is just as much of a pain as the long way.

In the end, for now, what started with a couple DMs and an idea has blossomed into an experience and opportunity I couldn’t quite have predicted.

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