Self-employment can be a rewarding last career phase

Jim Davies’ view on the joys and frustrations of being a specialist in a multi-functional team (Private View, DW 15 June) formed a neat juxtaposition to the rant of ‘Name and address supplied’ on the opposite page, about the difficulties of getting a job when ‘experienced’.

Having stepped away from full-time employment in the design industry some years ago, I find that there is a high demand for my ‘suit’ services. The structure of the industry has changed and many of us very happily follow the self-employed route.

Experience does count and is valued. But we have to be clear about that value. It is not a case of ‘I did it this way and so should you’.

As long as experienced people can deliver clarity without pomposity, advice without rigidity, and support and guidance without claiming ownership, we have relevant and significant value.

Yes, sometimes our advice will not be taken and we have to learn, assuming we were right, not to say ‘I told you so’.

However, every job has its frustrations. On balance, it’s a highly fulfilling way to earn a living. I’m doing fascinating and stretching work, I’m working with highly talented people and I’m happy to be judged on the results.

And, I can look forward to a good ten years more if I want. It can be done – just don’t expect things to be as they used to be.

Philip Lawder, Harrow HA5 1EB

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