NAME: Lisa David
ACTION/SECTOR: Education & Training
POSITION: Self-employed Lisa David
ORGANIZATION: Erwachsenenbildung und akademisches Projektmanagement
My Background and Career
I started to work freelance as adult educator already during my studies. The beginning was within a university course – I was in charge of a tutorial.
In addition, I have developed, organized and carried out academic projects. After I’ve completed my educational scientific studies I've received orders as a trainer in the fields of train-the-trainer and University Didactics. Because of these jobs I have sent a large number of unsolicited applications and through my private and professional networks I managed a good order situation. Furthermore, the fact that – in addition to my orders in Austria – I am also working for various institutions in Germany and Luxemburg was helpful for a positive development.
In addition to my teaching activity I also operate in the researching area - close to the research topic of my master thesis and the doctoral dissertation that I’ve started five years ago. Through those activities I was able to gradually provide security for being a freelancer. Today I work for about twenty different educational institutions and later this year I will finish my PhD.
One of the main opportunities while studying has been that I had found a couple of mentors who have supported me professionally. On the one hand they have allowed that I could implement ideas in the academic project area and granted me access to their large networks. On the other hand I was able to learn a lot from their didactical and methodological approaches by shadowing and assisting experienced adult educators.
The fact that I have decided to take on a doctoral program ensured me financial security through a scholarship.
The above mentioned scholarship has the disadvantage that a part needs to be repaid. So I know that I have, despite the current financial security, pay off my debts eventually. The current –favorable- financial situation is precarious, despite all the success. I am at mercy of an uncertain order situation and no motivation and enjoyment of work may mitigate this. I have to continuously do acquisition to secure not only the financial situation but also to minimize the psychological stress that appears because of this condition. The high order situation due to my working field in Austria, Germany and Luxembourg means a lot of traveling, which in turn is costly
Strong organizational skills ensure that my projects (with various clients and conducted in three different countries) can be managed professionally and optimally.
My acquired knowledge and expertise during my studies as well as in training and practical experience is the core of my knowledge.
The most important skill for me is to apply this knowledge and to select the needed parts appropriate to each and every situation. Furthermore, I had to gain a minimum of business management skills, to frame my freelancing in all three countries optimally. A certain degree of resilience respectively psycho-social skills ensure that I am able to balance tension and relaxation. This includes to set professional and personal priorities as well as to differentiate between ‘urgent” and ‘important” matters – at the moment I work on the classification of “not important activities”
Hints & Tips
The idea of the tough business woman who is never knocked off her feet is – simply- not working. If you are honest with yourself and others, emotions are a part of doing what you do so passionately in your profession.
Accordingly, you should follow your intuition to achieve your goals. But be careful, these goals should never be set in stone, because arising opportunities not necessarily found on a straight path.