In this guest blog, Emma Gorton-Ellicott shares her unique insight into what it’s like to manage several careers all in one go – and try to raise humans to boot.
Tell us a little about what you ‘do’.
I am officially a Fashion Editor at Bristol 24/7 magazine and I am a host at DeskLodge, where I also write all of the blogs and create content for their social media platforms. Those are my paid jobs, both are great, creative and fun companies to work for and together make up my full-time job(s).
Not content with two jobs, I am also a fashion blogger for my blog No Debutante which I have run since 2011 which consequently got me the Fashion Editor job at Bristol 24/7! I am also a DJ for my club night Bang which just celebrated it’s 15th Birthday, I am in a band called the Mono Dots, I am a member of the female empowerment group SisterWorks, I am (very slowly) starting up a new fashion brand – I was a fashion designer for many years – and I have crammed bringing up three kids into this equation too.
What do you say to someone at a networking event when they ask you ‘What do you do’?
Oh jeez! It depends on the event. If it’s fashion I tell them I’m a Fashion Editor, if it’s tech or a new business-type meet up I will talk about DeskLodge, but mostly I stare at them for a second before the list of ‘What I do’ comes out. I try and judge by the situation/person how much they can handle! People are generally shocked or impressed, but you have to realise I am not playing at every festival in my band or as a DJ, I am not the Fashion Editor at Vogue: I just have a couple of day jobs and hobbies, lots and lots of hobbies!
Do you believe that just having one career/profession is no longer realistic?
It might be but I am not going to do it. I get bored very easily, I like to change things up but I also like money so I need to work hard to keep my hobbies going too.
As parents, my husband and I share the school runs – we are lucky, our employers have always been flexible like that. If companies are not willing to be flexible people will just stop taking the jobs. A 9-5 full time job is very rare these days, we all work flexible hours and good part-time jobs are becoming more common and varied.
It is now possible to start a new career at any age, and starting up your own business is no longer a dream but a reality. There is so much support out there so you can be your own boss, work your own hours, take another part-time job on even. That doesn’t mean you have failed! As long as you are enjoying your work it doesn’t matter.
Most creatives work a part-time job to support their creativity which I think is fantastic. They could have been working a full-time job they hate and not being creative at all. There are no bohemian creatives; that lifestyle doesn’t exist, you still have to pay the bills!
A job for life doesn’t exist anymore and technology changes so fast that our roles change too. My roles have organically changed as I’ve got older. I never imagined I would become a fashion journalist when I left uni and social media didn’t even exist then either. I look forward to where these roles take me next!
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I was ridiculously ambitious as a child, I thought I’d become a popstar or an actress. I never really liked the idea of getting an actual job like my parents, but probably said I want to be a nurse so teachers didn’t get annoyed!
What are some of the practical ways that you manage to do all that you do?
I plan everything! I have a shared Google calendar with my husband and everything goes on there. We know what we are doing each day with the kids and our jobs, and where we can fit in all the hobbies and extra work.
I make dream lists. These are lists of what I would like to do, for my jobs, hobbies, at home and leisure activities. Sometimes they get ticked off in an evening after work, sometimes over a weekend, sometimes not for weeks on end but I get through them and get stuff done. It’s very satisfying, I recommend them! I am also practising self-care and try to get a good night’s sleep, more yoga and taking relaxing baths, which are scheduled into my dream list to make sure I do it!
I recommend filling your time with doing practical things. I never sit and watch TV after work, I am always writing, promoting stuff I’m doing, going to band practise, just doing stuff! We (my husband and I) give ourselves a Thursday evening off for Netflix and wine.
Is there something else that you’ve always wanted to do?
There are a hundred things, of course! The more I write and the more books I read, the more I think I could write a book or a short film, and I’m also interested in radio presenting and making podcasts. I have a YouTube channel I would love to have more time to work on too. That is literally a handful of the things I want to do. I’d also like to get regular fashion columns in Vogue, ID and Dazed and Confused Magazine.
In the meantime, my band are planning an EP, so maybe that popstar thing will become a reality! In all seriousness I just plan to keep doing what I am doing as it seems to be working out for me, never waste a moment!